She had been arranging the shelf with pink sweatshirts shortly after unlocking the door for the day at the Gap, a jeans specially store in Washington. A man in a gray suit dashed in and announced, "We want to shop and we want to buy a lot."
Elayne Masterson, manager on duty yesterday at the Connecticut Avenue shop, had barely said "Okay" when a group of 20, five Egyptians and the rest Secret Service and State Department types, according to her count, swarmed over the store zeroing in on the jeans.
It was President Anwar Sadat's children and entourage, doing what tourists like most to do -- shopping while mom and dad carried out the duties of their official visit.
They passed up the trendy baggies and even the currently popular straight-cup jeans for the bell-bottoms. Most Levis, but a few of the Gloria Vanderbilt variety complete with embroidered swan. One of the men wanted shorts but not cutoffs, and chose safari shorts plus lots of terry-cloth tops. And both men and women bought an assortment of Levi belts.
By the time they finished, almost two hours later, shopping bags had filled the entire entrance of the store. The bill -- more than $1,640 -- was paid in $100 bills, according to Hollis Wilkes, the store's assistant manager, who said there were lots of hundreds left on the roll after the money was paid.
Masterson, who asked for identification, was told by a Secret Serviceman. "The address is the Embassy of Egypt, that's enough."
But it was hardly a one-stop shopping spree for the Sadat children. No time for shopping the night of their arrival, but early Tuesday morning Gamal el-Sadat, President Sadat's son, was out at the National Diving Center to buy professional scuba diving equipment for his personal use. Following that he turned up in the layette department at Bloomingdale's Tysons Corner buying a complete layette for his 11-day-old daughter, Yasmin. t(He told a friend that "shopping for my daughter is the best kind of shopping in the world.")
Following the shopping spree at The Gap, Noha el-Sadat Marei and Jehan el-Sadat Osman, the Sadat daughters, started a several hour round of shopping at Bloomingdale's in Tyson's Corner, taking a break only for lunch in the store's restaurant. With the help of the store's personal shopper they covered the entire store, zeroing in on household items. which European shoppers like most to purchase here, particularly patterned sheets and towels.
Later this morning the Sadat family heads back to Egypt, many shopping bags among their souvenirs.