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IKEA Wembley (but it's in Neasden really)



1. The starlings in the car park are everywhere, seem to have forgotten how to fly, and are unafraid of human contact - it's spooky.


2. The food and people's relationship to it is out of the ordinary - lots of reliance on the Dime Bar as a basic ingredient, but also there are people eating hot dogs and meat balls who, you would imagine, wouldn't normally go near them - Hindus, for example. Blueberry juice, fish in jars, chocolate and butterscotch spread, Kecks, lots of biscuits, Choklad Mork - it's food Jim, but not as we know it.


3. Everyone talks to one another and helps one another out - I think it might be the "we're all in it together" mentality - the trenches, the blitz, and IKEA: you join the dots. Some people love the place, clearly, and even go when they are abroad, far from home.


4. Serviettes - can't leave without them, can't leave without them. 50p for a pack of 30 with a Christmas theme? Oh go on then.


5. Try not to buy stuff that is too big to go in your car - it takes ages to get it in the first place and then when they bring it out you look a fool when you have to return it for a refund.


6. Cheap tat is cheap tat, brightly coloured or not.


7. The place is stuffed with buy-to-let landlords. Or so it seemed on a day when I woke up to a five-year-old episode of Under the Hammer (thanks to Sam, aged 6, for putting that on at 6.30 a.m.).

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