In case anyone has not yet understood it, I am a person who enjoys the mini-adventures of life and yesterday in between visits to two wineries, I had a bit of time to kill and found myself in the horrid (my opinion and my opinion only) shopping center of Beit Shemesh. And there, cloudy day, intermittent rain, I was hungry so mini-adventure awaited. I circled the entire shopping center in search of something tempting.
The first place I encountered was Aroma. The Aroma chain of cafes is okay for a coffee but their sandwiches did not beckon. After that I found a shwarma joint and was giving that serious consideration but when I saw a young boy throwing up inside the restaurant (no fault of the restaurant, I am certain) I decided that this was not the place for me. What was left, simply stated, was MacDonald's so, taking my courage in hand into MacDonald's I wandered.
One either does it or does not do it, so I did it in big style – the double Big Mac meal, that including two burgers on three parts of a roll, an order of chips (French fries to Americans) and would you believe, a Coca Cola. On my plastic tray were a straw and several plastic tubes of ketchup. I asked for salt and that was forthcoming. I asked if there was mustard available and was told that would be an extra half shekel. I declined but the young girl behind the counter, perhaps taking pity on me, tossed a plastic container of mustard onto my tray with a smile and at no charge.
I took a place at a table outside, there to unpack my burger and chips and to stick the straw into my Cola. Got to give MacDonald's credit – not a thing has changed since my last venture into one of their zillion or so branches about a decade ago.
The burgers were made of meat. Of that I am certain. I am also sure that that meat had been extruded, pounded, and otherwise mutilated and tortured by huge metal machines until unrecognizable as anything edible and formed into patties before being frozen. As to the flavor and texture of the burgers – let me say that the only thing that made those palatable was the oddly orange colored sauce on them. The roll was so soft (should I say "mushy"?) that I think had I been challenged it would have been possible to compress it to the size of an American half-dollar
But then there was the good news. The chips were actually thoroughly enjoyable. Crisp, greaseless and full of flavor I downed those, some with nothing more than salt, a few dipped into ketchup and a few dipped into the mustard that had so graciously made itself my way. As to the Cola. Fair enough – you order Cola, you get Cola and have nobody to blame but yourself.
I am now of such an age that with a bit of luck I will not live long enough to make my way into another MacDonald's. If that does happen, however, I will gladly order two, perhaps even three orders of chips and, if the truth be told, probably enjoy the heck out of myself.
Best and Laughing Heartily at Myself