Nov 29, 2009

McDonald's stew bums

Running late to work one day, I swung by the Wudaokou McDonald's and scarfed down a Sausage McMuffin. In the second floor seating area, I was a little disturbed to find not one, not two, but three stew bums camped out at one of the booths.

The three stew bums were sitting around a table, with three big bottles of er guo tou (Chinese moonshine) arranged before them. They had even brought their own glassware with them. These guys were real professional drinkers.

I must say, they kept to themselves. I sat about fifteen feet away, and didn't smell a thing. Had these been San Francisco bums, you would have smelled 'em a football field away, and they would've been hassling you for spare change right away.

After I finished my breakfast, I walked downstairs and asked to speak with the shift manager. All in Mandarin, of course, just in case you were wondering.

When the manager came over, I asked her, "Hey, did you know there's three drunk bums in the upstairs seating area?"

She says, "Yes, we know."

"So why don't you call the cops on them?", I asked.

"We've called the cops bunches of times. The police come over, the bums leave, and the next day the bums are back here again. As long as the bums aren't yelling at anyone or acting disorderly, the cops can't do anything to them."

You'd think that Beijing would have some ordinances against drinking 120-proof liquor at nine in the morning at a McDonald's, which, as far as I know, doesn't have a liquor license. There have to be some vagrancy laws on the books as well. Not to mention, McDonald's is private establishment, and they have the right to throw out non-customers as they see fit.

If you've got kids and you're thinking about throwing a birthday party or some other even at McDonald's, skip it. There's just too much riff-raff there. If you're a hard-core drinker, on the other hand, you're going to love McDonald's in Beijing.


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