Thursday, August 30, 2007

Shopping Spree continues

Go to the Institute to check email and make an appointment with IT staff to set up my office computer (installing Japanese fonts etc.)

Then head for the city center. The first target today is a pair of Japanese food shops on Tegnergatan: Japanska Torget (no. 6) and Sun Ai (no. 15). Buy Nissin Demae Itcho tonkotsu (pork bone) ramen noodle at the former and chicken bone soup stock and ra-yu (chili sesame oil) at the latter. Japanska Torget has a good selection of tabi shoes at the back of the store. Sun Ai sells Japanese books, magazines, and manga comic books. Compared to JFK, however, the atmosphere is rather depressing for some reason. Perhaps because of its very small store size. I may not want to come here often, but Sun Ai sells Akitakomachi Japanese rice for a good price (149 krona for 5kg) and my favorite Japanese magazine. They also sell very expensive rice cookers (more than 1000 krona), making me decide to buy one at JFK.

Next door to Sun Ai is, by the way, yet another furniture store FolkHemmet, which stocks modestly stylish living room solutions.

Walk down to Eden shop on Drottninggatan. On the way find an Asian and Afro food shop Taj Mahal on Kammakargatan, which stocks South Asian spice.

Buy a rubber wood chopping board and an instant shoe shine at Eden.

Walk down to the southeast. Visit OMI Food (Olofsgatan 10), a Chinese supermarket. I will come here again to buy some East Asian vegetables.

Walk further down on Olofsgatan. Find another branch of Granit.

Then head for Hötorgshallen, an indoor food market. Have lunch at Kajsas Fiska, a tiny budget restaurant at the corner of the market where customers share tables with others. It is around midday, and there is a long queue. As this long queue and the Sato memo (a Stockholm city guide written by Japanese people living here) testify, their fish soup (Kajsas Fisksoppa), bits of white fish meats and some mussels and prawns in tomato soup topped with melted cheese, is amazing. And it costs 80 krona (6.5 pounds), impossible in London.

The range of foods available in the market is tantalizing. Fish looks very fresh here (except for tuna which is too blackish for Japanese people). Buy a ciabata baguette for 15 krona (1.1 pound).

Head for Åhlens City to check microwaves and double-bed duvet covers and sheets. Find a good-looking duvet cover, but they don't have one for a double bed. There are only two microwaves on the shelf. At Muji on the same floor, find an affordable mirror with a wooden frame. Also at Muji, find a wooden turner and a wooden chopping board both of which look better than the ones I already bought here in Stockholm, even though I visited this Muji once already... You can't check all the goods on offer just by one visit.

Visit Electrolux Home on Klarabergsgatan opposite Åhlens City. They have only three microwaves, all pricier and uglier than Åhlens City.

Visit Hemtex to buy duvet covers and sheets. Find a good-looking duvet cover, but they don't have one for a double bed. I say, "Is a double bed unpopular for Swedish people?" "I don't know. But I know our duvet covers for a double bed don't look good." My guess is that Swedish couples like to sleep on the same bed but independently. So they buy a double bed but two single bed mattresses and duvets. I don't know where else to go for double bed duvet covers...

Walk to DesignTorget on Nybrogatan. Just before arriving at the store, find a newsagent selling magazines in English including Monocle! Buy a door mat at DesignTorget. Also try to buy Koziol's toilet roll stand with an eye, but learn that the eye is too big to put rolls easily. Good design often conflicts with functionality.

Then go home. I've done most of the shopping for the time being. Tomorrow I will buy a rice cooker at JFK. The day after tomorrow, buy a microwave at Åhlens City. On Sunday, buy a mirror at Muji. But I still need to buy double bed duvet covers (I may buy one in London when I visit the city for my viva early October), slippers, sandals (to get out only briefly for rubbish disposal and laundry etc.), a citrus squeezer, a wok, a blender, a coffee grinder, a can opener, a frying pan with a lid, a towel stand (which is rarely on sale perhaps because every house is equipped with a towel warmer on the bathroom wall), a laundry stand for flat-drying sensitive clothes (which I haven't seen anywhere yet), quality speakers, a shopping bag for supermarkets (to avoid paying 1.5 krona per bag), an iron board, socket extensions, magazine boxes for my office, clocks, a desk chair (the furnished one is umconfortable). No, I haven't done most of the shopping...

Then after obtaining my personal number, open a bank account, transfer money from my bank account in UK, subscribe to a mobile phone and the Internet.

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