Personal experience: my first visit to American McDonald's
McDonald's is an institution that I have visited fewer times in my life than fingers on one hand. Well, on both - for sure. It so happened that I was overcome by such indifference to this world famous American brand that I can pass by without noticing it in the evening, even though I have not eaten anything since morning.
It was April Saturday, but the weather had no distinct signs of spring awakening, but still I decided: it was time to attend some open-air event in New York.
Without hesitation, I chose football. The fact that this game is called sokker here, I still remembered from English courses in Ukraine. To my surprise, in New York there were practically no options for visiting this game, not counting the match at the Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, the program of which is one such event for the whole month. In the matter of finding a company, I settled on my new, quite erudite American friend Narek, whose football fanaticism, alas, bypassed. He agreed to go when he realized that it was better to keep me company once than to listen to my troubles about how useful it is to unwind from the gray routine by attending such mass sports events.
That day there was an international automobile exhibition, which we decided to drop by before football. The event is incomparable in scale. There is no such thing in Ukraine. Who has never been and who is interested in the world achievements of science and technology in the automotive industry, I highly recommend visiting this exhibition. It is held once a year in April in Jacob Javits Convention Center.
The match began at 13: 00. In order not to be late, we deprived ourselves of participation in the Toyota RAV 4 test drive and rushed to the Bronx. Played New York City FC vs Orlando City. The day before I tried to buy tickets at 20 dollars on Ticketmaster (not including taxes). The purchase program offered several options. Due to the presence of specific terms, I I didn’t want to take risks buying a ticket through the Internet. It was decided to buy everything on the spot.
Arriving at the stadium 5 minutes before the match, we rushed to the box office.
As it turned out, those tickets that are twenty, - promotional, and they can only be purchased on the Internet. Our attempts to purchase tickets using smartphones were interrupted by a message that appeared: “Sale stopped because the match had started”.
A middle-aged man was wandering around the stadium, dressed "in the classics of the genre" - in a black cloak, hat and in sunglasses, despite the lack of sun. We approached him, and the version that this is a speculator was confirmed. He offered a ticket price even lower than if we purchased them on a stock, together with taxes.
“Where is the guarantee that the tickets are not fake? Why are they cheaper than those that can be officially bought? Is the purchase and sale of tickets to and from public sports permitted by New York State law? ”- these questions made me hesitate. The very fact of the presence of this type in the hat plunged me into profound surprise. Never before arriving in the United States, I could not have thought that in this country, so unceremoniously dealers in front of the staff of the admission system to the stadium and in the presence of several police cars from the front of the stadium can sell “scarce tickets”.
Narek has never been to football, and did not have a special desire to attend a match for little-known teams on the world football arena, especially in the circumstances. Where he was more interested in being near the stadium McDonald's. Of course, I didn’t really want to chant alone. Time passed, the crowd in front of the stadium gradually resolved.
Decision in favor of the first ever visit to the American McDonald's outweighed the fact that the dubious seller of tickets offered them for sale, starting from two pieces.
My first american McDonald's - it was probably my next local shock. Immediately after entering the building, it started to breathe with something old-fashioned, untidy, dull and neglected. The atmosphere there filled my imagination with familiar African motifs. The hall was half full. We sat down at a table, which was located approximately in the middle, from where it was possible to see almost everything happening around.
Probably the only thing that at least somehow pleased me was the opportunity to see the online menu on her smartphone. In Ukraine, this is only being introduced. in newly opened or reconstructed Macs, but, unlike local ones, the order is made through special terminals called “kiosks”, and not through a smartphone over the Internet.
Narek went deeper into the study of the menu, and I continued to consider the details of the interior. Our Ukrainian poppies are much cleaner, brighter, than this "original" American one. Local sellers, mostly all African Americans, turned out to be sedentary, half asleep and not very welcoming, which is not typical of Americans, I usually came across a reverse situation.
The tables and chairs were more like furniture in the waiting room of an average Ukrainian railway station than furniture in catering establishments. In our Macs, visitors sit on rails, if not at the table. They are softer, more comfortable and more conducive to relaxation. Behind the counter, the chairs here are also paved, while we have soft ones.
With this type of chair in America, this is my first time collided in one of brooklyn colleges.
I remember with the company we somehow went into a pizzeria under the Italian flag, not far from the ocean, and, instead of the supposed Italian armchairs trimmed with snow-white fabric, we were waiting for welded painted metal tables and chairs.
