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Looking for love, with pictographic assembly instructions.
September 8, 2011 11:18 AM   Subscribe

Shanghai singles are using IKEA to find love. Yes, IKEA has become a semi-public social space in Beijing and elsewhere in China (previously), but now one Shanghai IKEA is twice-weekly "taken over by a swarm of locals between the ages of 45 and 65 who come to seek out new love over free cups of coffee — a perk offered to holders of the Ikea Family membership card — and boxed lunches brought from home."
posted by liketitanic (38 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
It can also be dangerous, as Mr. Li discovered when one member of the group splashed coffee on him. “I tried to stop him from talking too loudly,” Mr. Li said.

High-strung group, or is that normal behavior in China?!
posted by goethean at 11:25 AM on September 8, 2011


"If you are a member of this group, we feel we have warned you, do not use the resources of Ikea to organize events of this kind.”

That "we have warned you" is terrifying. Like it's shouted over a megaphone from a rafter before they let loose a surplus-bought ED-209.
posted by griphus at 11:25 AM on September 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


I like standing near Ikea furniture because by comparison I look solid and well-built.
posted by 2bucksplus at 11:27 AM on September 8, 2011 [16 favorites]


Well, Ikea is known for its steel cafeteria furniture and steel urn coffee...

Seems odd that the "group" willfully cordons themselves into the cafe, and are dutifully watched by the pimply security detail. Are they going to make a mad dash to the bedroom section? Or buy stuff? Oh, right it's China.
posted by obscurator at 11:28 AM on September 8, 2011


Not surprised. We lesbians have been using Home Depot this way for years.
posted by Lieber Frau at 11:30 AM on September 8, 2011 [24 favorites]


Like it's shouted over a megaphone from a rafter before they let loose a surplus-bought ED-209.

I believe you are mistaking IKEA's house-branded KILEMOL battle-robot for the ED-209. The KILEMOL is much like the ED-209, but you put it together yourself with an Allan key.
posted by mightygodking at 11:32 AM on September 8, 2011 [11 favorites]


Ikea Heights comes next.
posted by cashman at 11:34 AM on September 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


I believe you are mistaking IKEA's house-branded KILEMOL battle-robot for the ED-209. The KILEMOL is much like the ED-209, but you put it together yourself with an Allan key.

Imagine my embarrassment when I put one leg on the wrong way round! It kept on walking in circles.
posted by jaduncan at 11:38 AM on September 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


...but for some reason, it got up and down the stairs just fine.
posted by griphus at 11:40 AM on September 8, 2011


... free cups of coffee — a perk offered ...

I see what you did there!
posted by ZenMasterThis at 11:41 AM on September 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Chinese TV report (advert at start). Mentions getting into arguments with other customers and the shocking over-use of coffee whitener! Also some scary dancing.
posted by Abiezer at 11:45 AM on September 8, 2011


I think they might find such relationships a little shaky and short-lived.
posted by theredpen at 11:53 AM on September 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


The problem with relationships like this is that they seem like they will fit together just fine, but, when you get home, nothing really lines up and there is always a piece left over.
posted by GenjiandProust at 11:53 AM on September 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


> That "we have warned you" is terrifying. Like it's shouted over a megaphone from a rafter before they let loose a surplus-bought ED-209.

Why not cut out the middleman and have ED-209 give the warning? ED's not good at much, but he's great at warnings.
posted by The Card Cheat at 11:57 AM on September 8, 2011


Not sure I would like to date someone so cheap that they go to IKEA for the free coffee.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 11:58 AM on September 8, 2011


Not sure I would like to date someone so cheap that they go to IKEA for the free coffee.

But for the meatballs, on the other hand...
posted by Faint of Butt at 12:01 PM on September 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


The woman, who refused to give her name, said she had paid 30 yuan ($4.6) as membership fee to a certain match-making organizer and pays an added 5 yuan for every Ikea event she attends though other members of the group denied the meetings are organized.

"The first rule of the Ikea Club..."
posted by Revort at 12:09 PM on September 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Jesus Christ. You people ... Well, words haven't been invented yet for how fucking stupid you all are. But one day, someone WILL invent those words, and I will be the first one to call you all "fuffleclumpers" and "tossywiffle-jute-squelchers". So let's all look forward to that day.

