110 degrees and there is not one place in Europe that offers cold drinks. Forget ice. Ice simply won’t happen. Asking for a little ice in our drinks is like asking the waiter if they’ve been to the moon. You’re likely to get a “W-T-F-G-T-F-O” face staring back at you.
I don’t know why Europe doesn’t serve ice with their drinks.
But, it’s 110 degrees outside and we’ve walked through just about every museum and shop whose idea of air conditioning is to crank it to a very low, practically freezing 90 degrees—if there’s even AC. So, a little ice is nice and there’s pretty much only one place to get it:
I can hear it now: “Are you kidding me? I would not think of going there. You brave the heat and tepidity for a little local flavor, you got that?! Live like a local, heat stroke and all!”
Europe’s McDonald’s are –for lack of a better word—different. They’re just plain different. Like the McDonald’s in London that was offering “The Tastes of America.” I didn’t even know America had different tastes…Or that you could call “Arizona” a taste (does it come with a side of cactus?) Or the German McDonalds that have the Los Wachos. The Los. Wachos, people.
For some, I’m sure McDonald’s is off-limits because it’s sooo American. As in, “I don’t want people to think I’m dining here because I’m American.” The fact is, a lot of the people in a European McDonald’s aren’t American. All the Americans are somewhere else desperately trying to fit in and be as very unAmerican as possible. But, you know, no matter how much you try to fit in and not be yourself, you’re still you (just ask my 8th grade self). You’re still American. You still walk, talk, and wolf down your food so fast, people think: “yeah, has to be an American.”
It doesn’t stop at McDonald’s either. The KFC in Bangkok adds a spicy kick to their fried chicken with rice. There was also that time we had Pizza Hut in Luxembourg. It was unlike the normal experience that people associate with the Hut. You know, where you call in and then get a cardboard-flavored pizza delivered to your front door. Instead, we dined outdoors, ate a pretty tasty pizza, tried a couple of different beers and garlic breads and watched the afternoon turn to dusk.
So, if we happen to be so hot that my body has found a NEW place to sweat and leaves me thinking: “OMFG, I didn’t know I could sweat there,” and we want some ice with our drink, then yeah, we’ll be those only Americans at McDonald’s.
Sure, eating nothing but fast food can get old, unadventurous and possibly extremely boring. It can be unhealthy to rely on nothing but fast food. But, sometimes, you find yourself in a pickle; a hot sweaty pickle, wanting to save a little money, or with a deep interest in something that seems different.
Sometimes, you just need the familiar. Like an ice cold drink. And there’s nothing wrong with that.
Ice people. We need ice. Tell us a time you searched high and low for something that reminded you of home!