Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Day 5C: Prime Mark of London

One of our UK friends suggested we take a look at Primark, a bargain clothing store, whilst in England. Karen has a knack for finding great deals on clothing, so she jumped at the chance to bargain hunt in the UK. Therefore, on our second half of our tour through London, Caroline took us to the nearest tube station where we would be able to get to Primark on Oxford Street.

By this time I had gotten quite tired from all the walking, and carrying the stroller + Erich + bags up and down the tube stairs. I decided I would hang out with Erich near the front of the store while Karen did her shopping. Now this store, being rather big, has several entrances. At each entrance was a security guard checking for shoplifters and kindly asking passerbys not to eat in the store.

The first few minutes of my stay near the front door were rather uneventful. Customers strolled by, guards checked bags, and the sounds of people elated with the low prices filled the air. Then, just as I was settling into my spot, an alarm went off. A few of the security guards congregated and discussed about "the situation", decided it was nothing and life went on. Most shoppers even handily ignored the alarm!

But the alarm kept on ringing and as the alarm rang, so did my nerves. I wonder what the alarm is for, I thought. I don't see anyone shoplifting! It didn't help that the security guards looked nervous too. Then the tension was finally broken when suddenly, a voice over the PA system advised customers to please evacuate the store immediately.

"What in good heavens is going on?", I thought.
Of course, being in London, unfortunately, the worst crossed my mind first - what if this was a bomb threat or some other sort of terror related incident? I mean after all, the person on the PA definitely had a sense of urgency about him.

I rushed out with Erich, and stepped aside as a crowd of several hundred people piled out of the store. I watched nervously as security guards hustled people out, and told them to drop whatever they had picked out on the floor and closed the doors behind everybody. I waited for Karen to emerge from the crowd. No sign of her. It was heart wrenching not knowing what happened to her.

Finally, amidst lots of shouting, we finally found each other. I decided that we would not visit the store again.

In the end, it turns out that the alarm was caused just because of one malfunctioning sprinkler head.


Alvina Lam said...

best store ever!!! lol!
i got shoes for 4 pounds :)

Anonymous said...

a very best store in the all Eurpe.. love it...this Christmas I have spend a lot but I come back in Italy with wully lagguage...thanks a lot of kisses Alina