Let me set the scene. I had been Beijing for the 50th Anniversary of National Day, when the city centre became host to a huge military parade and celebration. Public transport ground to a halt and only those with a special invitation could get anywhere near Tiananmen Square. The day after National Day was a different matter entirely. Everybody (everybody!!) came out to see what they had missed. The parade was being broadcast on TV round the clock. I spent the day happily wandering around Tiananmen Square, looking at the ridiculous floats from the parade, and shopping south of the city centre. It was getting late when I got back to near my hotel (on Wangfujing Dajie) and I thought a quick, easy meal in McDonald's was the best idea for dinner. However, I wasn't the only one. McDonald's was packed overflowing with hopeful customers.
McDonald's employees were positioned just inside the doors, taking orders and writing them down on special order sheets. Everyone was vying for their attention and - for once - I was thankful for my long, blond hair. I'm sure that was the reason I got noticed and served so quickly. Armed with my order sheet, I headed towards the counter. Not that you could actually see the counter. The pack in front was three or four people thick. So - like everyone else - I huddled in and began to push my way to the front. (I think my experience in concert moshpits was a definite advantage here - and for a change I was as tall as almost everyone else!)
Once I reached the counter, my order was quickly filled and paid for and I withdrew triumphant. The price was pretty much the same as in Australia, which was relatively expensive for China. The food? It was McDonald's - it tasted exactly the same as always.
But seriously, sometimes it can be comforting to go somewhere familiar when you're in a foreign place and the tiny differences - like the slightly different menu and the cheesy Chinese McDonald's adverts - were as much of a culture shock as some of the other things I experienced. But, most importantly, the toilets are great!!
Results 1-3of 3 Reviews
Silver Spring, Maryland
August 16, 2005
From journal Life in China
December 30, 2004
From journal Trip to China
Perth, Western Australia, Australia
March 28, 2002
From journal Bumbling Through Beijing