Time for another installment of "How to embrace your Swedishness". This time we will embrace the horror, the fascination, the enjoyment, the nightmare that is a trip to Gekås, or more commonly known as Ullared. Because, truly, it is all of these things. Horrific. Fun. Interesting. But most of all, cheap. Yay for inexpensive shopping! All proper Swedes love this. Getting all the crap you need (and a lot of crap that you really don't need) for less money than in the average store. So how do you "do" a shopping trip to Ullared? Don't worry, I will tell you.
#2 - Ullared shopping
First of all, you never go alone. For various reasons. One being that it isn't really fun shopping alone. Bring a/several friend/s, your parent/s, your boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife/whatever. I promise, it will be more fun if you have someone with you that will listen to you complaining about all the idiots jostling around, getting in your way. Another reason is that it could be quite dangerous to go alone. Especially if you are not used to Ullared shopping. Beware. And don't go alone.
Secondly, go by car. There are a lot of bus travels going to Ullared for the sole mission of shopping, but blaaah, who wants that? You WILL buy more than you think. Therefore it is nice to have a car when it's time to go home.
Thirdly, wear comfortable shoes. The place is big and no matter how hard you try, you won't get out of there until at least a few hours have passed. Also, take off your coat and whatever outdoorsy clothing you have on. Because you will get warm, you will get frustrated and you will get sweaty. Just a heads-up.
Other things to think about:
- Even though shopping lists are good, you won't really need one, because you will go through the entire store and look at almost EVERYTHING. And they sell almost EVERYTHING. And it costs almost NOTHING. So don't worry if you forget your list, you'll still come home with lots of crap.
- Don't worry about food or toilets. They have toilets, cafés and a restaurant á la IKEA (for those of you that have ever eaten at IKEA, you know what I'm talking about), which basically means they have something for everyone, and it's reasonably priced. Plus, you get free fill-ups on your drink! ^^
- Expect to be unexpectedly surprised about the amount of people, and the amount of frustration you will start feeling after a while. It's just the way it works. Happens to all of us.
- If going with your friend/boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife, be sure that your relationship is strong. Because it will be tested. Severely. Please remember that the situation isn't exactly your everyday situation, and keep in mind that the things you might say/hear aren't necessarily true, but stem from a deep-seated frustration with aforementioned idiots jostling around. Just keep that in mind, and don't let a bad temper ruin your experience (or relationship).
So, armed with this knowledge, I let you out into the forest (because yes, this is Sweden, and yes, Ullared is in the middle of the forest) and wish you happy, cheap shopping!
These are some of the things I bought yesterday. A neon yellow thermos (because who doesn't need that?!), True Blood season 2 (again, who doesn't need that?!), Young Victoria (because I enjoy movies, and even more so, I enjoy cheap movies), super glue (because my MacBook is stupid), pink glittery nail polish (again, who doesn't need that?!), Moomin plasters/band aids (again, etc.), glittery hair barrettes, a Nutrilett Hunger Control drink (I just have to try it), and, to counter the hunger control drink, some Swedish candy ^^
Apart from this I also bought shampoo, tooth paste, cotton pads, and other boring things, because that is what you do at Ullared. Buy cheap crap.
Embrace your Swedishness!