I do not understand what you wants to, formulates you gladly on something else ways.

Wednesday 1 June 2005

I’m listening to a Dutch Classic Cock station on a tinny AM radio and running a sweep with my imaginary friend on how soon until they play “We Built This City” so my judgement may be slightly impaired at the moment but, contrary to some people, I love Ikea.
Not as in “I love Big Brother“, or even “I love Big Brother“, but truly, honestly, genuinely love it: from its cheap, unobtrusive shelves for my books and records, to the $2.50 breakfast that makes the resident chef cry when he’s overrun with pikey students and backpackers. I know some people get the collywobbles and bitch about about the place, but they always end up coming back for more.
Now, my love for Ikea has a face, and a name: Anna. We’ve had some great conversations:

If your Swedish is not up to scratch, she speaks English too, but only on the American Ikea website. I don’t know why she doesn’t appear on the Australian website: perhaps that’s a reflection on the respective qualities of service you can expect in each country. Better still, American Anna has been given a box with extra headroom to live in, which gives the tantalising suggestion that if you ask the right question she will start jumping up and down.
I started searching Ikea homepages for other countries in hope of meeting exotic Annas around the world, particularly to see if the Saudia Arabian incarnation was wearing a burqa, but no luck.
But then, I was going to introduce my new best friend Anna to a colleague in London, and got a disturbing surprise:

What the hell happened to the real Anna? British Ikea gives you advice about life, love, and chipboard furniture through an Essex girl. Luckily, original flavour Anna is alive and well in Sweden and/or the States, but why this different look just for Britain? Are they trying to test us with some sort of Paula Wilcox/Sally Thomsett judgement-of-Paris dilemma? Contrary to appearances, British Anna is as reluctant to give out her phone number as Swedish Anna.