Our field trip this afternoon was to IKEA. I have been to IKEA in Minnesota before so I wasn't quite sure why we would go to one in Tianjin - I assumed the two stores would be the same. I was somewhat wrong. We got a tour through IKEA from two managers. The building was set up the same and there were about 60-70 different display rooms. The furniture in these display rooms is what was completely different than the IKEA in Minnesota. The majority of people in China live in small apartment buildings, very few people own a house. I don't think I have seen a house my entire time here in China. Since people live in small apartment buildings, the display rooms at IKEA were much smaller than the ones I remember in Minnesota. The kitchen display rooms were one small hallway with cupboards on both walls, an oven, and sometimes a microwave and dishwasher. The bathrooms were even smaller and usually had a washer in the bathroom. There were some big display bedrooms, but for the most part they were smaller. The manager giving the tour said Chinese often use walls and shelving to "create space". I noticed that was very true throughout our tour. I envy the Chinese for "creating space" and being able to live in small apartment buildings, but I would never give up my big house and own room back home.
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