Sunday, September 25, 2011

Item From the Past: Moscow Big Mac

In late September 1994, we visited Moscow, seeing many of the places that tourists usually see: Red Square, the Kremlin, Lenin's Tomb, St. Basil's, the Pushkin Museum, and the world's largest McDonald's. You know, the McDonald's that had opened to such curious interest from Muscovites in 1990. I've read that the 23,680-square-foot McDonald's remains the world's largest even now, though an even larger one is slated to open in London in time for the Olympics next year.

By 1994, the lines were still longish, but not around the block. Even so, the Moscow location was sprawling and busy. It had bouncers. It was the only McDonald's I've ever been to that had bouncers.

Among the small group I went with that evening, I was the only American. Also represented were a Japanese (Yuriko, that is), Britons, Australians, a Swiss, and I forget who else, but it was a motley international crew. Maybe we all wanted to confirm, once and for all, that the West had won the Cold War. The food turned out to be exactly what you'd expect. It was a McDonald's, after all.

I managed to find a souvenir during my visit, one that few others probably have. A paper place mat. It's too large to scan in toto, so I did it in two pieces. First, the happy McDonald's crew. Maybe happy because it beats working on the collective farm their parents did.

The right side of the mat featured what looks to be a job application.

To residents of Russia in 1994, the application might have been just as much of a novelty as the McDonald's itself.

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home