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Part 5. Harrods, a Pizza and a Meeting in the Science Museum


Carmen, Ana and Maria

CARMEN:  Here we are.  Harrods.  The greatest shop in the world.

MARIA:     When a woman is tired of Harrods, she is tired of life!

ANA:          That’s not bad, Maria.  Little by little, you’re getting an English sense of humour!

MARIA:     Oh no!  I hope not!  I really don’t want to sound English!

CARMEN:  So, where do we go first?

ANA:           I feel like a coffee to start with.   

CARMEN:  Let me consult my little book.  Ah yes, There’s a place here in Harrods called Krispy Kreme Doughnuts.  It’s just the place for a coffee.

ANA:           And a Krispy Kreme doughnut.

CARMEN:  I’m on a diet.

ANA:           Rubbish.  Start your diet when you get back home. I’m going to have a doughnut or two, and a café latte. One day is one day!

CARMEN:  That’s Spanglish! Un día es un día!

ANA:          Well, what do the English say?

MARIA:     They don’t say anything.  When it comes to food, the English are very short of words. They just eat their doughnut!  I’ll have a Cappucchino. Come on Carmen.

ANA:           Just look at the list of doughnuts!  I’m going to have a Powdered Strawberry and a Glazed Raspberry.

MARIA:     That’s two!

ANA:           Well, I can’t decide which one to choose, so I’ll have them both.

MARIA:     I’ll have a Chocolate Iced glazed.  What marvellous names!  What about you Carmen?

CARMEN:  I think a Cappucchino and a Cinnamon Apple doughnut.

ANA:           Cinnamon?

CARMEN:  Yes, cinnamon is “canela”.  Should be nice!

MARIA:     Canela, I mean, ‘cinnamon’, is an aphrodisiac!  Careful Carmen!

CARMEN:  I’ll take the risk! I don’t think one doughnut will make much difference!

MARIA:      You never know!

They go to Krispy Kreme Doughnuts and stay longer than they planned.

MARIA:     OK.  That was good.  Now I’m ready for anything!  How do you feel after the cinnamon, Carmen?  Any different?

CARMEN:  Of course not!  Right.  Where do we start?  Beauty and fragrance?  Handbags and accessories?  Womenswear?   Sport and fitness?

ANA:           Womenswear of course.  I want to see what the well-dressed London girl will be wearing next autumn. 

CARMEN:  OK, womenswear it is. Off we go!

MARIA:      Wait a moment! Have you noticed that womenswear and women swear are spelt exactly the same?

ANA:           Not exactly. Womenswear is one word, and women swear is two words.

CARMEN: And they`re pronounced differently. They’re as different as chalk and cheese.

MARIA:      What’s cheese got to do with it? Or chalk for that matter?

ANNA:        Anyway, let’s get on or womenswear will be shut when we get there.

MARIA:      And if it’s shut, these women will swear! That’s good!

CARMEN:  Come on, Maria!

They go to the womenswear department and spend an hour trying on jeans and sweaters.

MARIA:     It’s all lovely, but it’s so expensive.  I’m going to have to go back to Zara.  I wish I were rich!  If I had a lot of money, I could buy those jeans.  Look, jeans by Galliano £169. And look at this halter neck top.  It’s Roberto Cavalli and it’s lovely. It’s really beautiful but it’s £259!

ANA:           If I used all my savings, I could buy this party dress.  It’s by Paule Ka.  It’s marvellous, but it’s £480.

CARMEN:  If I won the lottery, I could buy this roll neck sweater.  It’s by Moschino.   Look at the colour.  It’s so light and yet it’s so warm. It must be cashmere.

ANA:           How much is it?

CARMEN:  £289.  I think I’ll wait for Zara, too!

MARIA:     I’m beginning to feel really hungry.  Can we get lunch here?

CARMEN:  Can we get lunch here?  There are 22 restaurants in Harrods! So where do you want to go?  The Georgian Restaurant?  Planet Harrods?  There’s even a Tapas Bar. 

ANA:           (She looks at Carmen’s book)  Here we are, the Tapas Bar. And here’s the menu: patatas bravas, jamon Serrano…

CARMEN:  No, we’re in London.  No tapas! That would be ridiculous. That would be…

MARIA:     Like an English tourist eating fish and chips in la Calle de Alcalá.  I feel like a pizza.  It must be after singing Rigoletto yesterday.

ANA:           I saw a pizzeria on the ground floor.

CARMEN:  OK, pizza it is.

They go to the pizzeria, and debate over the menu for some time.

MARIA:     I’m going to have the Harrods Special.  Look at this.  Poached salmon, smoked salmon, crème fraiche, chives and dill.

ANA:           Sounds like a lot of salmon to me.  And what are chives and dill?

MARIA:     No idea.  Carmen?

CARMEN:  No idea, either.  Where’s my mobile? Ah yes, chives are cebollino and dill is … It’s not here!

MARIA:     The internet has let us down for once! It doesn’t matter.  Dill sounds like something small and dainty with a slight tang to it.

CARMEN:  Does it?  To me ‘dill’ sounds like something rather ordinary.  Anyway, what about you, Ana?

ANA:           I’m having the Frutti di Mare.

MARIA:      What’s in that?

ANA:           Tomato, clams, mussels and prawns.

