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The Mighty IKEA Bus

I was dreading that moment. But alas, on the very last day the superfluous IKEA stuff that Diesel and I bought on move-in day was eligible for a return, I finally decided to bite the bullet. Yes, I found myself in no other than the famous IKEA bus.

People in NY learn how to live without a car. And businesses in NY learn how to lure shoppers by offering perks; in the case of IKEA, a FREE bus that leaves from Manhattan every weekend from 10am – 2:30pm.

After saying goodbye to Diesel (who was going to Seattle for work), I took the train to the Port Authority Terminal on 42nd St. There, at gate 11, there it was, standing in all its mightiness: The IKEA BUS.

As I rushed on board, taking the last open seat, I looked around the excited crowd, pumped up by the anticipation of buying cheap furniture and the prospect of stuffing themselves with Swedish meatballs.

Everybody, it seemed, had come with their mother, their sister, or their friend, which resulted in an animated chattering coming from all sides of the bus. People in the front seats were eagerly and diligently flipping through their IKEA catalogs, pointing out the items they wanted; others had brought cameras and were snapping pictures of the ugly buildings along the freeway, as if on vacation. The whole thing was just hilarious.

I waited in line for 20 minutes or so, and even had time to get lunch: two hot dogs for a whopping $0.50 each! When I got to the top of the line, I found out I could only get my money back if I supplied them with Diesel’s credit card number. I had no idea, so I called my mother-in-law and made her go through our online bank account and Amazon account in the hopes that either of them was linked to the said credit card. No such luck, so I ended up just taking the credit and wasting Mom Sale’s time…

The whole ordeal–bus ride + return + lunch–took about three hours. On my way back, I picked up tickets to Jersey Boys, which Diesel and I will be watching when Mom and Dad Sale come to visit in April.

This is definitely one of these NY-living experiences that I’ll remember and even cherish a few years from now. For now, though, I’ll stay away from IKEA and its packed bus. And fyi, it seems that the IKEA bus has reached international heights. Look at what I found on Google:

IKEA Bus Japan

IKEA Bus Germany


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