It's no long McDonalds who is taking over the world -- guess who it is?
The global economy was once defined as McDonalds taking over the world. This past couple of weeks, however, have made me see things differently. The two icons that are making us come closer together as a world are... drumroll...... Ikea and Apple. Let's start with Ikea. Over the past two weeks we have spent more time at Ikea than I care to mention. Each trip takes no less than 4 hours and often includes stopping for lunch at their moin cher (inexpensive) and delicious cafeteria. The crowds have led me to believe that French families just go there for lunch for a 3 course meal for 4 under 25 euro. in mentioning this, someone told me that they sell more meals than any other restaurant. Looking at the crowds I wouldn't doubt it.
Once you start to buy from Ikea you realize the brillance of their "assemble it yourself" / or pay someone to furniture, their reasonable prices and quality. The engineering of eachpiece of furniture so that you can put it together yourself is proprietary information and brillant. Even many of their instruction manuals are non-language but only have visuals of what to do. Furnishing an entire house including a king size bed, queen bed, two trundle beds, table, 8 chairs, two couches and a closet requires budgeting. Ikea is the answer. Shopping at Ikea in France also offers another opportunity to study and learn new words. As you wind yourself through the maze of different design rooms you see signs describing items you never knew the names of -- a bonus for me.
Our biggest challenge here is that we have to wait 2-3 months for the new internet to be put in. (Don't ask me why except this is one of the things I love about US- they have great service). After a week of searching down cafe's with wifi, I discovered the Apple store. I plopped myself down, connected easily and surfed away. The person working in the store said I was welcome to come any time day or night and use the internet. Apple you never let me down.
Zoe and I had a running joke that we were just going to sleep at Ikea, eat our meals there and hangout at Apple all day. With those two welcoming stores why go anywhere else?
The good news is my neighbor, who I owe a great deal to, reflected for 2 days on why I couldn't connect to her internet. After two hours calling, she solved the problem and voila I'm borrowing my neighbors internet. This is what I love about the French. Your problems often become theirs to solve and they just seem to have a bit more time to help with them.
So given the global world changing I give more credit to Ikea and Apple to move us into having better relations and solving world problems.