Sunday, 14 November 2010


We went to San Sebastian de los Reyes today. If you've ever been there, you'll be wondering why. It doesn't seem to have any historical interest, and not even the most optimistic town councillor would describe it as pretty. It's a kind of newish dormitory town to the north of Madrid. The reasons for the visit were twofold:
1) To check out a shop selling British products there
2) It's time for the annual IKEA trip.

When we emerged from the Metro at Hospital Infanta Sofia, we had an incredible sense of deja vu: the last time we went to a place like this was when we went to the IKEA at Las Suertes to the south of Madrid. Identical Metro station design, a view of motorways, mountains and general back-of-beyondness, and then wide boulevards flanked by 7-storey brick-clad apartment buildings and plenty of empty plots of land. All a bit desolate and weird.

Item one is called The Food Hall, and basically I wanted to see if it was worth trying to sell my pies to them. We came away with a selection of loot - a Wright's (of Crewe) Steak & Kidney pie for research purposes (yes it was as nasty as you'd expect for a pie that was made in England, frozen, shipped to Spain and ultimately sold for a bit over 2 Euros), a couple of Scotch Pies (pretty good, actually), 3 bottles of beer (Old Speckled Hen & Black Sheep), a bar of Cadbury's chocolate, some oatcakes (I don't know - the missus chose them) and some dried cranberries. 

Item two; when looking at the location of The Food Hall, I noticed there's an IKEA 'nearby'. So we had a spot of lunch, and set off walking in search of the big blue box. We found it after about 20 minutes, or rather, we found its backside, the bit where people pick up big bits of furniture. It was another 10 minutes' walk to get to the front door. And then the usual half-hour trek to go through the store and get to the checkouts. And the reason for going? In previous years, I've always bought these slippers they sell for mooching around the house in. They're very cheap, always come in bright colours, and only last for one winter. So I need some new ones, but was rather narked that I couldn't find them.

So we went to the 'nearby' Carrefour hypermarket - we were in some kind of 'retail park' - lots of big box stores around a gazillion-hectare car park. Again, miles and miles of walking. I did get some slippers, and some vino, and some turkey breast (gonna make some turkey & cranberry pies). And then we staggered, exhausted, up the hill to the Metro station.


nzm said...

We did our annual IKEA trip last week. It involves taking the metro to the last stop - Fondo - on Linea 1, then walking through a dubious neighbourhood up a hill to the retail box buildings clumped together at the top. Motorways all around, and of course the entry to the building is at the furthest walking point.

If it wasn't for the fact that we are matching already purchased items, we wouldn't bother, as it's a frustrating and not an enjoyable task.

I know those slippers - we have 2 pairs - blue and orange!

leftbanker said...

For slippers I have a pair of the knock-off crocs from the chino that cost about 2€. They are really warm and insulated and perfect for apartment life in Spain. They are retarded-looking but for the apartment they serve well. Once in a while I will forget that I am wearing them and leave the house. A block away I realize my mistake, screech like a she-male whose cocktail dress has caught fire, and race back home to get proper footwear for public places.

Keefieboy said...

John, I've those 'crocs' - you're being very generous when say they're 'retarded-looking'!