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Screwing (in the) Ikea…

When we last left off, your intrepid travelers were stuck with a dozen boxes from Ikea marked with pseudo-scandinavian names like Kräpp, Migrän and Härnia, waiting for a week until they could correct their scheduling mistake…

Not willing to be stuck eating out for another full week, I started calling around to every furniture company in the greater Köln area asking for “Montageservice” or assembly service for the kitchen. One firm said they could come on Friday to assemble everything so we could actually cook this weekend… which considering that most restaurants are closed on Christmas Day, this was really critical.

The target was 3 hours based on my description (build two under-cabinets, install the dishwasher, sink, faucet, vent and oven), and I was told it would be 50 Euros an hour. Great. 150 – significantly cheaper than the 600 target from Ikea.

Upon their arrival, the foreman said that since there were two workers, it would be 45 per person per hour, but that it should be fast. Work started at 9:30.

At 11, we realized that Ikea failed to supply some key parts for the plumbing and that I would need to run out to the Obi (like Home Depot) for parts. An hour and a hundred Euros later, I was back… which was right when they wanted to start with the water works.

Work continued for almost 8 hours before they finally proclaimed it finished. Sure, some of the joints need washers still (I will get them next week) and there is a small drip from the connection to the washer, but it’s working. We have a working kitchen. Sure, it might have cost us over a hundred more euros than if we waited until next Wednesday, but that is still cheaper than five more dinners out.

The first meal, if you are interested, was a Penne Pesto with Chicken (sauteed chicken breast dusted with hot pepper flakes, oregano and Basil cut into pieces, combined with a small container of 10% fat cream, a small container of creme fraiche, and pesto served over penne).

Just for those following the restaurants… last night was beer and goose at Päffgen (roasted goose breast served with roasted chestnuts, red cabbage with apples, a baked marzipan apple and two dumplings) which was the perfect winter meal.

And lunch was from the Funky Chicken – one of the best Döner joints I have ever been to. Why was it so special? They made the dürüm (a Turkish flatbread) fresh – and when I mean fresh, they rolled out the dough and threw it in the oven when I was there. Plus, the meat was marinated and flavorful. Oh, and the multi-colored disco ball and the music in there – pure funk.

Posted in Cologne Life.