CARMEN:  I only need to check clams. And clams are (she checks her mobile) almejas.

MARIA:     And mussels and prawns?

CARMEN:  Mejillones and gambas!

MARIA:     Should be good!

ANA:           And you, Carmen?

CARMEN:  Well, as I missed breakfast this morning, because you two didn’t wake me up, I’m going to have the Breakfast Pizza!  It has egg, bacon, sausage, tomato, mushroom and mozzarella!

MARIA:     That’s pure dynamite!  Another 5 kilos at least!

CARMEN:  Well I’m hungry! Un día es un día!

ANA:           OK, let’s order.

They eat their pizzas and have a beer.  Then they go to Morelli’s Gelato and have some ice cream. After all, un día es un día!

CARMEN:  Now where shall we go this afternoon?

ANA:           Well, we’ve done Dr Johnson’s house.  We’ve done Dickens’ House, so why don’t we do something scientific?  So far, it’s all been literature!

MARIA:     Good idea!  What do you suggest, Carmen?

CARMEN:  Well, the Science Museum is just up the road.  We can walk there.

ANA:           Great.  Let’s go to the Science Museum then.

MARIA:     The Science Museum reminds me of my old physics teacher.  His name was Miguel Angel, and he used to come to London for one week every year, and he spent every day of that week in the Science Museum.  He didn’t want to go anywhere else. He never went to Harrods.  He never even went to Buckingham Palace. He just went to the Science Museum. When he came back he would tell us about it in the physics class.  

CARMEN:  Well, OK. Science Museum, here we come.  Perhaps we’ll see this Miguel Angel of yours!

MARIA:     Oh no.  He’s retired now.

CARMEN:  Well, there you are!  Now he’s retired, he probably spends the whole year here!

The Science Museum

Carmen, Ana, Maria

MARIA:     Great, it’s free.  Yes, London does have one or two good points. Wow, it’s big too. There are loads of people here, but no sign of Miguel Angel!  Ah here’s a list of the galleries.  I’d like to see the medical section. Here we are.  The history of medicine in different cultures. That’ll be interesting.

ANA:           Well to you, perhaps, but I want to see the Energy Hall.  There’s an exhibition there about the use of steam.

CARMEN:  OK, we all want to do different things, so let’s meet here in an hour.

ANA:           Right.  What are you going to see, Carmen?

CARMEN:  The story of space travel.

MARIA:     OK. See you both later.  Bye.

They go to their different departments.  As Maria enters the medicine section, she sees Oliver looking at a poster on acupuncture.

MARIA:     Well, well!  Fancy seeing you here!  I thought you would be in the pub!  I was told you were always in the pub!   I didn’t know you ever did anything serious!

OLIVER:    Who told you that?

MARIA:     Ah, never you mind!  A little bird told me!

OLIVER:    Well, your little bird tells a lot of lies!  And come to that, what are you doing here?  I thought you’d be buying clothes!  I was told you were always buying clothes!

MARIA:     Who told you that?

OLIVER:    Another little bird!  One that goes tweet, tweet.

MARIA:     Well, your little bird that goes tweet, tweet tells lies too!  

OLIVER:    So what’s that Harrods bag then?

MARIA:     Well, we did go to Harrods, but we didn’t buy very much.  It was all so expensive!  I saw a lovely top. A halter top by Roberto Cavalli!  It was beautiful! Just beautiful! How much do you think it costs?

OLIVER:    I don’t know! 

MARIA:     Make a guess then.

OLIVER:    £20?

MARIA:     £20! £20! It costs £259!

OLIVER:    Wow!  So how many did you get?

MARIA:     Very funny! Still, I wish I could have bought it!

OLIVER:    Really?  Well, anyway, what are you doing here in the medicine and biology section?   

MARIA:     I happen to be studying medicine.  I’m going to be a doctor!

OLIVER:    Oh dear!

MARIA:     Why oh dear?

OLIVER:    It seems we have something in common.  I’m studying medicine too!

MARIA:     Ah yes.  I remember!  At Imperial College or the Imperial Hotel. Which was it?  I can’t remember!  Poor patients if you’re looking after them.

OLIVER:    Thank you.  So here we are then, two doctors! You know that Basil Fawlty once made three doctors out of two doctors. He got confused.

MARIA:     Who?

OLIVER:    Basil Fawlty.  Never mind.  Well before your time.  We are two doctors not three doctors. In fact, we are two half doctors since we haven’t qualified yet.

MARIA:     So together we are really one doctor.

OLIVER:    Well you could say that. You have quite a Fawltyesque way of putting things!  That’s very good!

MARIA:     I don’t know what you’re talking about so I’ve have no idea if that is good or not, but thank you. Well, I don’t have long here, and I want to see everything.  Goodbye!

OLIVER:    No, we’ll go round together.  Come on. I know this floor quite well.  Let me show you where everything is.

They spent the next hour going round the museum together.

MARIA:     Oh, it’s late.  I’ve got to go.  I promised to meet Carmen and Ana. I should have been there 10 minutes ago. Bye.  

OLIVER:    Ciao, Maria!

MARIA:     We don’t say, “Ciao” in Spanish.  It’s Italian! How many times have I got to tell you that?

OLIVER:    (In the distance)  Ciao, Maria!

MARIA:     He really is the most infuriating man in London!