Daily Archives: January 27, 2008
The Road to Bali
My journey to the Sangiran Early Man Site was a bit of a let down to say the least. It was by far the least impressive World Heritage Site I’ve seen so far. It consisted of a museum with two rooms of fossils and fossil replicas in glass cases. That’s it. They are working on a new museum, and they need it.
Tomorrow I’m on a long bus to Mount Bromo. Transportation and lodging to Bromo then on to Bali are a whopping $28. I’ve been hearing so much about Bali for so long I fear I’m going to be disappointed. Even the Indonesians I talk to all love Bali.
If you haven’t watched the news, former Indonesian
strongman President Suharto died today. When I went through the museum at the national memorial, there were a bunch of dioramas showing the history of Indonesia. The last two where about Suharto and were blatant propaganda. I thought it was sort of odd it was still there considering he wasn’t president anymore. Today I read an article in the English language about that very diorama and removing it.
Indonesia has declared seven days of mourning. I really don’t know what people think of the guy. No one has said anything good or bad, at least not to me. He has a kid in jail from corruption charges and I think there is still a ton of money his family has that might go back to the government.
While Suharto isn’t spoken of much, Sukarno (the first president of Indonesia) seems to be truly looked up to. He is the Indonesian George Washington.
The Big Mac(Donald’s) Update
Since I last did a McDonald’s update, I’ve gained a lot of readers. For those who are new, I try to eat at a McDonald’s restaurant in every country I visit. McDonald’s in every country are just a little bit different as they adjust the menu to fit local tastes. Eating at McDonald’s is an attempt to try and see how each country is different through the lens of something which is very familiar. I do not usually go out of my way to eat fast food, but I do eat at least this one meal at each place.
My last update was in Taiwan, so I have Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong/Macau to fill everyone in on . Brunei didn’t have a McDonald’s that I could see (but they did have Pizza Hut and Jollibee’s) and I’ll wait till I pass through KL to talk about Malaysia.
You think Japan you think seafood. It should come as no surprise that Japan’s contribution to the global McDonald’s menu should come from the sea. They have given us the Fliet-o-Ebi, or the shrimp sandwich. What was interesting was that the Japanese McDonald’s all had cheaper seafood sandwiches than beef sandwiches. This is opposite (outside of Lent) as it is almost anywhere else. The filet-o-fish was the cheapest thing on the menu and the Quarter Pounder was the most expensive.
I had a helluva time finding Diet Coke in Japan and South Korea. I guess they aren’t that fat so don’t feel the need to drink diet coke that often. I’d usually get a Grape Fanta when I ate in Japan.
In the Asian McDonald’s I’ve visited (except for Hong Kong) they had a very clever system for getting rid of your garbage. Each garbage bin had a drain attached for dumping your ice and extra beverages. You were then expected to stack your cups. Also, hard plastic like forks, drink tops and straws were usually put in a separate bin. It was very efficient. Very Japanese. The drain on the garbage is one of those simple ideas that really should be adapted everywhere. It reduces the weight and potential mess of the garbage by removing the liquids from the bag. It also reduces the volume by stacking the cups. It would be very simple to implement and I think everyone would use it immediately.
South Korea has one of the more boring menus I’ve seen so far. The only really unique thing I saw was the pumpkin pie, which sounds like something that is probably on the menu in North America in the fall, but I don’t recall ever actually seeing it.