Getting ‘Round for the Quarter Pound

Lima, Peru

At last, I have done it! After almost half a decade of fruitless searching over three continents, I’ve finally discovered a place with a mass transit system less efficient than Seattle´s. This quest has involved visits to cities leveled by B-29 raids; overrun by the Red Army & then mismanaged by the communists; or endured Death Squad politics combined with pathetic economies. Yet somehow all these municipalities found the wherewithal to build a subway system. And not some light-rail-to-the-airport cop out either.

Initially, I feared my worse-than-Seattle search would have to continue when I saw all the conveniently placed “M” (metro station!?!) markings in my map of the downtown. But these turned out to be the location of McDonalds — American cuisine at its most unapologetic. While the transit service of Lima is a crapshoot, Ronald & his Golden Arches gang are doing an inspired job insuring the cholesterol levels at least are keeping pace with Uncle Sam´s.

Walking into a McD joint in this city, and you are overwhelmed with pictures of quarter pounders dripping with cheese and triple-stacked Big Macs. To avoid these cardiac sledge hammers, I tried ordering a simple burger & fries, but couldn’t get the message across. Eventually I ended up learning the Spanish words for “Kids Happy Meal”. Oh sure, I enjoyed spinning that cute little top around the remnants of my french fries, but it was still embarrassing. McDonalds is part of my rich American heritage and not being able to properly order a meal there was humiliating. I will never be able to look a ketchup dispenser in the face again.

Thank heavens the Colonel and I remain on good terms!


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