Obviously being a girl, I love to shop (I definitely fit into that stereotype!) So when we had some free time the other day, a few other girls and I decided to go shopping for a few items we needed in order to live over here. Of course, as per usual, the few things we needed turned into a few things we wanted as well. Classic. My friend Lizzie, having lived in London before, took us to Oxford Circus, an area similar to the area around Macy's and Harold Square in New York City: it is filled with lots of people and lots of shops!
To begin our shopping extravaganza, we went to a store similar to an upscale CVS called Boots to get a hairdryer and straightener. The prices weren't TOO bad, that is until you convert pounds to dollars. Oh well. We still managed to get what we needed at decent price, even after the conversion. After this, we went to another store that was like the Macy's in New York, called Selfridge's. It was many floors and was filled with designer items. The best part? There was a rather large area devoted to both my and Carrie Bradshaw's weakness: shoes. I ended up getting some Haviana rain boots, something I did indeed need in order to brave the London weather, and admired all of the shoes I wanted but alas could not afford. Typical.
Shortly after this, we were told that, because we are not from the UK, we get taxes back! Excited and surprised by this, all of us waited at customer service to get our taxes back. After waiting awhile, we discovered that, because we were students and living in Britain, we could not get taxes back. Why? Because we get our taxes back at customs and the receipt were getting was only valid for three months after our purchase. Now I know to do most of my shopping right before I leave!
Overall, if the conversion rate was pound for dollar, the prices in London would not be bad at all. Unfortunately, this is not the case. A shirt costing 20 pounds is actually 40 dollars. Hopefully I can stretch my stipend or get a job once I arrive to UEA in order to have some spending money, as I think most of us would rather save our money for travels instead of clothes.