Yeah, yeah, get over it. Not only do I go “slumming” in the heart of Mediterranean cuisine, I like it! Actually, truth be told, I probably wouldn’t even really bother with McDonald’s here if it weren’t for that marketing invention to beat all marketing inventions: the holy Happy Meal. God. Parents, you know what I’m talking about. It’s like, who gave a flying eff about the Happy Meal before having kids? But then… whoaaaa. By the time they can feed themselves a french fry, suddenly your house is jam-packed with useless little thing-a-ma-jiggys everywhere, all these Happy Meal toys. Don’t even get me started.
So today I had a little mamma and son outing and we were going to see a movie at the big cinema in Piazza Repubblica. So McDonald’s was the natural choice (it’s next door). And, little did I think I’d have one of my cultural moments in the Mickey D’s. But lo and behold…
Tell me, where else are you going to be drinking Coca Light (aka Diet Coke) from a paper cup and enjoying a tiramisù at the same time?
I know, it’s just wretched, isn’t it? And yet, love.
Meanwhile the fun never ends. About 2 minutes into our meal, Vincenzo says, “Mooommmmm! I gotta pooooopppp!” Right. Great timing, no? Don’t ask a four year old to “hold it” just don’t. The bathroom is downstairs and here’s my first thought, I kid you not: “If we leave our food here on the table, a gypsy (excuse me must be politically correct: Rom) might come and eat our food.
God, I know that must sound awful and racist and whatnot. But a girl had already come right up in our faces begging us for money. So, you know.
I was torn, but in the end “MomIgottapoop” won out, and we made it to the WC and back with all our food in tact.
Then at the end Vince decides he wants an icecream cone. Love this. So we go and wait in line for like 5 minutes, and when we get up to the register, the girl says, “Oh no! You have to order ice cream cones from THAT register!” Only in Rome, right? Here’s me, easy as can be, oh, ok! Like that’s the most normal thing in the world. I’ve become pretty blissfully Zen this time around. I think because I expect crap like this, it doesn’t get to me anymore.
So we go to the ice cream cone/coffee register. And the guy in front of us orders four sundaes, with a twist you’ll never see in the States. He asks for them to be drenched in coffee, which is a thing you can have here in Italy, “affogati nel caffe,” which just made me think, only in Italy. (I’m doing the whole “Royale with Cheese” scene thing from Pulp Fiction, right?)
Start at :43
Anyhoo, while I’m watching the dude collect his four drowned-in-coffee sundaes, guess what guys? The Rom girl starts munching on our Chicken McNuggets.
So, you see, my worries were not unfounded.
Luckily, however, I had confirmed prior to leaving the table that Vincenzo had, in fact, finished his nuggets. So I just calmly walked back to the table, collected our stuffed Smurf doll and Vince’s jacket, and kept waiting for our cone.
McDonald’s in Italy. You don’t have Royale with Cheese, but you do have Tiramisù with Coca Light, and that’s good enough for me.