In Defence of McDonalds Whilst Traveling
Those golden arches. I’ve seen them before. I can’t help myself as I levitate under them. It’s happened again. More recently I’ve noticed the alarming recurrence of visiting another McDonalds on my travels. But upon more reflection, I’m entirely comfortable with this, and here’s why.
It’s the common travel conundrum of gravitating towards familiar choices when in an alien city. There’s so many authentic and unique cultural experiences to discover but one ends up getting what they know, even when they know that’s it not even good. For myself I have McDonalds visited in so many of my destinations from Amsterdam to Toulouse to Warsaw to Kiev to London and back again.
Here’s a few thoughts on why I’m such a global McDonalds fan.
- There’s screens (in busy stores) with English translations. You know what you’re getting and what you’re paying. After a day fumbling with Google translate and insulting the local populace it’s a welcome relief.
- You can avoid most social interaction.
- It’s easy to make a custom order. Imagine trying to translate all those ingredients.
- There’s (password free) Wi-Fi. The traveler’s effective save point. Sometimes it hard to navigate without it and it’s reassuring knowing that every store will offer it.
- It’s a safe and comfortable location. You’re less likely to get hassled, mugged, or worse of all, talked to whilst you’re nibbling.
- There’s toilets… that are sometimes clean.
- It’s fast (most of the time).
- There’s minute differences that has some novelty appeal. Sometimes there’s wacky things like chicken wings and shrimp.
- You can get a toy.
- Comparatively cheap – compared to a conventional eating out meal that is.
- It’s safe. Most stores will have good food standards in practice (or failing that, the fact that most things are deep fried to oblivion). Nothing worse than feeling ill after a meal.
So there we have it. My justification for why I always end up in a McDonalds. I mean, I’m still gonna try avoid it and have as many local experiences as I can. But if I can’t, I won’t feel that bad about it.