happy retirement, al-fayed

May 8, 2010

What did I do today?

I woke up, showered, bummed around, did some work, watched some TV, went to the tailor….normal chilled out Saturday.

What did the owners of Qatar Holding do today?

Oh, nothing much. Woke up, showered, watched TV, bought Harrods, ate, slept.


Harrods was sold for £1.5 billion to Qatar Holding, now the fifth owner of Harrods. (source)

More than 100% profit considering Al-Fayed bought it for £615 million. But that was in 1985 though.

I had a dream of owning Harrods. Looking at the sad little toy bank on my bedside, I shall put all of that £135 elsewhere now.

I don’t know why but I’m feeling all nostalgic after hearing this news. I miss Harrods!

Rain or shine, sun or snow, I would always feel the itch to go. It was also a good form of exercise because I often walked all the way there.

My loved ones know my weakness so much that I even got a replica of my Harrods Rewards card as my birthday cake!

I loved Harrods Yo Sushi and made friends with the Malaysian chefs working there. “Spicy Seafood Udon no vege coming right up!” They’d say to me whenever I came. Such sweet people.

The only place you’d eat desserts with chopsticks.

And on lucky days, I get to drag Dean along and we’d have a blast spending time together.

It wasn’t just about the shopping for me. Let’s face it, students have budgets.

Instead, it was the whole experience. The food, the chocolates, the store displays, the Egyptian tones, the confusing layout…many things!

Krispy Kreme! They always give them out for free!

Mazzy and I waiting for Sof to have that “Should I buy? Should I not?” tribunal.

Boot and I having macaroons at Laduree.

I couldn’t possibly list down every single memory in that 4.5 acre green building. But there was definitely plenty. Alone, dating with Dean or just laughing at the ridiculous prices with girlfriends.

In times of missing the familiarity of home, in a funny way Harrods gave me that familiarity. My family went there a lot, so whenever I was alone and I miss them, I would walk where we walked before and think of them. My dad loves the Daum and Lalique crystals, so sometimes I would see what’s new there and think “Oooh he’d love that!”. Of course I only spent 2 minutes there and 2 hours on the women’s floor, but you know, it’s the thought that counts.

Now, whenever I visit in the future, I won’t bump into Al-Fayed anymore. Not that it makes a difference in my life, but stillll…he has a statue of himself in the mens’ department! Harrods is synonymous to his name.

It was agreed that Qatar Holding would maintain the legacy and traditions that Al-Fayed has built over the years, but I wonder if they’re going to keep the statue of Al-Fayed. We’ll soon see.

When I made my daily weekly (what degree?) visits to Harrods back in uni, I would sometimes see Al-Fayed walk around with his bodyguards.

Of course we hear about his questionable character outside, but as far as I’m concerned, he was very nice to his customers (well duh…). He would humbly walk around and smile to each one he sees. Not the I-own-this-place smile, but the thank-you-for-being-here smile. To me, it was very genuine.

Once, I was walking around with my tall blond matsaleh friend and we bumped into him. That was probably my fifth time seeing him in Harrods. He came up to us and went straight to my friend. “Hi, are you enjoying yourself at Harrods?” he said, totally ignoring my frantic waving behind him.

“Yes, I love it here.” My tall blond friend giggled.

“Oh, would you like to work here?”

WHAT?!!!!!! My head screamed. About the same time as she said, “YESSS!!!!!”

So he asked his bodyguard to take down her number, and before he left us, he turned around and saw me.

“Oh, hello there.” And walks off.


*smoke coming out of my ears*

Well, I don’t blame him. My friend was a model. I don’t befriend models anymore. Haha.

Anyway, yeah, I’m excited to see what Qatar Holding will do to Harrods!