Monday, September 21, 2015

This and that

First of all, thanks to those who responded positively to my blog about wanting to help out the refugee situation.  I talked with some of my close friends in town who were feeling quite the same way and it warmed my heart.  I can't say I have all the answers or THE way to help.  My friends and I all did some researcch and found a few outlets.  We are certainly not the only ones interested in helping and there are channels that already exist, especially on the UK side.

So if you are interested in donating goods or money, the Secours Catholique, a Catholic charity, seems to be a reputable one.  They are focusing a lot on the Calais migrant camp since this is close to our area in France.  Otherwise the Red Cross/Red Crescent is, in my opinion, a good place to donate as well.  Doctors without Borders seems to be doing a lot for refugees on site in Europe as well.

Now back to our regularly scheduled program...(frivolity and food)

Work has been picking up a little, which sometimes means grabbing lunch in between companies or eating in my car.  I took advantage of a two-hour break between classes and companies to eat at McDonald's.  It's always an event for me, being American and all.  I feel special going there.  And in France they have free wifi, so I can surf for free on my iPad.

So on a rainy Thursday when I was feeling a little glum, a trip to Micky Dee's (does anyone else still call it that?) cozied me up.  I ordered their Tex Mex burger (not so spicy) and a caramel frappé (basically a milkshake) and sat down.  At this particular restaurant off the highway, there were a lot of business men and women grabbing a bite.  I found it funny to watch the smartly-dressed folks sit alone and, what else, surf on their phones, as they munched fries.  One business man saw an old acquaintance so they sat together to break the solitude.

I ate and texted or checked my Facebook feed or, gasp, took a look at my lesson for the afternoon.  I do actually sometimes work.  One of my texts concerned something I was afraid I'd overlooked in a file so I checked with my colleague who seemed to have overlooked it as well.  I resisted temptation to text other colleagues for reassurance.  Do you ever feel you are in perpetual conversation with all this texting?

As I was still feeling chilled from having gotten a bit wet walking from my car, I ordered a coffee. When I asked for milk, the cashier told me in that case I would need the double latté, ten centimes more.  So I dug deeper into my coin purse for the extra ten cents.  But in the end she forgot and still gave me a regular non-milk coffee.  So I went back up and asked and she corrected the mistake.  "There's no milk, in this?" I asked, questioningly, not accusingly.  But in France, we are somewhat excused from being overly polite in customer service situations.  How liberating ;) I did make sure to say, "Merci, madame."  And I went back to warm myself (and burn my tongue) with my latté and think about my afternoon.

Notice how the French Mc Donald's logo is green with a yellow M?  In Europe they have changed the colors from the additional red and yellow and, in France at least, are increasing their market share while the US Mc Donald's are struggling a little.  Some in France even have a Strabucks-like display case, as this article points out.

They sometimes come out with some strange offerings though, like the shiny bacon they recently advertised.  It is good that they include more fruits with the kids' menus, but Juliette was not wowed by the kiwi on a stick and finds their apples have a strange taste from the vitamin C preservatives.  As for me, my little McDo ("mack doe" as the French shorten it) trip was satisfying and had warmed me inside and out.  I left, ready to tackle the rest of my day.

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