When the weather’s bad, when local food is sketchy or when I’m missing home, a beacon of hope and comfort can be found glowing in the distance. The yellow arches, they tell me everything is going to be okay because McDonald’s is there to rescue me.
I love McDonald’s, and I love eating it when I travel. Go ahead; give me crap for it, but at least hear me out before you do.
As with anything in life, the key to enjoying McDonald’s is in moderation. I really don’t have McD’s very often, but when I do, I love it… just as I do chocolate cake and cannoli. So, I’m definitely not out there having 3 meals a day in complete Supersize Me style. That would just be crazy.
One of the reasons I go there is because it’s reliable.
When I want nothing other than a burger and fries, something I can count on, I seek out a McDonald’s. You just can’t get a burger in some countries, and other countries just leave me face-to-face with nothing that I like. I think of Spain when I think of this issue, a country pretty much known for its amazing food. What you may not know is that I HATE it.
Fresh, delicious, Mediterranean cuisine — you hate that?
YES. There’s a list of items I just can’t get myself to like, and that includes raw tomato (I can eat sauce, sundried, stewed & other forms of cooked tomatoes), olives (olive oil is still the bomb), mushrooms and seafood (only fish & chips for me). If you’re thinking this sounds pretty lame, I’m totally with you. The curse of my taste buds left me eating ham and cheese sandwiches almost my entire time in Spain!
In situations like that, I crave something I know, like McDonald’s.
Just today (as seen in the daily photo), I went to the local McDonald’s in order to eat the exact opposite of what was served at lunch. You see, I went to a Chinese lunch with Pat’s Asian family, and they do the whole order a million dishes and share thing. First off, I hate, hate, HATE sharing food (unless I’m drunk, then I don’t care as much). It’s some crazy anxiety, grossed-out thing I’ll never get over no matter how many times I try.
Secondly, they love seafood, so just about every dish ordered has seafood in it, and if it doesn’t, it has mushrooms! I find it so frustrating to be at a table where everyone is enjoying their meals, but I’m sitting in agony, picking around here and there. Mid-way through the lunch, I turned to Pat and said, “Dude, we are so going to McDonald’s after this.”
They have good facilities and free Wi-Fi.
Need a toilet or an Internet break? McDonald’s around the world are known for providing decent facilities and sometimes free Wi-Fi. For being such a crappy country when it comes to being connected, all the McCafes in Australia have free wireless Internet. You can scoff all you want, but I’ll be at McCafe having a coffee, raisin toast and surfing the Web for free while you’re forking out $10 an hour somewhere else (without the coffee and toast).
Eating at McDonald’s is a cultural experience in itself.
McDonald’s is one company that has taken over the world (sort of like Nescafe), but in order to do so, it has had to adapt to the local culture. I love finding the unique aspects of McDonald’s restaurants in whatever country I’m in.
For example, did you know you can buy beer with your Big Mac in Italy? Did you know about the vegetarian menu in India? How about the way the Japanese joints make you separate your trash into combustible and non-combustible items?
I loved the way my Ukrainian students said that McDonald’s was complete crap yet many of them ate there at least once a week. How about the business guys in suits that were there having meetings?
It’s a look at one product that has been shaped by the culture in which it is being presented. I think that, in itself, warrants a stop on your travels.
That, and their amazing hangover curative powers, of course.