So this morning after being dumped back in Belgrad after 2 hours sleep at about 6am (long story - see my second Belgrade blog - when I get round to adding it) - I realised that sometimes McD's is actually just what I need. Ok - so I'm not in favour of the globalisation of American corporate culture, and try to avoid eating in the big chains - especially when travelling, but today - I needed something to eat, a clean bathroom, a no hassle atmosphere and coffee - even nescafe. McD's had these things. *
But no breakfast's - no Sausage McMuffins.
I've heard stories that in India you can't get beef in a McD's and in Isreal and Arab countries you can't get pig. Anyone been to a McD's there?
Differences that I've noticed in my travels.
Guatamala: - armed guards and no gun signs!
Bulgaria: - 20s (Stotinki about 10c) to use the bathroom.
Belgrad: - free internet but show your bill for the bathroom.
So this is a bit like that scene in Pulp Fiction where Samual L Jackson, starts going on about how in Paris they call a quarter pounder a McRoyal..
* Disclaimer: I'm not associated with McD's or anyother purveyer of fast food, all trademarks held by associated evil corporate, not me and I prefer Burger King burgers .... mmmm Whopper.
McDonalds in Japan, the best McD's ever! hehhe Spotless, usually two or three levels, usually large window seats where you can look out on the street below while eating, and throwing the trash (rubbish... whatever) away, everything has it's own place to go (for recycling purposes), even the ice has it's own recepticle.
Anyway... here ya go, McRoyal... please! Don't misquote this classic! :D Besides, it was John Travolta that was talking about it, he'd been to Amsterdam, remember? Need to spend more time in front of TV and less time traveling... oh wait, what am I saying? 😊
Also, you know what they call a Quarter Pounder with Cheese in Paris?
They don't call it a Quarter Pounder with Cheese?
No, they got the metric system there, they wouldn't know what the f#(k a Quarter Pounder is.
What'd they call it?
Royale with Cheese.
Royale with Cheese. What'd they call a Big Mac?
Big Mac's a Big Mac, but they call it Le Big Mac.
Damn global corporations and their evil influences on the way we live!!!!!
The home of the "Scottish" "restaurant", the USA has the world's grottiest Macdonald's in my experience. The poor people working there are paid minimum wages.
I really need to post our Paris blog--we went into a McDonalds to check on that very claim in Pulp Fiction. And now I have the photo to prove it!
But otherwise, Ali, I agree with you. I travel to get away from McDonalds, but there are times when when, I admit, it hits the spot. That spot is sometimes filled with shame and sadness, but it is a spot that sometimes need to be hit nonetheless.
Somehow this discussion was resurrected from 2004! Thanks Row
I've since seen South East Asian McDs, more European McDs and South American McDs - but mostly - I've seen Airport McDs.
Due to the wonders of globalisation I can only think of one country that I've been to that doesn't have McDs - Burma - personally I would trade the blandness of globalisation for the miseries of a military junta. I can't remember seeing one in Vietnam either.
In Thailand the evil* Ronald MacDonald mocks traditional culture with a plastised "Wia" (Thai Bow).
In Malaysia and Indonesia - predominantly Muslim cultures - they have sausage McMuffins - though if that is beef or turkey sausage - I don't want to know.
The one unifying fact is how sick and sluggish I feel after eating a meal - unless I'm hungover - in that case - feeling sick and sluggish after the meal is an improvement.
* (he's a clown - see ScoobyDoo - it's always the clown)
Its a minor thing but in the American McD's they still do the chocolate Sundae, a dessert whic was stolen away from the British McD's some years ago.
When I was over there, I had quite a few, even 2 in one day lol.
Also their standard chicken burger is different then over here and is yet again different in canada. How can such a globalised brand have such variation between its standard products??
I rarely go to any of those fast food places like McDonalds, unless it is to give my 7 year old daughter a treat so dont know much about how they vary.
In the 2 McDonalds right in the centre of Munich, Germany there is a woman in the toilets who expects us to give her 50Cents everytime we go in there. At the McDonalds in a Munich suburb we have visited our bathroom privacy is more respected because there is no toilet woman hovering there.
It is true that they don't serve beef in India, or so I've heard from friends. Being veggie I never actually went in one. I did eat at a Pizza Hut (or two!) in India and it is quite surreal. It all looks like a normal Pizza Hut except the western pop music they play is around four years out of date and makes you feel like you slipped back in time! The menu is completely Indian. I didn't see any ham or beef toppings on offer, there was a far greater vegetarian selection than normal and there were endless spicy/curried toppings available. There was a large temple-like bell hanging in the doorway with a sign saying 'Had a Good Time. Ring the Bell.' which everyone did as they left.
I went into a pizza hut when I was in Thailand for the first time because I was in the mood for something familiar after seeing beatles as big as my hand for sale in the market. Those beatles were for eating in case anybody wants that confirmed. In the pizza hut I went to the salad bar which included some exotic looking salads and some eggs the size of marbles. I decided I would just have a drink. I ordered some orange juice and was pleased that it came in a regular glass and looked orange coloured. Then I discovered that it tasted salty rather than sweet. That was in the old days before the Thais started catering for the strange tastes of foreigners.
