Regardless of where I travel, one of the most asked questions is – “Do they have a McDonald’s?”
There is a McDonald’s in Montevideo, Uruguay. It isn’t sought out, isn’t on the list of important things to do, but it is a cultural landmark that marks the landing of American habits to every corner of the world.
Walking in a newer part of the Old City, there are contemporary buildings and even Art Deco structures like those in South Beach. There are also wretched structures surviving from the early 1900’s that weren’t created for creature comforts and remind me of Charles Dicken’s sweat shops with dark windows and big heavy doors.
This McDonald’s is not flashy but the familiar arches beckon me to come closer. Employees wear uniforms just like they do at home, freshly washed and ironed. Coffee is made in an expresso machine and costs two dollars a cup, cheap for Montevideo.
Sitting outside, at one of the benches under a grove of trees, I feel at home.
We Americans have landed and planted our flag.
Wherever we go; There we are.