July 08, 2007

McDONALD'S IN FRANCE

Mary Katharine Ham has lots of jokes about an article on the French eating at McDonald's.

"We hate it and go to it. It's our paradox," a journalist for the French magazine Challenges, Alice Mérieux, said. "We're very anti-American in principle, but individually, if you're going to the movies and have to eat in 10 minutes, you go to McDonald's."

Yep, I saw this in action. When I was in my French language class, a Hungarian, a Czech, and I did an expose on McDonald's. We went around our French town and interviewed folks about their thoughts on McDonald's. Naturally, they all thought it was a despicable place with disgusting food. And naturally there was always a line out the door and onto the sidewalk.

What I thought was especially interesting was that the Hungarian and the Czech didn't really get the concept of the difference between fast food and restaurant food. I had to explain to them that Americans do indeed eat at McDonald's, but we don't consider it Fine Dining. We actually do have sit-down restaurants that we eat at. For them in their home countries, the price of McDonald's was the same as the price at a sit-down place, so the distinction was lost on them. They thought we considered McDonald's the same thing as a fancy restaurant. So at least I can say that I dispelled one misconception during my year in France: I taught a Hungarian and a Czech that McDonald's is not classy.

Of course, this is coming from the girl who ate at Steak n Shake for her senior prom...

Posted by: Sarah at 02:45 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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1 I've decided fancy dinners are not always the best dinners. I met my husband for the first time at a steak and shake. And although I do enjoy going out once in a while all dressed up, it's just way more fun to go to steak and shake and color with crayons on the menu. I do believe this is the redneck northern girl coming out in me.

Posted by: Josie at July 11, 2007 04:35 PM (zVz85)

2 I don't what this says about me, but my husband always calls me his "cheap date." Steak n Shake is just about heaven on earth for me.

Posted by: Kate at July 13, 2007 11:01 AM (FmdP4)

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