Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Swedish Furniture

Another thing that struck me about Sweden is it's stylish furniture, found everywhere. It is no wonder that IKEA is such a big Swedish name. Let me start with the furniture at our hostel.

Surprisingly, we didn't see a single IKEA in Stockholm although we are quite certain that they are located somewhere as we did see an IKEA building on our way in from Skavsta airport. Our youth hostel was furnished with IKEA furniture. Although fairly spartan, it has it's own style.

Unlike most of my visits elsewhere in Europe, there are benches and chairs everywhere for people to rest on. So, even though we did a lot of walking, there was plenty of place for rest. Every museum and mall that we visited used different furniture. It seems that there is no such thing as a generic chair in Stockholm. They are all universally stylish though, usually fitting the style and colour of the building they're in.

Park benches here are unlike park benches elsewhere. The benches are all stylish and new, which makes me think that they must replace the benches with the latest designs each season. They are not from IKEA.

Even McDonald's is too stylish. We visited McD's quite often for some light snacks. They are filled up with semi-circle and long rectangular tables. There were also at least 3 kinds of chairs there that fit each different kind of table. We watched the Real Madrid match on a widescreen TV in McD's while having some cheapo 10 krona sundae.

As for the airport, the benches are not the generic kind that you get elsewhere. They are brightly coloured and very stylish as well. Although I'm not sure quite how comfortable they are as we didn't have much time to stay in the airport. Rob and I had some problems during check-in and immigration as they were implemented some extra measures for UK bound flights. Some nationalities were subject to further checks. Malaysian passports were among those affected. I asked what was wrong and was told that they had some cases of forged passports. Personally, I think that it's just a standard excuse. The British immigration were never as thorough with their checks as they were this time.

So, my conclusion is that Swedes like stylish furniture. I can understand why IKEA furniture is designed in Sweden. They've got much more competition here for people's behinds.

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