The Swedish furniture giant, Ikea has a special place in the Irish psyche. When you plan a trip there, many Irish people will react with barely contained excitement as if you had just suggested a trip to Disneyland.
People flock from across the country to pick up flatpack furniture to bring home, prop against the wall, and not assemble for two weeks.
1. Try and fail to pronounce the product names
You squint at the tag, taking in the bold, black lettering. Haltingly, you slowly utter,'Kuh-vik. K-vIke?.. Kivv-ick.'
The Swedish roots of the flat-pack furniture company mean that many of their products are named with half-intelligible jumbles of consonants. The average Irish person hasn't a hope of pronouncing them correctly.
You can have fun with the mispronunciations, though.
2. Follow the path through the show room at all costs
The route through the Ikea showroom is meticulously designed to bring you on a journey around all the sections. You will stick to this path and follow it as though your very life depends on it. When you are out of sight of the projected arrows on the ground you will feel a gnawing unease in the pit of your stomach.
The path is the one true way intended by Ikea, you will never stray from the path.
3. Take products from the displays
Ikea isn't Tesco, the show floor is just to do just that; show you what they have. Inevitably on your first trip in you'll be unaware of this and you'll simply pick up and carry about what you want to buy. Next time you're wandering the showroom keep an eye out for the lost looking shoppers, clutching a 'Burikven' lamp liberated from its display to their chest.
4. Fail to order enough meatballs
The Swedish meatballs are a glorious mystery, how are they so delicious? Why do they smell so good? What are they made of?
All of these questions are unimportant, the only thing that matters is that you get enough of them. The Ikea neophyte won't realise that a single portion isn't actually enough, you'll fly through that and be left with a hollow yearning for more. You'll rue that day, and swear never to make that mistake again.
5. Use the warehouse trollies like scooters
When you finally make it down to the warehouse you'll be presented with an expanse of broad, concrete aisles flanked by towering scaffolding. To help you lug around your muksavgs and vestbrits you can secure a trolley.
If you do not immediately stand on this and scoot yourself across the concrete floor you have no joy in your heart. Of course as soon as you see a yellow-shirted employee look your way you'll hop off the trolley and meekly avoid their gaze like a scolded child.
6. Recoil in horror from the queues
The queues at the tills of Ikea can be a shock to a first timer. Stretching into the hazy distance, great columns of people, their trolleys piled high with flat packs.
To the uninitiated this is a horror to behold, but it is a part of the Ikea experience. Veterans will weather it unfazed and resolute.
When you finally reach the till you will have earned your neat, white minimalist coffee table.
7. Seem shocked that they somehow spent the entire day in there
The flow of time in Ikea is convoluted. It can be hard to keep track of how long you have been wandering amongst the timsfors and bojas.
After the great queues you emerge blinking out into the daylight, only to find that the sun is sinking over the horizon. What happened, where did the day go? You only meant to pop in quickly for a tarva.
No one pops in to Ikea, you go in and emerge hours later after a long exodus, laden with flat packs.