McDonald’s: An International Love Story

Article by: Isabel Wilson

Photographs by: Panchalee Perere and Sung Yun Bae

Love ko ‘to. Ich liebe es. Me encanta.

1460980_10201726014665562_885098765_nAll over the world, people have fallen in love with the greasy and, let’s be honest, slightly sketchy fast food of McDonald’s. Although the Golden Arches are recognized almost anywhere, McDonald’s food items differ from country to country. Have you heard of McArabia, a concoction from Pakistan? Don’t worry – I hadn’t either. It’s a hotdog, wrapped shawarma-style. Pretty different, huh?

Senior Mohaid Asad believes that McDonald’s food in Pakistan is

amazing and the best [he has] ever eaten

he affirms, “it’s bigger and more delicious.” McDonald’s is the most popular fast food chain in Pakistan because

Jollibee1 by Panchalee Perera copythe company has no competitor, unlike in the Philippines, where other fast food chains such as Jollibee are as big.

To senior Almira Silva, McDonald’s in foreign countries

don’t vary much taste-wise. I’ve been to McDonald’s in Thailand, and it has more spice-based meals, but it still retains the original menu.

To fellow senior Yuejia Fu, the difference between international McDonald’s restaurants is not just the food, itself, but also the service, food display, and quantity served. She recalls,

In China, [McDonalds] has more variety of food on the menu, and bigger portions when [she] order[s] the same thing.

When asked about the weirdest thing she has ever seen on the Philippines McDonald’s menu, Fu replied immediately:

sweet spaghetti with chicken and rice

Not because it is “unacceptable,” she adds, but because she is “more used to the ‘food arrangement’ in China.” For Silva, the strangest thing she has ever seen on a McDonald’s menu is salad. “That may seem like the oddest thing to say,” laughs Silva, “since it’s not really an uncommon menu item…

But to me it’s strange that a salad would end up inside McDonald’s. The irony…

If there is one thing that this ironic McSalad can teach us, it is that cultural differences will never be able to shock Third Culture Kids as much as seeing something healthy in a place notorious for heart attack food, thousand-calorie plates, and a heartfelt Yum!


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