a tale of two mattresses

grab yourself some tea/coffee/wine/whatever and sit back while I tell you a story.

it starts with this: the mattress provided with our apartment had lost nearly all support. there were a few springs that still tried, but unfortunately they were located where I liked to rest my shoulder/hip/back. after many restless night of poor sleep we finally decided it was time to suck it up and buy a new mattress.

but how does one buy a new mattress in Taiwan? well, first you measure your mattress and do some research and discover that no one in Taiwan makes a mattress to fit your IKEA bed frame except for, of course, IKEA. so you make the trek to Taipei. you discover they do not have the mattress you wanted, but something similar. and hey - it's on sale! so you test it out and write down the number on the little card and get all excited, because things are finally working out.

and then your Husband tries to tell you the mattress is too small. and you think it's because you wrote down 150 x 192 cm as the dimensions and the mattress says it is 152 x 190 and you tell him no, it's fine. it's a queen size mattress. it's the dimensions you wrote down. you know you are right. [do you see where this story is going?]

so you pick out a foam pad and a comforter and cover that fit your mattress, and go an hour and 3 MRT transfers out of your way to have a celebratory mexican lunch. because it's 3pm and you are starving and in need of a margarita, and gosh darn it you've accomplished something today.

the next day, your new mattress is delivered. and when your Husband puts the new mattress on the bed frame it is hilariously too small. because, of course, your bed frame is a king size. and the dimensions you had written down? well, those were from when your Husband gave you the dimensions of the mattress he saw at Costco that was too small. because the size you really need is 190 x 200.

so for ten minutes you sit on the mattress and try to convince yourself maybe it isn't so ridiculous looking with all that extra bedframe sticking out around the sides. it's kindof like one of those trendy platform beds, right?

wrong. then your Husband spends the afternoon playing phone tag between a Chinese-speaking friend and the IKEA help desk trying to figure out how we can get the right size mattress. and they tell you that you have to go in person to return/exchange/schedule a new delivery. so you go. and two days later the correct size mattress is delivered.

a little difficult? maybe. but all was well. we assembled the new bed with freshly washed linens and I was ready to spend the rest of the afternoon sinking into the memory foam with a good book, enjoying not being poked in the bum by rogue springs.

and she relaxed happily ever after?

oh, but we are not yet through.

mere hours after the new mattress arrived, I noticed an ominous stain spreading on the ceiling. right. above. our new bed. water was leaking from the ceiling. in a panicked frenzy, we tore off all the blankets and sheets and relocated the mattress to the living room. and informed the proper person that we needed someone to come out and address the issue immediately.

so we camped out in the living room and waited for our request to make its way through the system. ah, bureaucracy. on day three the source of the leak - our upstairs neighbor's AC unit - was fixed. and on day five the workers arrived to paint our walls and fix our window screens.

wait... paint our walls and fix our windows?

we had previously requested that someone come and repaint several walls [including one in our bedroom] suffering from water damage and bubbling/flaking paint. Husband's mother is coming to visit and we had hoped to have it completed by then. I wasn't going to stop them from painting the walls, but I had been hoping they would be patching or sealing the cieling. I tried to communicate as much. I was able to break through the language barrier just enough to get a coat of paint over the water-stained crack in the ceiling. the walls were scraped, plastered, dried briefly with a blow torch [not joking], and painted.

on day six, we noticed the paint was starting to crack already in some areas that had been repaired. I guess the blow torch method of drying plaster isn't all that effective? we gave it one more night for the fumes to die down and finally moved our bed back where it belonged. with three rooms being painted, our living room had resembled a game of furniture Tetris.

and on the seventh day, they rested.


  1. oh I'm laughing and amazed that you condensed all the agony of this story into such a slim, coherent narrative. a bit jealous - too - of your first photograph! I cannot help noticing the chapter you're reading is "attending to the details of your life." Obviously a book - hmmm - I need to read. I admire your humor and courage in buying a mattress in Taiwan. I of all people appreciate the energy and mental anguish that goes into simply making it to an Ikea in a place you don't own a car! Good story. Funny story. Oh and love the new bedsheets xx

  2. oh man, by far one of my favorite posts. Glad all is well and a didn't drag for too long! I hope the visit with Luke's mother goes well!


  3. were you ready to tear your hair out by the end? oh my gosh. that sounds so stressful! BUT at least you now have a mattress. finally.


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