All of this looks like a design embodiment of the anti-vandalism principle. Not aesthetically pleasing, but practical and durable.
I started to inspect visitors, after which the meal was completely overwhelmed. I thought: we should still persuade Narek to leave this institution. Therefore, I began to recall all the worst that I know about the Bronx, McDonald's and what is usually sold in them.
I have heard for a long time that there is a region in New York where the power does not belong to the police, but to the African-American gangsters who restore their order there. This fact has not been personally verified by me, but before arriving in the states I read enough articles about local life, remembering which I began:
— And you, in general, are aware that last year a nut freak so moved the 90-year-old granny, who did not concede to him a turn to the toilet, that that month she had failed in the hospital?
- Where is “here”? Narek asked without taking his eyes off his smartphone. I continued:
- And a year earlier, the police in the Bronx covered the seller, who put cocaine into hamburgers.
“Of course he thinks I’m talking nonsense,” I thought, and added:
- And a year earlier, a local homeless slaughtered the seller of the Bronx McDonald's.
I googled an article about the injured granny and showed it to Narek. He was surprised, because he really thought that all these events are the result of my fantasies. Then he found confirmation on the Internet for two other facts. After the article about hamburgers with cocaine, Narek’s eyes took the form of an 5-kopek coin, and when I read the information about the seller killed for death, they generally began with a metal hryvnia.
I think that was enough to dissuade him from having dinner at this establishment, however, as it turned out, he pressed the “Pay” option a long time ago and we were already waiting for food to be brought to us. We waited a long time, a good half hour. When we realized that we could not wait, Narek went to the cash desks, and only after that the local employees began to stir. Then I found the number of napkins insufficient and it took me another 5 minutes to get them with the help of cashiers, who moved around their workplace not much faster than mimes giving performances at Times Square.
In Ukrainian McDonald's the situation is different: if there is a large crowd of people near the cash desks, a free employee approaches the visitors standing in the queue with orders (with the name of the tablet with which orders are registered) and takes orders. When the person making the order is near the cash register, he can only pay and pick up his food.
Having tasted the local Chicken McNuggets with World Famous Fries, I realized that a similar food, but cooked in Maki on Khreshchatyk or Deribasovskaya Street, can still be called delicious. And when compared with the Ukrainian burgers offered in the Ukrainian branches of the global network in the days of national cuisine, then our burgers are certainly tastier. They add pork with mushroom sauce to a rye burger and marinated pork to a wheat flour burger. In addition, during this period, you can order potatoes "Selyanski", and in summer, not included in the main menu, blackberry lemonade and ice cream with blueberries.
And what is unusual, besides cocaine, can be found in American McDonald's hamburgers?
The situation that was in Mack was more conducive not to the assimilation of food, but to the reverse process. An elderly African-American stood near the door at the entrance and cleaned the dirt from the soles of his crumbling shoes with napkins; At the table, to our right, was a visitor who was talking to himself, so much so that everyone present in the hall could hear his monologue.
I looked down at the floor and saw the “budget” tiles, laid out in the traditional way. “This is the Ukraine of the 1990s,” I thought. Our tiles are more expensive, bright, laid mainly in a labyrinth, with an offset, of different sizes. The budgetary typical Armstrong-style ceilings, familiar to me from the premises in which it is customary to accommodate Ukrainian government structures, were already quite dusty. All this together led to the idea of the need for at least a cosmetic repair of the premises.
I am sensitive to smells, and when an African-American beggar with a very homeless appearance came up to us with outstretched trembling hand and clattering teeth, my nerves of continuing such a meal could not stand it.
On the way back to Brooklyn, Narek, a patron of such establishments, explained to me that like New York - not America, and the Bronx McDuck - is not the personification of the American thereof. That in the western part of the USA is chic and brilliancy, even in neighboring states everything is different in all heard aspects of my criticism. However, such convictions did not at all make me want to continue visiting the establishments of this leading world catering network.
Apart from the auto show - it was not my most successful weekend in New York, when I was disappointed in the American MacDuck and he didn’t see how the American maradona wielded live with a soccer ball.
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stdClass Object ([term_id] => 5933 [name] => McDonald's [taxonomy] => post_tag [slug] => mcdonalds)McDonald's
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