Sep 8, 2007

McDonald's breakfast

I was in the unique position one morning this past week of both being up early and not having any early conference calls. It was a perfect opportunity to enjoy a delicious McDonald's breakfast. It surprised me to see more than a few Chinese people sleeping inside of McDonalds during the breakfast period. Some of them were slumped face down on tables. Some were sprawled out inside the dining booths like they were chaise lounges. I didn't know what to make of it. I decided to take some photos so I could contemplate the significance at a later time when my body was fully awake and I was more alert.

The thing that I find strange about this photo above is the fact that these lovebirds just chugged some of that new special blend coffee that McDonald's recently started offering in China. I can't understand how someone could slug back a cup of strong coffee and then pass out on the table like Barney Gumble. The last thing I would want to do after drinking a cup of coffee is slump over a table in McDonald's and fall asleep.

On top of this, you have to realize that Chinese are overwhelmingly morning people. I suspect it has to do with a combination of the facts that:
  • The Chinese government has rigged the timezones such that sunrise in Beijing is at four in the morning, so there's an incentive to get up early and take advantage of the daylight
  • The Chinese have a long agrarian history and culture
The prevalent morning person mentality makes it even weirder to see so many of them sleeping about the McDonald's during breakfast time. Is this the start of a new trend in China? Are they becoming like night owl Californians who can't be bothered to get up before eight?

Finally, I must give my endorsement of the new McDonald's coffee. Up until recently, they had not been serving the tasty coffee that they do in the US, but rather something that tasted more like instant coffee. I don't think that the one they have now is exactly the same as in the US, but it's much better than before.


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