Sunday, April 13, 2008

McDonald's on the road

We've just arrived in Bologna, dumped our bags at the hotel and went in search of food. We found this funky restaurant and sat down to eat. We were not impressed with the food, it was outright bad. The girls didn''t care for it either. I went in search of the Morandi museum, I left the girls to wander on their own with the specific instructions that they hang out around Piazza Maggiore and around Piazza del Nettuno. I enjoyed a little time on my own while they enjoyed playing the adults sans adult supervision. When I got done with the Morandi museum I went back to the hotel and found the teenagers watching TV and eating McDonald's happy meals. We had a more expensive room in Bologna, 125 euros got us an attached bathroom and TV with CNN and MTV. We were living large in Bologna, it was a bigger room and from our third floor window we could see the red roof tops of many old buildings in Bologna. The Albergo Centrale is right smack in the center of old Bologna.
I was glad the girls were having fun, they had already finished their happy meals and were playing with the toys. I asked, 'how much they paid?' 4 euros for each happy meal- what a deal! The next day we went by train to Ravenna, an hour away. I had intended, before we left home, to go to Verona. I changed my mind in Bologna. After Ravenna, it was still early in the day, so we decided to go to Rimini, at least to look at the Adriatic sea. While waiting for the train, we went into the McDonald's at the train station and ordered 3 happy meals. The sweet Italian girl was so helpful. She made sure each bag got the right toy. I don't know if she knew the meals were for the 3 of us. We had a drink, a hamburger, some fries and a yogurt drink and of course, toys! We ate our meal and played with the toys till the train arrived.
Don't knock McDonald's. I know when we see one in a foreign country, we laughed and think, 'which American would go in one?' I don't eat at McDonald's when I'm at home. I have eaten many times at McDonald's while traveling, mostly in Italy. For some reason they are prolific in Italy. I remember my first trip to Rome, my sister and I ate at McDonald's for most of our meals. We didn't know how to look for good affordable meals and we didn't know that coffee, al fresco, cost 4 euros (then) compared to 1 euro if you stand at the bar. Besides we were always sure of a clean bathroom at a McDonald's.
I remember buying a Coca Cola at a McDonald's in Toulouse, France a few years ago. The prettiest French girl with the most gorgeous blue eyes was serving me. She smiled, said, 'Merci, Bon Journee', to which I replied, 'Merci, au revoir.' French servers are not that nice. Only the McDonald's people worldwide. Don't knock McDonald's, it is a great American institution!!

No comments: