Our shitty old IKEA bedframe was causing us a lot of problems so wednesday after work I hopped a train and went out to buy two smaller ones. The problem was we had such a wide bed, the wood slats deformed so much we kept rolling into each other and sleeping on an inclined surface. IKEA figured out this long ago and stopped stocking this particular width.
Anyway, I grabbed the two bedframe slats, each about 25 lbs, and manhandled them back to the train station in one of the outlying train hubs where the IKEA is located. There, I found the platform abandonded since the trains only run every 30 minutes, save for one person, who turned out to be Christoph, one of our old interns at W.
Stuttgart is not a small place. The city is the fifth largest in Germany, and has a massive population. However, you run into people like it's a country village. It turns out he just arrived from Italy helping his girlfriend move for the Erasmus program.
*The Erasmus program is a European study abroad program which lets Europeans in college go study abroad, typically in other European countries, and the state pays most of the housing and program costs. Erasmus was a facinating historical figure who was arguably the first exchange student (gaining permission to study religion in the UK from his home university in the Netherlands) in the time of the Protestant reformation, in which he played a major, if concilliatory part.
Anyway, we got caught up and it turns out he lives down the street from me now. He generously helped me carry the bedframe boxes to my door before heading home.
The second time we went to IKEA was this weekend, when we caught the train there and took a cab back. Bought a chair with a crossbar for scarves and storage, as well as two night stands, a few plants, and some other kitchen items. Taxi home was expensive, 40 euros, but cheaper than having our stuff delivered, and much more comfortable than trying to lug everything ten minutes to the train station, changing trains, and then fifteen back to the house.
IKEA was sold out of meatballs, if you can believe it.