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Lesson 7

                                       Going Shopping

                                            Text A

    Gretel and Mrs Clark went shopping in the centre of London yesterday.
    "I'd like to know which store you like best in London, Mrs Clark , " Gretel said.
    "Now that's a difficult question," Mrs Clark replied. "I just haven't any idea which store I like best. There are so many huge stores in London. I suppose Selfridges must be the biggest. 

There's so much variety there. I can usually find what I'm looking for. Then there's Liberty's. It's such a lovely building. Harrods is very famous, too. It's such a smart store, I love all the big stores in London because you can walk round and nobody bothers you. Nobody tries to sell you anything-unless you want to buy something.

 Sometimes I go window-shopping , or just wander round a store and look at the things on display. The big stores are one of the sights of London. I went to the sales in January. That was one of the sights of London, too! My goodness!
The crowds! But it was worth it. I bought some lovely things very cheaply. It was good fun, but very exhausting.

                                             Text B

    As she walked round the huge department store, Edith reflectde how difficult it was to choose a suitable Christmas present for her father. She wished that he was as easy to please as her mother, who was always delighted with perfume.


    Besides, shopping at th'ss time of the year was a most disagreeable experience : people trod on your toes , poked you with their elbows and almost knocked you over in their haste to get to a bargain ahead of you.


    Partly to have a rest, Edith paused in front of a counter where some attractive ties were on display. 'They are real silk' the assistant assured her, trying to tempt her. 'Worth double the price. ' But Edith knew from past experience that her choice of ties. hardly ever pleased her father.


    She moved on reluctantly and then, quite by chance, stopped where a small crowd of men had gathered round a counter. She found some good quality pipes on sale - and the prices were very reasonable. Edith did not hesitate for long: although her father only smoked a pipe occasionally, she knew that this was a present which was bound to please him.


    When she got home, with her small but well-chosen present concealed in her handbag, her parents were already at table having supper. Her mother was in especially cheerful mood. `Your father has at last decided to stop smoking,' she informed her daughter.

                                Additional Information

                                               (1)

JOAN:   Yes, madam? Can I help you?
MRS S:   Oh yes, please, but you're just closing. aren't you?
JOAN:   Well , yes , we are , madam. The shop shuts in five minutes.
MRS S:   I shan't keep you long then. It was about some saucepans you had
  in your .
  window last week
JOAN:   Last week, madam? I really can't remember which ones you mean.
  What were they like?
MRS S:   Oh, they were lovely! Sort of imitation wood. dark brown colour.  
  country-style you know, and the lids, if I remember rightly,
  had a sort of leaf pattern, or was it flowers?
JOAN:   That's strange. I don't recognise any of the ones we had from that
  description. Are you sure they were in this shop?
MRS S:   Oh, you must know the ones I mean. They were in a sale. A real
  bargain. Reduced to a quarter of the original price. I couldn't  
  believe my eyeswhen I saw them.
JOAN:   I'm afraid the sales are over now, madam, and I know we sold out of all
  the saucepans.
MRS S:   I don't think you did, you know. At least, my neighbour, Mrs Cliffe,
  told me she saw some here only yesterday.
JOZN:   Well, it's all new stock in the window now.
MRS S:   May I just have a iook, to see if there's asything else?
JOAN:   Er, well, madam, as you know. we were just closing.
MRS S:   Yes , yes , I'm sorry I won't keep you. It must get on your nerves when
  l customers come in right on closing-time. But they were such beautifu
  saucepans! I'd have bought them then if only I'd made up my mind on   
  the stop.
JOAN:   Perhaps, madam. if you came back tomorrow, I could show you all we
  have in our
  range of kitchen ware.And there are still one or two things at sale  
MRS S:   Oh look! That one there! That's the sort of thing I was looking for!
  price.Butit's  not quite the right colour.
JOAN:   That might be the artificial lighting. madam. Of course, if you came
  back in daylight , you might find it's exactly what you're looking for.
MRS S:   There it is! That's the pattern! The set behind you! Thank goodness  
  they haven't been sold! And thank you so much for being so patient with
  me. Yes, those are the ones!


                                              (2)
                                        Shops

    Most shops in Britain open at 9. 00 a. m. and close at 5. 00 or 5. 30 in the evening. Small shops usually close for an hour at lunchtime. On one or two days a week-usually Thursday and/or Friday-some large food shops stay open until about 8. 00 p. m. for late night shopping.


    Many shops are closed in the afternoon on one day a week. The day is usually Wednesday or Thursday and it is a different day in different towns. Nearly all shops are closed on Sundays. Newspaper shops are open in the morning, and sell sweets and cigarettes as well. But there are legal restrictions on selling many things on Sundays.


    In general, overseas visitors don't have much difficulty knowing where to buy things. Most shops sell the things that you would expect them to. One problem is stamps. In Britain you can only buy these at post-offices.


Many large food shops (supermarkets ) are self-service. When you go into one of these shops you take a basket and you put the things you wish to buy into this. You queue up at the cash-desk and pay for everything just before you leave.


    If anyone tries to take things from a shop without paying they are almest certain to be caught. Most shops have store detectives who have the job of catching shoplifters. Shoplifting is considered a serious crime by the police and the courts.
    When you are waiting to be served in a shop it is important to wait your turn. It is important not to try to be served before people who arrived before you. Many people from overseas are astonished at the British habit of queueing.