Once upon a time in a land far far away I found conflict with the idea of McDonaldisation of the world.
Travelling through the culturally rich and practically non westernised streets of small Central American towns I found a repulsiveness in the illuminated Golden Breasts potentially turning the world into a homogenized conformity. Most of all I was disappointed that I would need to manoeuvre to a different angle to get my culture photo of dusty streets, colourful marketplaces and historical buildings without the Red and Yellow bling of Ronald.
The reality of course didn’t really reach the full magnitude of this fear and today I found the true value in Ronald’s promise.
I have not been blessed with the greatest weather since Prague. It has been cold even through my women’s ski gloves (A very simple mistake when buying gloves in the Czech Republic). I have cycled all morning along a busy and windy road through freezing fog, I am tired, my feet are numb. I constantly battle to make the yards but as safely as possible so side roads fields and verges are all fair game. This goes on for hours and I can’t wait to stop for some refreshments and warmth. The prospect of an unfamiliar place, dealing with a foreign language, menu, knowing the cultural etiquette really feels like a little bit more than I want to have to deal with just at the minute. Cultural Laziness has set in.
Then I spot it on the horizon. The familiar golden-yellow glow rises up on the distance like a beacon of hope, it is no substitute for the golden glow of some sunshine but this is a good feeling, I can already taste my Big Mac as I hum to myself
“McDonald’s, McDonald’s, Kentucky Fried Chicken and a Pizza Hut”
I know I can switch on the automatic pilot, I know exactly what I need to do. Big Mac is one of the few words that makes up part of the world universal language, I know the process, I know the quality, I know exactly where to look for the price, I know the toilets are free and it’s not a city center site so I don’t have to ask for the keys. The level of complexity I will have to deal with in this situation is precisely 2 questions and I will be able to deflect these simply with 2 similarly ubiquitous words, coke and ketchup.
There is so much room for Ronald in my world today.
He has revived my day, provided me with the sustenance and mental respite I needed to start off an afternoons brilliant cycle down through the Austrian mountains to the Blue Danube. Following my Supersized Big Mac Meal with a cheese burger chaser the sun started to push itself through for the first time in a week.