I'm sure this seems like blasphemy to some people, but I strongly believe that wherever you go, you should visit a McDonald's at least once.


Seriously. In a place so different - or maybe not so different - from your home, few things will clue you in so quickly into culture as visiting a McDonald's.


Look at the people that are there - are they recognizing each other as they walk in, talking to each other? Maybe it's a small town. Are they not talking? Maybe it's a city life, or people don't talk a lot. Are they more friendly than they are at home?


What do the people look like? Do they look the same as they do back home? Or do they look different - maybe something about their faces or bodies? Maybe they descended from a different stock than the people from home, the sons and daughters of a different homeland.


Are the food or menus different? Maybe there's a regional or local dish that you can't get elsewhere. That's always a possibility with a franchise location.


Look at the people again. You have likely never seen these people before, and you will likely never see them again. They are strangers. They will live their own lives, seeking their own benefits and pursuing their own desires. This may be the one and only intersection in your lives. Say "hi", you're not going to get another chance.


Going to a McDonald's on vacation can be one hell of an experience, if you let it.

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