A Little Travel Memory … Ronald Made it to India (and everywhere else!)

Is it wrong to admit that I’ve developed a strange fascination with McDonald’s restaurants around the world? This one is in India and, as you’d expect, there was no beef on the menu. Stateside, I eat McDonald’s maybe once a decade … and I even find myself  apologizing to other travelers on the road about America’s stellar contribution to the global food industry because this chain is pervasive, unhealthy, and so brightly and gaudily American that it can stand out so painfully next to temples and ancient ruins in other countries. But the interest me because they’re there. A slice of Americana in a strange and foreign land.

McDonalds in India

Just chilling, as one does, with Ronald at a very busy McDonald’s in Jaipur, India.

Through all this judgment though, I didn’t really think about the different menus in each place until I started traveling. So color me surprised when the Indian McDonald’s boasted an intriguingly diverse menu. My cousin ordered a paneer tika wrap … and it was actually decent (I took a bite).

Echoing the diversities of each country, the menu at Mickey D’s reflects the local cultural norms and food habits, as weird as that may seem considering the golden arches so blatantly scream “American” to me. Oh, and there are actually locals inside these restaurants, I was surprised for a second time.

I’m not going to claim that you have to try a Mickey D’s abroad, but, well … if you’re there, and it’s there … why not at least take a peak, the menus are always different and it’s neat to see how much the food chain had to diverge from the traditional American menu in order to appeal to the locals.

It’s fun and the foodie gods of travel won’t strike you down for entering one, I promise! :-)

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10 Responses to A Little Travel Memory … Ronald Made it to India (and everywhere else!)

  1. Aly January 25, 2011 at 11:11 pm #

    I completely know what you mean. I usually sneer at McDonald’s from a pretty high horse, but for some reason I find myself venturing into them whenever I am abroad. Things like Shrimp McMuffins and McArabia are just too entertaining to miss! And I have to admit that french fries of McD’s tasted like heaven to me after being constantly sick for weeks in South America. Pure heaven.

    • Anonymous January 26, 2011 at 2:37 am #

      Exactly! The options are so strikingly different in some countries that it’s
      fun to go and poke around a little and see what they have on offer. McD’s as
      comfort food, that’s a new one :) I know there are times on the road that I
      would kill for some good ole mac-n-cheese after being sick for awhile
      though, lol!

  2. club villamar January 12, 2011 at 4:47 am #

    Thanks for sharing your travel experience Shannon.But with out beef its strange to be in McDonald’s.But according to Hindu culture Cow is worshiped and Killing cow or ox is illegal so there is no beef in McDonald’s in India.

    • Anonymous January 15, 2011 at 10:07 am #

      It is very weird to see a beef-less McD’s! But they have a whole menu of
      other neat foods, so it was a lot of fun to read over the menu :)

  3. Dina VagabondQuest January 11, 2011 at 11:40 pm #

    Haha, I like this honest post in the middle of hatred toward eating McD while traveling. I and Ryan often go to McD as well, many times because it was a cheap option or even the cheapest (with good quantity) food available while we were traveling in Europe and Australia. They also have free wifi internet connection that we need to do our work (the Australian one was crappy though).
    And indeed, they often have local item that American McD doesn’t have. Fun to see what they are. In Indonesia, we have fried chicken with rice, also sunny side egg on rice. I told my Indonesian friends that they don’t even have fried chicken at all in USA/Canadian McD, and it’s hard for them to believe.

    To they have many vegetarian menu in Indian McD?

  4. Shiroi Neko January 6, 2011 at 3:41 am #

    Go to McD and find the local food not ordinary burgers.

  5. Priyank January 4, 2011 at 12:28 pm #

    Hi Shannon,
    After the liberalisation in India in early 90’s, McD was among the prime signs of globalisation (along with coca cola, pepsi, etc.). I found that Moscow’s McDonalds was huge and quite crowded and people actually made plans to go out and eat there. :-)

    • Anonymous January 4, 2011 at 3:21 pm #

      Did you see the food menu inside the Moscow one? I’m so intrigued by how
      they alter the menus. I found that some of the McD’s in Central America were
      also a hub of local activity :-)

  6. Laura January 4, 2011 at 3:50 pm #

    It’s funny to see foods on the McD’s menu abroad that we don’t associate with it (and beer!). However a McDonald’s without beef sounds drastically different. p.s. Nice photo with Ronald ;)

    • Anonymous January 4, 2011 at 4:05 pm #

      I haven’t seen beer yet! As for the pic, Ronald was getting fresh with me
      but I tried to ignore it ;-)

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