Here's your Old Age McReminder, sir. Do you want a McYouth with that?

Nothing screams "you're old" like being in McDonald's early in the morning at this time of the year.

I find myself eating breakfast there relatively frequently lately. Sometimes you'd wake up later than you intend to - in my case, fifteen minutes later - which means you can't have a proper breakfast, because you're spending all of your time doing your bathroom things and getting dressed and actually going for work. If I'm going to work by myself, without a car, this means leaving at a quarter to six - a quarter to six in the morning! - so I'd miss the heavy traffic that gathers on our badly-planned roads at around seven.

I get off my shuttle and I'm still hungry, so off to the nearby McDonald's I go. I always have the same thing, more or less: a Sausage McMuffin with Egg and a coffee float, and sometimes a hash brown if I woke up particularly late. At seven in the morning, this particular branch near my office isn't crowded: just a couple of people on the queues, enough to foster familiarity. "Coffee float, sir?" one of the servers asked me, and I knew I've been there far too often for my benefit.

Today, though, it was packed. At seven in the morning, it is packed.

But of course it'd be packed. It's the tenth day of June. Classes have begun. And with most other establishments nearby still closed, the students of UA&P will go to the 24-hour places; inevitably, the fast food places. But would they want to be spotted eating at Jollibee? The food there is good, yes, but would they want to be seen there? (As for me, they do not have a coffee float, and if I did want to go to Jollibee, there is one at my office building. I'd rather park my bags first then go down.) So, off to McDonald's they go.

I remember ten years ago, when I was a freshman at La Salle. We all crowded at the nearby McDonald's too - back then it looked old-school and, to the dismay of the supposedly upscale crowd, did not have a McCafé. (Anybody remember the online petition to have the branch torn down, get a makeover, and a McCafé too? Remember the rationale? "If Ateneo has it, why can't we?") But I remember me and my blockmates being specifically told to avoid McDonald's on our first term, because it will be very crowded, filled with fellow frosh who do not know where to eat. This explains why I haven't been at that branch a lot during my college years; the few times I did, I was with friends. Otherwise, I'd be at the canteens, particularly what we used to call Z2, buying the sweet and soul meatballs while Naomi goaded the grills guy for free soup.

Now, of course, I'm one of those workers merely bewildered at how crowded these places can be. And then you remember. Oh yeah, it's June. Man, how time flies.

I ordered the same things, of course. Particularly hungry this morning, so there was a hash brown thrown in. Beside me, a student - hair slightly dyed brown, orange eye glasses, a pimple in her face, or maybe a mole - was ordering one of those cheap chicken sandwiches, alongside some orange juice.

"And miss," she asks the server, clutching to her folders and handbag, "do you have bottled water?"

Of course there's no bottled water in McDo. They never had it. They never will. (Unless you prove me wrong.) I had this secret smirk as the server nonetheless proceeded to ask her colleagues if they did have bottled water.

"Wala po, ma'am," she later answers.

"Ah, okay," the orange-framed girl says, and sticks to her original order.

Kids these days.

And your responses...

Post a Comment