Wednesday, July 11, 2007

London and money (or Easy Internet Cafes suck)

The second title comes from my attempt to post this last night from the aforementioned chain of internet cafes, and I was once again unable to (it's happened in other cities as well). I've learned my lessons - goodbye Easy Internet Cafe. You're easy, but you don't work.

I'm now in London and feeling my wallet hurt. I'm staying here 3 nights, going on a weekend road trip with some Vaughan Town folks, then probably coming back for a few more days to inflict more financial damage.
Walked through what seemed to be a Middle-Eastern district on Edgeware Road. There was hookah cafes (think the pipe thing that the caterpillar in Alice in Wonderland smokes) with groups of people of all ages sitting around (outside now that the smoking ban has taken effect since July 1 in England) having a smoke. Lots of women in variations on Islamic garb. That may not seem like a big deal, but do recall that I'm from PEI so I've never much of other cultures other than where I've travelled to and a few China towns.
I was just into Selfridges, the really huge department store in London (on Oxford Street). Huge is not sufficient to describe it. It is so large (in terms of department stores) that I don't think a suitable adjective has yet been created to describe it. j
The department store had up signs like "I shop therefore I am" and "You want, you buy it, you forget it". That last one doesn't promote spending in me, but I guess I'm not their target consumer since the place is pretty expensive. I felt at times that I was going to be asked by a security guard to show sufficient funds or leave. Especially when I was in the "designer hall". When the sales racks advertise £50 and under, you know you're somewhere expensive.

In the handbag section, each designer had its own little shop within the larger store. Each shop also had one or two men dressed in expensive suits who were not the salespeople, but security guards for the shop. There was no price tags on any of the bags, but I know from fashion magazines that I've been in functioning cars that cost less than most of those bags. If you want to know the price when you purchase one, you can't afford it.
I've occasionally thought about what my spending might be like if I were obscenely rich, and given that I like clothes I've often thought of the sort of stuff that I could buy with lots of money. In the end, I don't think that I could spend huges amounts on clothing. I felt I splurged when I spent £10 on a new pair of trousers the other day. I just feel stupid and guilty if I buy something that I consider to be overly expensive. I guess you have to be born rich to be able to spend like you're rich.

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