When you’re travelling, it’s very easy to fall into the trap of eating the same thing over and over again.
If you haven’t done it, then you’ve seen it. Tourists standing in line for a McSomething.
They’re eyes are either glazed over with hunger, or their avoiding looking at others. From shame.
Why does this happen? Because McDonald’s is the same almost everywhere.
It brings a sense of comfort and familiarity. You eat things that you know you’ll like, because trying new things is hard.
Plus, people trust in its safety. They know what they’re getting, and they know that it’s sort-of-safe to eat. As opposed to the drumsticks they bought just down the road from the wet market.
But you’re travelling for a reason.
And – wet markets aside – you’re missing out.
Maybe you want to see new things, have new experiences. Easy.
Or explore new landscapes, take in a new part of the world. Also easy.
But if you’re trying to immerse yourself in new cultures? Guess what? Food is a big part of that!
You’re doing it wrong.
But I get it.
It’s hella common for travellers of all kinds to get stuck into the local favourites. And they’ll try them everywhere they go. But after a week or two of this “new” food, people start to crave something familiar. Something that reminds them of home.
And that’s when McDonald’s strikes.
One of the most common excuses I hear is “I just don’t fee like eating another plate of [insert local delicacy]”.
Nasi Goreng. Pad Thai. Biryani. Roti Canai. Pork Sisig. Daal Naan. Shawarma.
These are staples of the people around you. They get prepared and eaten every day by people who don’t even think twice about it. They might have favourite spots to get their meals, or complain that no one can make it quite as well as the way their mum makes it. For them, this food is life. They can tell the difference between regional recipes.
And yet people have the nerve to say it all tastes the same. That they’ve had enough of “the same thing”.
This is the part that gets me. They reach into their wallets and fork over a metric shit-tonne of money. Money that could by ten local meals. And for something that – in the grand scheme of things – sucks balls.
In my mind, I will only go to McDonald’s if I am (a) unable to find anything else open and I’m starving, or (b) I’m very drunk.
But seriously, I’ve had street-burgers that taste better than Macca’s. They are made faster, are fresher, and cost less.
So here are my golden tips on avoiding McDonald’s!
How to avoid the golden arches when abroad.
- Eat before you go out
- Know which local delicacies satisfy your cravings
- Visit locations close to street food stalls
- Calculate how many other meals you could afford for the same price
- Stop drinking so much YES I MEAN YOU GUY BEHIND THE KEYBOARD
With these tips, some planning and a little luck, you should be able to steer clear of Mickey D’s for a good while.