The point here is that Chinese people - the most populous people of all people ever - are actually having trouble finding one another to love. I mean, you'd think they could just look around China, which is full of Chinese people. But no. And why not? Because they are all hiding behind some furniture, probably. So why not look for Chinese people behind the furniture store? Well - THAT'S WHAT THEY DID DO!!! So why are you assholes criticising them, huh? Fucking hell - you people are such gungoils.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 12:09 PM on September 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


They're at it like knives (IKEA sells some very reasonably priced sets) until their 40s though, quid. It's only later in life that love gets tricky.
posted by Abiezer at 12:13 PM on September 8, 2011


I'm just peeved that IKEA Family memberships are available elsewhere, when they canceled that sweet, sweet ride ages ago in Canada.

WHAT THE HEJ DO, IKEA?
posted by Capt. Renault at 12:20 PM on September 8, 2011


I am encouraged that China is embracing Western Cultural Imperialism. And like Japan before it, doing it in a way that is unique.

I wonder how the prices in IKEA are relative to the purchasing power of the Chinese though.
posted by Xoebe at 12:25 PM on September 8, 2011


I wouldn't risk it. What if you get your IKEA woman home and there is no hole where you're supposed to insert that peg thingy?
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 12:29 PM on September 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


They'll send someone out with a ship's auger and fix her right up.
posted by seanmpuckett at 12:31 PM on September 8, 2011


And then you insert a screwdriver into her belly button, turn 90 degrees, and by golly that peg stays inserted. It's brilliant!
posted by nebulawindphone at 12:59 PM on September 8, 2011


I wouldn't risk it. What if you get your IKEA woman home and there is no hole where you're supposed to insert that peg thingy?

"Most IKEA products are designed to be assembled by the customer, but if you prefer, we can recommend an independent in-home assembly service. For a small fee, they'll put it all together. Contact your local store." (source)

$20 SAIT
posted by blue_beetle at 1:00 PM on September 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Matchmaker
posted by theredpen at 1:15 PM on September 8, 2011


Matchmaker, Matchmaker,
Make me a match,
Find me a find,
catch me a SKÄRPT
posted by griphus at 1:24 PM on September 8, 2011 [8 favorites]


"We lesbians have been using Home Depot this way for years."

I believe the term is "Homo Depot", no (this information comes from my lesbian best friend)?. I found this kind of fascinating.

I'm told that people around early middle age here in Austin use Whole Foods in this way as well.
posted by DecemberBoy at 1:24 PM on September 8, 2011


It seems like making a rule "no outside food" might help.
posted by madcaptenor at 1:26 PM on September 8, 2011


It seems like making a rule "no outside food" might help.

They have such a rule. People aren't following it.
posted by liketitanic at 1:39 PM on September 8, 2011


HERP DERP IKEA JOKE
posted by ninjew at 1:43 PM on September 8, 2011


MetaFilter: the shocking over-use of coffee whitener! Also some scary dancing.
posted by Splunge at 3:16 PM on September 8, 2011


naps in the display beds? I guess that is really the best way to see if they are comfortable!
posted by sf9719 at 3:54 PM on September 8, 2011


I just found out I'm a fan of Ikeacore, so....
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 4:44 PM on September 8, 2011


L <3

You've got the (allen) key to my heart!
posted by mazola at 6:13 PM on September 8, 2011


Bravo Channel is already planning a show about this: The Hundredaire Matchmaker.
posted by George Clooney at 6:36 PM on September 8, 2011


Oh, this is a whole lot more normal than my envisioned 'weirdo sitting in one of the made-up Ikea model living rooms talking to every woman who walks past.' You know, as if she happened into his actual living room.

... I always wanted to settle in one of those sofas with a book and yell at people walking by to get out of my house. Even cool furniture stores are boring to twelve year olds, okay?

(FWIW, I would date anyone who would bring me a Daim.. right now!)
posted by Mael Oui at 8:03 PM on September 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Beats the Japanese, who look for sex in karaoke booths.

It's apparently an increasingly common thing amongst younger Japanese, who don't have their own private space elsewhere.
posted by markkraft at 5:07 PM on September 9, 2011


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