July 08, 2007


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 July 8, 2007 07:45 PM | TrackBack

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 09:35 PM

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 04:01 PM