Trip Start Aug 30, 2009
Trip End Dec 25, 2009

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Flag of Philippines  , Luzon,
Thursday, December 3, 2009


           I figured McDonald's had the same menu worldwide.  Big chain, lots of promotion, new restaurants in many countries.  So I was a bit surprised first time I hit a McDonald’s that catered to the local tastes and had something different from what I was used to having in the U.S.  After the first one, we started searching out McDonald’s just to see if they had differences based on the culture we were visiting at the time.

            I think our first surprise was Innsbruck, Austria that had McWine for a beverage.  Of course, I am trading on the name and their penchant for naming things with a "mc something".  They didn’t call it McWine but that’s what it was.  I think they had McBeer too. 

            Our next surprise was in Bergen, Norway where they had McPasta.  Now I would have thought in Norway that maybe they should have had McWhaleBlubber.  McPasta belongs more in Italy, don’t you think. 

            We have found some more “Mc”s in other countries but I am going to come up with my own based on what I have found with the taste treats in the countries I have visited.

            For Australia: McRoo using kangaroo meat as the burger base.  Or McCroc using crocodile meat.  They could also have a McEmu.  These three meats seem to be the ones used besides beef, chicken and pork.  For vegetarians they could have McBeetroot.

            South Africa opens up a whole bunch of burger possibilities and these could also go with some other countries like Namibia, Kenya, Tanzania, etc where they use the game animals for food sources.  How about McGemsbok, McGnu or McWildebeest.  Maybe McCapeBuffalo, McOstrich.  I don’t think they eat hyenas or zebras but you could certainly work them into the menu if they do.

            Asia goes a different way.  Of course Taiwan could have McSnake.  Korea needs a McKimChee.  China can have McDimSum and Japan gets McSushi.

            We can certainly go on and on and on and on.  The possibilities are endless; limited only by what is available in a country to eat.  And McDonald’s are almost everywhere.  I was going to make a list once of the countries where we didn’t find McDonald’s.  I know there weren’t any in Syria when we were there and none in Libya either.  I don’t think there were any in Mongolia or Myanmar when we visited either nor Cuba that I recall.  Those may be the 5 countries because I know there were only 5 out of the over 100 countries that I have visited that don’t have McDonald’s.  And some of those countries may have them by now.  I know Syria was in negotiation at one point.

            As many jokes and such that we make about McDonald’s, they are a welcome sight sometimes.  I remember our first year in Okpo, Korea and we heard that a McDonald’s was opening in Pusan, a bit over an hour away by car.  We all got together and caravaned up there to hit the McDonald’s.  Of course that was when it was hard to get any “expat” food in Okpo.  McDonald’s was very welcome.  And I have visited countries where it is just as welcome to see one because the local food is a bit too strange and hard on the palate. 

            Sometimes McDonald’s becomes the local “place to be” and everyone can find it since there is only one in town.  It becomes the landmark and meeting place for foreigners and locals alike.  Such was the case in Yalta, Ukraine and also Sevastopol, Ukraine. 

            Now I am in Sabang Beach.  No McDonald’s here.  Not a big enough place.  But if it was here, it would have mostly McFish burgers.  There is a special Filipino dish that is quite popular and when I can find it, I’ll make the suggestion for it as well.  I think McDonald’s would be wise to take up my suggestions.  A whole new market is waiting.
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