Ikea, the Swedish conspiracy

January 20, 2009

It’ s a known fact that Finns are extremely jealous of their  Swedish neighbours. Compared to our shy, self-aware and grumpy nature and constant dwelling in misery the Swedes seem to confidently succeed in everything they do, preserving their manners always and holding a perfect smile throughout their lives. Finland was a part of Sweden from the 13th century until 1809 (when we became a part of Russia). We have a Swedish speaking minority of 6% and the majority sees them as snotty, rich elite who only play amongst their own. After all, they represent the Swedish super humans with their perfect tans and sailing pullovers.

Swedes have H&M (I remember the first time visiting one in Stockholm, it was like heaven back in 1994). They actually own half of the clothing retail shop chains in Finland. Swedes had Roxette (my first favourite band ever). They had ABBA. They have Volvo. When our teams play ice-hockey against each other, the swedes always make magical 4 goals during the last 30 seconds and win. Greta Garbo, Ingrid Bergman, Kirsten Dunst, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Uma Thurman all have Swedish roots. The only celebrity we have with Finnish roots is Pamela Andersson. Fuck, they even have stolen our meatballs. They are FINNISH, not Swedish. And then they have Ikea.

Ikea is the Swedish conspiracy to lure people with affordable prices to turn their homes into miniature Swedens. Everything is functional, simple and stylish in a low-key manner. Ikea is also the shop where you are most likely to get into a fight with the person you are going there with. I don’t know if they spray something into the air that turns people crazy. Or maybe it’s just the frustration that us finns as customers develope when encountering the Swedish dream. I’ve experienced and witnessed this Ikea-syndrom several times when visiting the shop. I’ve had crazy fights on home decoration with my ex there, I’ve seen my sister having crazy fights with her ex over stupid furniture. I’ve seen strangers fighting over discount bowls. The place always get’s my blood pressure to the hights. Like yesterday too.

Me and DH had planned to get new curtains to living room. I looked up Ikea’s homepage and they had nice-looking, red panel curtains with a cheap price. So we decided to visit the shop yesterday after I got off from work. Our gps didn’t know Ikea (maybe it was designed by jealous Finns who just wanted to leave it off the map) but luckily we somehow remembered how to drive there. We skipped the furniture exhibit part and headed straight to the shop part. You would think finding a specific product with its name written on a piece of paper would be easy.

Wrong answer! Anno Tupplur just didn’t want to be found. We walked a circle in the textiles section (it’s not that big even) for 15 minutes swearing like sailors. Where the fuck are those curtains? All we could find was normal curtains, not the panel ones. We left the section and finally found one clerk (she was the only one in the 10000 km2 shop I guess) who told us to go back to the section we left. We walked the same circle for about 10 more minutes and I witnessed a crazy fight with a teenage girl and her mother about what color of curtains should the daughter purchase. Then DH came to me with a red roll in his hand. It was the curtains packed in a plastic roll. I went to look the examples they had hanging just to notice that they were too wide and would have required sewing. So no curtains for us. Of course you can’t exit Ikea empty-handed, so we bought  a few storage boxes and some towels to the bathroom.

Ikea also earns the place for my top 5 of worst places for an infertile. Yep; a zillion preggo bellies there.

Assembling the Ikea goods together is a whole another story. The parts never fit, there’s always a few screws missing from the package and you’ll have to use brutal force to get your Dippa-Dappan into something resembling distantly a piece of furniture. And yes; we still are extremely jealous that Ikea wasn’t a Finnish invention.

I do have Ikea book shelf. And towels. And bowls. And picture frames. And curtains. Ok, I’ve selled a part of me to the Swedish satan because I don’t have money to shop elsewhere. But they haven’t been able to turn me into an optimistically smiling, tanned sailor yet.



  1. This is scandalous news! Swedish meatballs are actually Finnish?? No wonder Finns hold a grudge! Hilarious post. I just moved near an IKEA and have been there twice. I can see the allure it holds for some people, but I found it mostly overwhelming. Sometimes with obscure packaging and Swedish signs, I couldn’t even figure out what certain items were! And the cute baby/kid section was totally depressing since I had no reason to buy anything. : ( Well, actually I bought something for my nephew…

  2. Awe, that is almost funny. Damn Swedes. LOL

    And you know how much I adore IKEA……LMAO.

    If it makes you feel better they actually sell some Mari Meko in Thunder Bay….I wanted some rubber boots with flowers on them…but was too cheap that day…heh..


  3. Hi, I think I found your blog through googling infertility blogs… and in poking around, I noticed that we’re starting our first IVF cycles at almost the exact same time. My cd 1 was yesterday, and in 21 days I’ll start suppression injections. Weird! You can follow along with me on livejournal but you’ll need an account…

    Anyway, I’m Laura~ just thought that was a weird coincidence that we’re all lined up like this…

  4. But you have Kimi and Mika, the flying Finns of F1!!!

    • Have you ever heard Kimi speak English? It’s too embarassing to listen!

  5. Half of my apartment is furnished by Ikea, and yes, we fought our way through every purchase, and every assembly. I need a new dresser (because my Ikea dresser literally fell apart), and as much as I’ve been trying to avoid Ikea, I know I’ll end up there.

  6. Kimi is crazy. My husband is a huge F1 fan so I frequently hear the post race interviews where Kimi is saying “mrrr brrrr grrrr mrr” in his odd monotone. It’s so funny.

  7. Hilarious post and so well written! You really got it bang on with the whole suomalainen-ruotsalainen relations. I’m a Norwegian married to a Finn -had to put my anthropological hat to figure out all the animosity towards the Swedes! Norwegians used to be the butt of Swedish jokes (and we still are -it’s all tit for tat amongst the Scandinavians), but wow, I really have heard some pretty crazy & funny jokes about Swedes from the Finns!
    Hopefully now that we are living in the US we’ll be furnishing our home with other brands than IKEA!!

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