04 November 2006

Follow me... to Oxford Street!

I am so exhausted from yesterday's shopping spree on Oxford Street. I spent six hours and 100 pounds on two (gorgeous!) tops and a pair of comfortable boots for winter. I think I told you when I arrived in Britain with my one pair of high heel boots, that I found it difficult to find sneakers, probably because boots are so en vogue. Now that I come to think of it, I haven't seen that many "defeminised" girls as you see them in Austria, the ones in rave style. Or maybe I just haven't been to the right places yet.

Whatever, so from walking down this high street, I would have given it a length of three times Mariahilfer Strasze in Vienna. Upon measuring it on my map though, I discovered that it is merely 200 meters longer? This seemed unbelievable, so I employed the most effective tool to find out (Google) and found this instead. Apparently, the introduction of a fast lane for hurrying pedestrians is discussed. The disrepancy between relative and absolute length is probably due to the fact that 90 % of the shops have three floors on average.

Three things I observed:
The technology that, in Austria, is used in ice-cream parlours to accelerate the ordering process, in London is used in shoe shops. The shop seller in the customer room scans in the product, required size and colour and the person in the stock room brings it.

A lot of clothes shops have student discounts. I got 10 % each in two shops. When you are in London and you have a UK student ID or ISIC, you should always ask for it!

Apparently, in the UK, you have the right to dress accordingly to your religion. For example, I have seen a librarian wear a kippah and a shop seller wear a chador. I remember the political discussion that came up when two sikh tram drivers wanted to wear their turban at work. They went to court and in the end, the Wiener Linien (the public transport company in Vienna) even made them one with their logo. I will grant cultural diversity in Britain its own post eventually, as it deserves.

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