Beijing loves Ikea-- but not for shopping
I haven't been to Beijing yet, but this article is a great example of what we've been talking about in class.. hybridization and the local spin/perception of things from the West. But what struck me was that I understand where they are coming from... I know why Ikea is more like a theme park than a furniture store to the Chinese. They go there for refills, meals, ample seating, sleeping on the beds (!!) rather than buying furniture. It offers things other (domestic) stores often do not. This guy said why buy the furniture when you have pictures. I am just amazed at how much I relate to this (feel free to judge me) and this article confirmed that I indeed think and am Chinese at heart. I know it sounds like a pretty big leap, but I am SO, so glad that what I'm learning, my heritage as Taiwanese and my time in the U.S. has come together during my time in China.
One thing I've thought many times during this trip is how fitting this place is for me as my (essentially) first time abroad. I am familiar enough with the culture/language that I'm not shocked by its practices (like street food, not tipping, sometimes abrasive behavior), but it's also new enough that I have a lot to learn (what to do when strangers approach you, traffic chaos). In short I am very glad that this is where I've come and all the people that made it happen, TY so much.
And... I have to go to Ikea in Beijing to see this article in real life.