Tuesday, February 12, 2008

McDonalds and Me...

Sierra and I waved down a taxi not far from the train station. ‘Bonjour!’ I chippered in French. I try to be chipper in languages I can barely speak. I think it makes up for barely speaking them.

‘McDonalds en Canet Plage’.

He narrowed his eyes. ‘Where?’

‘Ummm, McDonalds, un restaurant dans Canet Plage.’ I am also a firm believer in switching up the prepositions in languages I speak badly. Sometimes it helps.

He nodded, so apparently it did, and we drove for about 15 minutes through south of France toward the sea. We were supposed to be meeting up with the woman from whom we were renting an apartment for the week. The driver pulled into the driveway and we paid him and grabbed our bags. With a certain panache he swept out to open Sierra’s door for her. ‘Bon appetit!’ he said with flourish.

I was mortified when it dawned on me what the taxi driver must have been thinking. Two American girls arrive at the train station and are so desperate for hideous processed food in a land that filled with epicurean delights they are willing to pay 30 euros to have a taxi drive them 15 minutes to a McDonalds in the middle of nowhere.

This all made me think more about McDonalds. I like to think that I avoid them like the plague whilst overseas but do I really? Last summer I had just arrived in Paris coming by overnight train from Italy and I was overcome by a need to eat at McDonalds. I needed French fries and a shake. It’s embarrassing but true. The friend with me planted her feet and said, ‘No!’ No! You cannot make me do that walk of shame!’ But I did.

I’ve been in McDonalds in more cities than I care to imagine - Moscow, London, Delhi, Bangkok. I was just in one in Singapore two days ago. Oh, I tell myself that it was only because it was Chinese New Year and nothing else was open. But is that really the reason? Maybe this is indicative of a larger problem. Do I have some sort of subconscious McDonalds addiction? Am I ‘that’ American abroad? These are horrifying questions to have to ask yourself, believe me. Cause what do you do if the answer is 'yes'?


Danielle said...

Embrace it Kelsey!! At least you don't buy cheesy Starbucks mugs in all the foreign cities you visit!! I mean, who would do that????.....

Mark said...

While you're in Canet Plage, you must eat at Can Marcee or Can Marcel - 101 Promenade de la Cote Vermeille Tel 04 68 80 64 55. They have a seafood saute that is filled with local indigenous shell fish, and they serve pretty late at night. btw, this post is coming from Portland Oregon - (my mother was born in a village very close to Canet - St. Nazaire.)