Given it is a big city, there are a good number of urban legands floating around the expat community in Beijing. One of the most intriguing we’ve heard since we first arrived was about the popularity of Ikea.
Nothing new there. Ikea is a weekend-gobbler the world over. The Beijing store is the largest outside Sweden so amply able to deal with large crowds.
Our interest was piqued, however, by the reported behaviour of the Chinese visitors. Expats gleefully reported seeing people sleeping in the beds, reading on the sofas and, best of all, that a significant number of dates took place in Ikea’s kitchens.
The roots of this lie in the fact young people almost always live with their parents until they are married and suffer from a real lack of privacy. Ikea is an ideal solution – lots of space and nice surroundings with the bonus of clean air!
Mr B and I determined we had to see for ourselves if the urban legend had any truth. And it does. It does!
Mr B even managed to capture some of the action…
Beijing-based journalists are also getting in on the legand, the LA Times has a great article about the role of air conditioning in Ikea’s popularity during the summer.
Check out this fascinating phenomenon for yourselves if you have the chance!