People have been asking how the transition has been for us. Friends and family from the US have inquired, as well as our new friends and acquaintances over here. Surprisingly, everything has gone smoothly and better than ever expected. Everything, that is, except for buying sheets. This little errand almost sent us over the edge. The sheets almost beat us.
Let me set the stage for you. It is 10 p.m. on a work night. We are tired from jet lag, heat, a new job and not having a permanent residence, etc. Happily, it is the first evening in our new condo. The only thing between us and our nice, new bed, is a set of sheets.
We go to the shopping mall just down the hill and head into IKEA. Good bet right? Familiar store, recognizable lay out, cheap house wares, the comfort of other expats… should be a breeze right? Wrong. We found the small bedding area and started picking out prints to match our olive green drapes. The prints were nice, not too girly, matched quite nicely and we decided on a fabric after about 10 minutes of deliberating and searching. All I could think of was the bed that was calling. We were in the home stretch. Now all we had to do was find the sheet set with the print we wanted in a king size and be on our way.
Well, they had fitted sets with one sheet and two pillowcases. They had a duvet cover with four cases. It took us about 15 minutes of digging through the plastic packaging in a tiny, 5 aisle area, before realizing that they did not have a sheet set with both flat and fitted sheets with pillow cases. Not only that, we could not find anything but stark white flat sheets. With the stars aligned just the right way, I started to freak out. Cody started to freak out too. I did not throw an adult tantrum right there among the bedding. I did curse under my breath and begin to hate Malaysia. My body vibrated, my blood boiled and I hated life. I was so frustrated and in disbelief, that I almost lost it.
Well, this must be just IKEA, we said to ourselves, those crazy Swedes. We trudged on through the sliding doors, through the crowds and unbelievably enough, found a linen store. All linens, all the time. Thank god, we thought. Well, needless to say, it did not work out as we had hoped. Insert the story from above, right here, but increase the frustration exponentially. At 10:45, I took matters into my own hands. I called Lai Wan. Yes, it was late, but holy crap, what the hell. I needed to sleep. Well, she was not there. After looking at each other we admitted defeat and went back to IKEA. We also decided that all Malaysians are crazy. A comforter cover… really? Really? Really Malaysia? (We replayed the Amy Pohler Saturday Night Live Skit between the two of us, inserting bedding and Malaysia as the narrative.)
We bought in and purchased a fitted sheet set, a comforter cover set and trudged home, up the hill in the hot muggy evening atmosphere. Why anyone would want a comforter cover opposed to a crisp, light flat sheet, still boggles us to this very day. But we made the bed, climbed in and haven’t looked back since. (We have chuckled about the experience though, and are happy to say that it is going to take more than sheets, to beat us Malaysia!)