Day 6: Ikea run!
Surprise! Canadians love Ikea just as much as we do in Singapore.
As I mentioned in the previous newsletter update, we were stuck at home with all non-essential shops closed for the first two days of 2022. We barely scraped by with what little groceries we had at home. On Jan 3, we rented a car for a massive Ikea and Walmart run!
We made Tik Toks in Ikea
Two of us left the apartment earlier to get the car that we rented on Turo. Turo was recommended to me by a friend who also did an exchange in Montreal before Covid. The interface and concept of the app are reminiscent of Airbnb. Anyone can list their car(s) on Turo for rent. The upside is Turo is usually cheaper than getting a car from Hertz or Avis. In some cases, Turo is also convenient because the pickup location is more scattered throughout the city. On the other hand, traditional rental companies usually have a few designated offices, and these locations may not be near us.
We had to go further into downtown Montreal to collect our car. Here’s a shot of me from behind as we made our way to the metro! If you look closely, you can spot the metro sign in this picture, too. It’s the blue one with a downward arrow on it.
There is only one Ikea in all of Montreal, and it is a half-hour drive out of the downtown area. A queue had already formed outside of Ikea at 10.30 am when we arrived. Due to Covid restrictions, customers were allowed into the building in waves. The queue moved fast, and we did not have to wait long. I was pleasantly surprised by how people in Montreal seemed to love Ikea as much as we do in Singapore. And bear in mind that we visited on a Monday morning!
I also made my first Tik Tok with my friends at Ikea! Substack does not allow me to embed Tik Tok videos, but you can view our Tik Tok here. We are not as good as the original, but I still love it anyway. I thought people would stare or even glare at us when we made our Tik Tok all over Ikea, but everyone went about their business as if it was a common occurrence. Or perhaps, it is.
The following are some of the things we purchased for the apartment:
door hooks for the bathroom
glass tray for the oven
containers for food preparation and storing leftover food because cling wraps are too wasteful
There is a massive Walmart that is a ten-minute drive away from Ikea, and that’s where we headed next. We ordered some of our groceries online—tide pods, hand soap—because there was a discount for self-pickup. When we got there, the Walmart staff brought each grocery order out to the cars in the winter at -16 degrees celsius! However, we did not leave our details because we were unfamiliar with how self-pickup worked. We got out of the car and searched for the guy who lugged our groceries around the parking lot. The poor chap was probably wondering who these people were, oops! Besides, we had WAY more shopping to do that day.
I don’t know about you, but going to the supermarket while I am overseas is always an exciting experience. What do the locals here have in stock that we do not have? Is there anything that is way cheaper here than we have back in Singapore? For instance, I found that the meats here are a relative bargain in Montreal supermarkets. On the other hand, vegetables are slightly pricier even before taxes. Maybe it is the weather, but vegetables here are much fresher than in Singapore. I suppose you do pay for what you get.
Dinner: Smoke Meat Pete
Since Covid restrictions currently do not allow us to dine out, we decided to end our day with takeout instead. We drove out to Île Perrot, an island to the west of Montreal to get smoked meat. We called the number from the parking lot in front of the restaurant to place our order. The staff then called us back when our food was ready, cueing us to drive to the pickup area.
We ordered the super special bundle that includes a loaf of bread, a pound of smoked meat, coleslaw, and pickles. We also bought large fries that feed five people. Although we were told that a pound of smoked meat was only sufficient for two people, we still ate till our heart’s content when we got home that evening.
Alright, that’s it for day six. I originally wanted to combine two days’ worth of adventures in this newsletter, but we road tripped on day seven. If I were to include it here as well, this newsletter is going to be too bloated for anyone to read. To make up for spamming your inboxes more than I intended to, I shall end this newsletter here with this beautiful shot of the sunset where we picked up dinner.
Let’s talk soon!