China’s McDonald: The Place Where Foreigners Gather

China's FIRST McDonald's
China’s FIRST McDonald’s (Photo credit: flickr.Marcus)

I know it has been awhile but with the Olympics and the Typhoon that hit yesterday, there is barely enough time to go to work let alone write in my blog. These days I have been stuck in the apartment so I haven’t been out seeing much or experiencing much; which limits the things to talk about.  However, today was different, the weather was nice so I stayed out for a while.

The foreign teachers at the school and myself decided to get a little bite to eat at Micky D’s.  It is not only the one place you can get a taste of home in town but also the place where you will meet up with a foreigner or two that might be passing thru.  It does help that they have the Chinese style Ice cream Blizzards there.  Today was not different.

After we finished our meal, we started to walk home and noticed that there were some foreigners walking toward us.  To most of you this would be no big deal, however, when you live in a town of about 1 million people who are 99.9% Chinese you tend to notice when there is a new foreigner around.   Not only do you notice you get excited.  Inside your head you are praying that the person be from your country. This time there were two foreigners and at a far away glance they look to be of Middle Eastern Decent.

I being the shy one… shouted out to them….“Hello, Foreign People….How you doing?”   Sometimes this comes off as friendly and sometimes people get upset and ignore me.  These two guys accepted it as friendly, thank goodness I didn’t want to have to show my arse in front of the sacred arches.

We all quickly met up and shook hands and shared information.   In the spirit of the Olympics they were of Middle Eastern decent but came from London with the cool English accent.   It was refreshing to meet some new people and hear their opinions about China and about teaching.  We all were chattering happily and then something happened that took me totally by surprised so much so that I wanted to sit down afterward.

One of the young men said to me “Do you have a blog on the internet?  Your married to a Chinese guy?  I read your blog all the time… and before I came to China I read about this city on your blog?”    I was floored…flabbergasted…. totally shocked…bewildered…..amazed….I really couldn’t believe that I just met someone who reads my blog.

Sometimes the world throws you surprises and puts people in your life for different reasons.   I say this because I was just feeling tired of life here and having a bad China day.. when I meet someone who actually let me know that I made an impression on him …enough so that he reads what I have to say regularly.

I love people and I love meeting new people for all over the world…. and I realized tonight that there are hundreds of people out there that I help and entertain with my writing.  Who knew that I would meet someone today, in fact?

We continued our conversation and made a plan to get together soon and to stay in touch.  I have began to understand how symbolic are the golden arches of McDonald’s.  Whether you like them or hate them…. one thing is for sure you will always see a smiling face and in China, new friend at this restaurant.

I have a new energy now and I am ready to continue to share more of my world over here… right after I finish these fries.


until next time…..


9 thoughts on “China’s McDonald: The Place Where Foreigners Gather

  1. lurker

    “It was like… someone took a cake, put hot melted chocolate inside.. threw it up into heaven and brought it back down and sprinkled it with powered sugar and put it on my plate. AMAZING!”

    Now that is some really clever writing! Great post.

  2. Haha that’s awesome!!! I had a similar experience in Lanzhou – I met a couple of foreigners on the street and introduced myself and said that I went to one of the local universities. After a little while, one of them said, “Wait a second, you’re THAT Austin??!! People talk to me about you all the time!! Austin did this and Austin did that, have you seen him lately?” This was after I had been gone to the States for a year.

    hahahaha I know that feeling – it’s pretty crazy

    I’ve also gotten emails and comments from people who are going to Lanzhou asking advice, and it’s really humbling and nice to know that people read your stuff and it has value to them. Keep writing! I always try to stop by your blog and read new stuff!

  3. Hello, Jo

    Your blog is helping me to improve my English knowledge and at the same time inspiring me. I’m also very curious about Chinese culture and the little issues you’ve been facing living there. I’m so glad that what happened at the China’s Mcdonald brought you up to write to us again.

    Best regards from your Brazilian fan,


  4. pearls

    That was so exciting! More and more with the acceptance of the internet…this large earth we live in at times seem small. That was right on time, and I rejoice with you! 😀

  5. Eve

    Hey we enjoy reading your blog, I have dreams of livng in a foreign country
    for a year or so and you make it all seem possible! Its interesting when you tell people you want to live in another country, some people never even leave their state, so thank you for making me not feel like the wired one. 🙂

  6. blackandyellow

    I think that it is so neat that you met someone who reads your blog.
    It is said that we are one or two people away from knowing the same person. I have managed to meet people twice in foreign countries who knew someone that I did.

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