CULTURE

A quick glance at the face of London, 2008: Sunshine, Harrods, Marbles and emos

You brought your good weather with you,» said the taxi driver as we drove past Hyde Park filled with people sitting out enjoying the warmth. In mid-February, strange as it may seem, pubs and cafes were putting tables outside. In Harrods, tourists take photographs and go up and down the escalators to the Egyptian Hall and the memorial to Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed who smile out of their photo frames. The exhibition to see is the Chinese terracotta army – if you can get a ticket – not to mention our old favorites the Parthenon Marbles at the British Museum. Last Monday, Cypriot businessman Stelios Haji-Ioannou sponsored a debate at Cambridge on the question of the return of the Marbles to Athens. At night, the bright lights are dimmed in comparison with the past – even outside theaters – and streets are sparsely lit. Despite a high cost of living and unemployment, the seats at the Shaftesbury Avenue theater are all booked, with people watching the musical «Hairspray,» for which tickets cost 75 pounds. But the face of London is undoubtedly 18-year-old Zoe, who has been working since the age of 15 at the Tony and Guy hairdressing chain. Nose chains and shoulder tattoos decorate this young Cypriot girl, an «emo» who is down-to-earth, hardworking and sends money home to her parents.