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March 23, 2012

PVX: McDonald’s in Singapore

The final McDonald’s — country number 29! — in Singapore.   Our video record of eating at the restaurant chain sort of ended with a whimper; the signature meal was the same as in Kuala Lumpur, so we didn’t get to try anything new and exotic.  Come to think of it, the most memorable thing about it was that it was Christmas day and some of the cashiers had on Santa hats.

As I mention in the video, Oksana and I already ate at an Australian McDonald’s in 2008, so even though we’re going to be living in Brisbane for the year, it’s not like we’re in a hurry to take our camcorder down to “Maccas” (as they call it here.)  Still, you can bet we’ll probably record another video before we leave.  The McOz has a slice of beetroot on it!

March 16, 2012

PVX: McDonald’s in Malaysia

It had been awhile since we’d eaten at McDonald’s.  Neither Laos, Vietnam, nor Cambodia had the franchise, so we had to wait until our Southeast Asian loop was done before we could eat there again in Malaysia.  Wasn’t hard to find a restaurant in Kuala Lumpur; there was one right outside our hotel.  Oksana went for the Malaysian variation on fried chicken and I tried out the seasonal Prosperity Menu (I guess it only occasionally comes around, like the McRib back home.)  Mmmm…  I can still taste that black pepper!

Not much else to say, except that we saw something new and McDonald’s related around town.  Lots of cars had what looked like Golden Arches parking stickers on their windshields.  Turns out that signifies the driver is a member of the McDonald’s VIP Drive-Thru club, which, I guess, entities them to a small freebie once a month.  Don’t know what McDonald’s gets out of that, but judging by the number of stickers we saw, it seems like it’s a very popular club.


February 3, 2012

PVX: McDonald’s in Thailand

We waited over a month to do our McDonald’s video for Thailand, knowing that if we did, we’d be able to wrangle our friends into trying it with us after they arrived.  That was a long time to wait to try a Samuari Pork Burger, let me tell you!  Was it worth the wait?  You’ll have to watch the video to find out…

Not much to say about Thai McDonald’s that we don’t already say in the video.  I will say that it’s darn difficult to find cover footage for editing when you’re shooting five people with one camera.  See if you can may spot any editing tricks I might have used to avoid a jump cut!

Thanks again to Wendy, Dusty, and Sarah for helping out (we certainly wouldn’t have tried so many things without them!)  We’ll eventually see them one more time when I put together a video about our shared experience at a Thai cooking school.  In the meantime, be sure to read about their take on Thailand on their blog, Roam the Planet!

January 21, 2012

PVX: McDonald’s in the United Arab Emirates (Dubai)

You always feel like you’re getting short-changed when you’re only in a country for a day or two.  We had only 17 hours to spend in Dubai, but I’m surprised how much we got to see and do.  We wandered two gigantic malls, went snow skiing, walked the base of the world’s tallest building, road around the city on a tour bus, and of course we ate at McDonald’s for lunch!

Most of the menu in Dubai’s McDonald’s was the normal fare;  the stuff that wasn’t was almost exclusively vegetarian.  We tried the Veggie Burger, spring rolls, and a McPuff!  I could have trimmed this video down a little more — it’s one of the longer McDonald’s videos we’ve made — but there are a couple funny moments that I just didn’t want to cut out.  (Plus there’s a bit of background on that whole Orbitz fiasco thing we went through.  I forgot that by this point, we still weren’t sure if we were going to get reimbursed for our new plane tickets; we eventually did!)

January 5, 2012

PVX: McDonald’s in Russia

Going to McDonald’s in Russia was almost and afterthought for us.  We spent our first week or so in St. Petersburg without stopping by one, and then, a day or two before we were set to hop on a train to Irkutsk, we realized that we might not get another chance.  I wasn’t sure there was a McDonald’s in Irkutsk, but I knew for sure there wasn’t going to be on on Kamchatka.  We’d already eaten at a Russian McDonald’s in 2006, so it wasn’t like missing it this time would bother me.  Still, we weren’t making videos back then…

So, while we were on our way to buy a new pair of hard drives, we decided to stop off for lunch.  I remembered to bring the video camera, but it turns out I forgot to bring a battery for the microphone.  The on camera mic did well enough, even if it did pick up a bit too much traffic noise.


November 8, 2011

PVX: McDonald’s in Estonia

Okay, I’ll admit it.  Sometimes recording these McDonald’s podcasts gets old.  After doing so many, back to back, I feel like they’re all the same.  Boring.  The last few visits we’ve tried to saying something new in each one, even if that’s just in the intro on closing.  Hopefully that’ll come through as we move forward.

Keeping to a weekly posting schedule has almost caught us up, too!  After this one in Estonia, we only have Russia and Dubai to edit.  However, by the time we get through posting those two, I’m sure we’ll have a recording for Thailand, too.

Back to this video:  As an intro, I tried to list off, from memory, the 25 different countries where I’ve eaten at a McDonald’s.  Fell three short because I forget Venezuela, Costa Rica, and Puerto Rico.  Also, yes, I know that Amsterdam is a city, not a country.

Don’t know if you know about it, but we have a page where we track all this: McDonald’s of the World.

Finally, we probably shouldn’t have tried to record this video outdoors on a day with such fickle weather, but the area was beautiful and I wanted to incorporate as much of old town Tallinn into the edit as I could.  Filming outdoors has its own set of challenges, however.  Have you seen the video yet?  Did you, like me, think you were hearing a horse trotting down the cobblestone street?

November 1, 2011

PVX: McDonald’s in Finland

We only really had one opportunity to eat at McDonald’s while we were in Helsinki and neither Oksana nor I were hungry at the time.  Unfortunately, I think that sort of shows in the video.  Hunger being the best spice and all that.

Anyway, we made a big deal about how incomprehensible the Finnish menu was for us, but we actually had a very helpful person taking our order.  He was an older gentleman with perfect English.  When I told him I’d have the 1955 burger, he nodded and said, “Good choice.  You’ll like that one, it’s very good!”  I’ve never had a McDonald’s cashier validate the deliciousness of my order before!

Just for fun, here’s the official Finland McDonald’s menu (at least for the Helsinki restaurant we visited.)  Can someone tell me what a Tuplajuustohampurilaisateria is?