Following last weekend's travails the Gringo was flooded with doubts and his confidence was shaken. He needed a reminder of the misery he was leaving behind in old country. It was time to go to McDonalds... In Uruguay.
The first shock upon actually entering the McDonalds was the level of organization. Over here is the McDonalds Coffee Shop, over there is the quick service ice cream stand, and here is the main counter for everything else. In front of the counter is a herd of local all appearing to be qued to order from the counter. It is possible to imagine the chaos that would ensue if they failed to seperate out these functions. Carefully watching the crowd is an attentive young lady whose job is to explain to extranjeros the locals are retarded and escort customers through the locals immediately to an open register.
After ordering I stepped off to the side and waited. It was not very long until the shift matriarch noticed a gringo standing in front of the correct portion of the counter. A pretty girl was dispatched to ask if I had ordered already, and she relayed confirmation of my foreign accent to the older lady in the sort of transparently conspicious whispering the locals imagine is discrete. The pretty girl returned with an offer of ice cream, and inquired whether I would prefer Chocolate or Dulche De Leche, suggesting Chocolate. When I responded Dulce De Leche, fear overtook the Old Woman for the gringo seeking a slightly foreign McDonalds experience MUST be treated like a spy from corporate and bribed with much ice cream.
As far as the food, their use of the local beef is a nice contrast to the otherwise transnationally consistent product. The service however is something else. Between the opportunity to exercise the judgment organ last night and this morning's pleasant breakfast show, the confidence is restored to roughly pre misadventure level and hopefully sharpened by a bit of humility. Being extranjero remains a superpower, but only when the power is worked in the right directions.