I went right off McDonald's in New Zealand. Not through eating there too often, it just seemed really bland. Admittedly that was before they tried to play catch-up with other fast food chains and reinvent themselves as having healthy alternatives (healthiER maybe, but are any of them actually healthy?)
I like McDonalds here in Japan a lot more but the nearest one is about an hour away, not that I'm usually tempted when I'm over that way anyway, but occasionally it goes down well :-)
Indonesia - McDonalds also serve fried chicken and rice - try to compete with fellow fast food chain KFC. And people eat their rice meal with their hands, i.e not using any utensil
Mexico - We stopped by in a McDonalds in Mexico City, and they have a valet parking service for the restaurant!!
Italy - McDonalds in Rome also serve beer on tap (well at least the one I visited nearby the Pantheon)
Hum, now I start to see my eating pattern abroad ...
I try my very best to stay away from any fast food places while traveling...local places tend to not only have better and more interesting food but also a unique atmosphere. Needless to say I had to check out Mcdonald's while I was in India, since the menu I am used to being from america is jam packed with beef products.
India- Just entering it seemed like Mcdonalds had transformed into a nice restaurant, complete with a door man...which isn't all too odd as Mcdonald's in India is too expensive for the majority of people to eat at the way people eat at Mcdonald's in america. The menu was 90% vegetarian with a few chicken options. I had the Veggie burger meal which was surprisingly delicious and makes me wonder why american mcdonalds doesn't offer these options.
Le Big Mac, ha I love Pulp Fiction so.
I am slightly ashamed to say that McDonalds filled many a hunger pang when I was travelling Europe with my friend. Being ridiculously hungover and having an appetite that really required constant reminders of the food I get at home McDonalds was one of few places that offered what I wanted! Towards the end of our trip though we could not even think of eating another Happy Meal and were looking forward to finding a Subway in whichever city we reached next. What is it with the familiar?!
I am also someone who hates to admit it but I've eaten McDonald's in foreign lands.
While in Romania, we had so much pork and cheese (breakfast, lunch and dinner) that I was excited to see a McDs. We were all in this club when my friend John walked in with 3 or 4 bags of burgers, fries and ketchup (something they don't quite understand there). You would have thought he was handing out money. It was a fun story to tell when I got home.
When I was in China, I was excited to see the Starbucks and the McDs. We skipped the traditional chinese meal similar to the ones we had for lunch and dinner for the previous 10 days and nights for a double cheeseburger and fries. It was a beautiful place, 3 stories with the counter on the bottom floor. We had a difficult time communicating what we wanted but we got by. It was a nice time and other fun story.
I first traveled overseas 25 years ago, and have been going non-stop since. While I am the first to dine at the local taco stand, I can tell you that the restaurant world prior to McDoos had plenty of room for improvement. It used to be not uncommon to go into restaurants that were filthy and unpleasant by anyones' standards.
McDoos has made a huge difference in the world of restaurant management. Love 'em or hate 'em, they have taught a great many people how to run a restaurant with hygiene standards, decent treatment of employees, and giving the customer what they want.
McDoos has trained thousand of young people who have gone on to open their own restaurants - not necessarily food food places - and run them according to McDoos hygiene and management standards.
McDoos business plan calls for flexibility in providing for the local customers. Therefore, you will see a lot of variation in the menus around the world. And, more importantly, you will find their restaurants filled with locals around the world.
Yeah, if you want to call that evil globalization, it could be a lot worse.
I've eaten at a McDonald's in India, and there is definitely no beef! They have mostly veggie burgers-including the McAloo pattie (it's potato based!). I have to say, I kind of really love the spices they use in the breading on the chicken burgers.
Also, re: Pizza Hut in India, when I lived in Jaipur for several months, Pizza Hut and Subway were my little treats out. Pizza Hut was super upscale. It had excellent service, was very clean, and you could get soup, a personal pan pizza, and an ice cream sunday for US$3. And Subway was the only place I could find tuna fish, and unlike in the West, they would load up the sandwiches with tons of meat and veggies-no skimping here!
I feel guilty about eating in Western chain restaurants when I'm abroad, but at the same time I totally agree with Ali. Occasionally I just need that familiarity.
BTW, I've heard that the McDonald's in Israel not only don't serve pork, but there are no cheeseburgers either (you can't have meat and dairy in the same meal under kosher law).
We've visited a MCD's in every country we've been to, some 40 or so. Our visit is certaintly not for the food, but you are always guaranteed one thing with MCD's - a clean and free/cheap bathrooms. There is a lot to be said for the standard of cleanliness of MCD's worldwide, especially in the filth pits of India and China.
In addition, its a great business 101 lesson of how successful companies adapt to their environment. MCD's caters to the local culture and hence the menu offered in MCD's varies widely from country to country. I do miss the McArabia in Morocco! Oh and the beer that is on tap in Spain.
Unless it's changed since I was there in 2005 - West Africa was a McD free zone! Also, the Sudan and Ethiopia also seem to be McD free.
I live next to a McDonalds in Seoul, South Korea. Yes, It is a problem😊
They have so many different things on their menu- like Shrimp Burger
and a Bulgogi Burger
, they even have cups of corn salad. YUM.
My favourite experience at McDonalds was when the girl corrected my Canadian pronunciation of Coke ZERO, she was like no- Coke JARO.
yes, yes she did.