|Leaving the Yinghua Hotel for my stroll to lunch.|
|Just a hole in the wall. Only the chicken was familiar.|
A girl at the McDonald's was loudly calling attention to the automatic ordering machines. I jokingly asked, in sarcastic tone, if it had English and she surprisingly replied in English that it did. So she talked me through it, step by step. I felt special. She pushed the on-screen buttons for me as I selected what I wanted. Basic cheeseburger and fries combo was good enough. Several steps to confirm my order, then . . . to pay for it through the machine.
|Outside McD's. The little window on the right is for walk-up orders. It requires speaking Chinese.|
|Inside McD's. The ordering machines are on the right. Bring your phone app to pay!|
And I finally got my food, the special of the day: some kind of teriyaki sandwich (burger? not sure) with the usual fries, and a "bubble tea" - milk tea with tapioca balls in it. I thought it was iced coffee. I grabbed an ordinary straw for the drink but the "bubbles" clogged up the straw. The girl who tried to help me with the ordering machine rushed over with a big straw, saying emphatically "No, no, no!" She switched the straws for me, stabbing a fat straw into my cup's lid before I could say "xie xie" ('thank you').
with my tray of food to find a place to sit. So many young people just sitting and chatting or using their electronic devices, already finished eating or not eating at all, or maybe with only a drink to buy them table time. It was a Sunday afternoon, of course. Finally I found a booth right up at the front by the ordering machines. It had leftover trays/food on it. I shoved them to the side and sat down, started to eat my meal. Two older women (i.e., my age) came over and asked in Chinese if they could share the booth. I waved them in and one of them got a McDonald's employee to clean off the table for us. We did not talk to each other but we did share a moment of humor when I gestured and made a face that the sandwich wasn't so good.
Then I got up to leave. But as I was stepping through the crowded restaurant, heading to the exit, I saw the McCafe section. So I got a large iced latte (large in China = small back home) and sat on a high stool at a tall table. As I sipped my kinda cold drink, I took in the ambiance of young ladies chatting with each other and playing with their phones. So, I played with my phone, as well, while I drank my coffee. In my Chinese-style hotel room, paid for by my employer, the wifi had various sites blocked: Facebook, Google and Gmail, Twitter, Instagram, etc. But I could still access Twitter and Gmail on my phone, via my phone service, so I checked what's going on. Unfortunately, there was not enough exciting action reported on those venues to entertainment for the length of my drinking and I left the McDonald's feeling sad.
|Along the way to & from the McDonald's.|
Then I fired up the laptop and went back to work on my epic fantasy novel. I had just finished the main story line involving the dragonslayer. Early on, I had started the second story line with a chapter then put it aside to concentrate on the first story line. Now I had to go back and finish the second story line, even though the dragonslayer's story was so long already. The two story lines would come together at the end. The second story line is all about the little princess - perfect for typing in a hotel room in Beijing when you've seen all the sights already.
(C) Copyright 2010-2016 by Stephen M. Swartz. All Rights Reserved. No part of this blog, whether text or image, may be used without me giving you written permission, except for brief excerpts that are accompanied by a link to this entire blog. Violators shall be written into novels as characters who are killed off. Serious violators shall be identified and dealt with according to the laws of the United States of America.