Went for a walk through Ikea on Sunday. People walk as badly as they drive their cars. I, on the other hand, walk as well as I drive (because I am an excellent driver), making sure I am not going to crash into anyone and watching out for dumdum yobbos weaving in and out of traffic. I say that very proudly, too (I was 3/4 of a point off full marks for my driver's test, and my driving tester guy said I was the best he ever had, uhuh! And this was in Australia, Tightypants Land of Traffic Obedience).
So there I was, trying to go straight through to the curtains section, but being totally unable to follow the path I set for myself. If it wasn't a kid playing bumper cars on my heels with his mini trolley (Ikea loses muchacho points on this added feature), then it was his mother trying to do a three-point turn with her trolley in the narrow lane, despite the fact it would be faster to just keep going and do a u-turn at the end.
Worst of all are the tourists in the traffic. You know, the ones who stop in your way and look around with their fingers thoughtfully stroking their chins. The ones who like to point suddenly and end up sticking their fingers up your nose. The ones who shuffle like geriatrics and like to walk three abreast, just to be triply sure no one ever goes faster than the speed of treacle. The ones who give you righteous offended looks when you say excuse me loudly and take up your god-given right to pass.
These are also the ones who like to wedge themselves between you and the shelf you are looking at, just so they can have an unobstructed view (the right of a tourist I suppose). They get suspicious if you follow too closely but sulk if you try to pass them.
I love window shopping, looking around, feeling and experiencing the goods and atmosphere, but I've always hated the idea of being a tourist - it implies disconnection, disaffiliation and ignorance. I rather prefer the idea that everyone looks upon their world with open heart and mind and with mindfulness of others.
So if you are an Ikea tourist - i.e. acting like you are in a museum rather than shopping with a purpose - at least keep to the left (the slow lane) and indicate when you're about to make a sudden movement.
Otherwise I may seriously consider accidentally sticking my foot out, bumping into you or moving your trolley somewhere while you're not looking. And then pretending it was your child.
PS - be nice and go vote for your favourite photoblog here.