December 2007


I’m Lovin’ It

The last time I went to McDonald’s, in America, was so long ago, I cannot remember. If I had to speculate, I would be at a loss. I mean surely I’ve been to an American McDonald’s sometime since I last remember eating at one in the airport on my way to Germany back in 2004.

Really I can only recall having had Wendy’s and Taco Bell during my last few trips to America—I even picked up a present for Eurotrippen at Taco Bell, which I even remembered to bring to the Whiney Expatriate Blogger Meet-Up.

It’s a different story, though, when it comes to Germany—specifically German train stations.

Yesterday I ate at McDonald’s on my way to Trier. I had a brief layover in the Koblenz train station, and despite having had a sandwich earlier in the day, I was hungry, so I ran into the McDonald’s, bought myself a Big Mac Spar Menu (auf America: Big Mac Extra Value Meal) and dashed onto the train to Trier, where I fully enjoyed my meal.

This was actually the second time I’ve eaten at McDonalds in the Koblenz train station. As far as I know from personal experience, Koblenz consists of a ramshackle train station that has a McDonald’s. If there were actually a city outside of the doors, I would be surprised.

The time before this, I grabbed dinner at the Leipzig train station on my way to the Hustlaball in Berlin. I had planned to grab dinner at McDonald’s in the Erfurt train station, but had to run and grab a train when I realized the train I was supposed to take was astronomically late. The Leipzig McDonald’s was a great back-up; save for the fact that much of their seating is upstairs and when I’m carrying my suitcase and a tray of food, my interest in negotiating stairs is somewhat limited.

McDonald’s in Germany is a decent choice at train stations, and I imagine when on the road, especially near Dibbersen/Buchholz i.d.N., where I hear tell that the finest McDonald’s in Germany has just been renovated to include a fancy-dancy McCafé.

I do have several German McDonald’s questions, and perhaps somebody can give me a clue, like telling me if I order a cappuccino or other milk based coffee drink at a McCafé, can I get soy milk substituted in? As a lactose intolerant guy, I need soy milk in my lattes.

What about McDonald’s French Fries—why, when they are served in Germany, is a napkin put over the top of the French Fries? Usually it is done right at the fry area before they are carried back to whatever position I am standing at, but yesterday the girl carried them the 2 meters to where I was standing, and then grabbed a napkin and put it over the top of the fries before putting them in my bag.

Finally, as it is Monopoly season at McDonald’s, and I don’t eat there often enough to win anything, plus I don’t know the German game board, can anybody tell me if Seestraße or Berliner Straße are even remotely important game pieces to collect? Am I on the verge of winning something big? The game pieces don’t tell me what these straßen are good for winning.

7 comments to I’m Lovin’ It

  • Jul

    I’ve been to McDonalds about 10 times in my whole life. At least 8 of those times were when I lived in Halle/S in the 90s. My (East) German friends were always trying to drag me there, especially after a night of drinking. I had to humor them… they had grown up coveting Mickey D’s as some sort of forbidden fruit; it took a while for them to realize that it was not so worthy of their desire. Well, at least I hope they’ve realized that by now…

  • Jul

    PS – as a soon-to-be German expat blogger, I really hope to attend the next whiney expat blogger meetup!

  • 1. I am now itching for some fries.

    2. My new goal for this week is to work “fancy-dancy” into a conversation.

  • The cure for your lactose intolerance is to always order a McBeer.

    And the Spar Menu? Isn’t that the one where you have to fight the crowd to the front of the line?

  • @Jul: I definitely want meet-up with you some day. I’ll bring the butter! The one thing McD gets right is French Fries. Catch them right out of the grease and they are perfect.

    @CN: doesn’t everybody say “fancy-dancy”? 🙂

    @ian: McBeer? In a plastic cup? I should blindly climb a mountain.

  • Sorry I’m late answering here… the Telekom’s been playing with our DSL line.

    * We don’t have soy milk. It’s an excellent idea, though. I’ll ask the McCafé people about it. (If you come to Dibbersen, let us know ahead of time and I’ll arrange for the soy milk :-).

    * Napkins with the fries? I don’t know why either, but everyone does it here.

    * I posted once about McBier. We serve alcohol-free to save money on the liquor license, and frankly, the customers who want beer at night are better off at the gas station across the street. McCafé is testing prosecco, though.

    * I can’t help with Monopoly. I can’t win, so I don’t play. 🙂

  • @papascott: thanks for your answers… the only one that really puzzles me is the napkin over the fries. One would think that there has to be a local reason for it — it doesn’t happen in the States — as far as I know.