Sunday, October 15, 2006

Slumming The Golden Arches

I love this article because it's all about eating at McDonald's when you are in a foreign country because at least it is familiar. And how this phenomena (Globalization anyone) is mostly due to the fact that McDonald's are everywhere now so even non-American travelers stop in McDonald's when they want some comfort. I totally did this recently when I was in Geneva. I was traveling in this beautiful city on the northern side of Lake Geneva called Lausanne, spending my day walking through the ancient medieval streets, exploring the cities cathedral and I was frickin' hungry. And it was 5pm so of course nothing was open for dinner. So I settled for a $20 Big Mac that wasn't that good but at least I knew exactly what I was getting and it was open at 5pm.

Here's the link to the article on Yahoo News. But I will give you a little taste to wet your appetite.

This month marks the beginning of student-travel season in Europe, which means that — at any given moment — continental McDonald's restaurants will be filled with scores of American undergraduates. Quiz these young travelers, and they'll give you a wide range of reasons for seeking out McDonald's — the clean restrooms, the air conditioning, the fact that it's the only place open during festivals or siesta. A few oddballs will even claim they are there for the food.

European onlookers will tell you (with a slight sneer) that these peripatetic Yanks are simply seeking the dull, familiar comforts American culture. And this explanation might be devastatingly conclusive were it not for the fact that European McDonald's also happen to be crammed this time of year with travelers from Japan, Brazil, Israel, New Zealand, Argentina, Korea, Canada, India, Taiwan, Australia, Mexico, South Africa, and — yes — neighboring European countries.