Thursday, May 05, 2005

McShot's - Number one for bile

The US is a particularly good example of this phenomenon. You ask someone where to go for lunch and they'll tell you that one place has great ribs, another gives you hot towels after the meal, a third does the most amazing Caesar salad and this last place has the best cheesecake. There isn't a single place which can be recommended across the board. Each establishment likes to be famous for one item, one speciality into which all the advertising dollars and creative effort is concentrated. It's more efficient this way, advertising and word of mouth bring the crowds and they'll all order the same thing. Makes it easy for the chef, the purchasers, the waitresses, everybody. You don't have to worry about the details or the garnish, just deliver on the one thing everybody expects and all else will be forgiven.

Of course, like Starbucks, SUVs and chronic obesity, all good things make the journey East. Take a look at this crazy shit from the UK.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

100,000 Welcomes? That'll be 50 quid.

Before I get going with this, I am no xenophobe. I despise all nationalities equally.

Yesterday a man called at my door. He was unable to communicate with me beyond handing me a small slip of paper where written in English was approximately the following:

"Hello, I am a poor student from Poland. I need money to help me etc etc, so I am selling these pictures which I have drawn..."

So far so heartbreaking. I skim to the bottom while fumbling in my pocket for the 2 Euro coin I know is in there somewhere...

"1 picture = €12"

12 Euros? That can't be right. I ask to see a picture, it’s an A3 photocopy of a poor pencil sketch.

"You want me to pay €12 for a photocopy? Sorry man."

Without remorse, I send him packing with nothing.

Its just another illustration that the cost of living here has now got way out of hand. Not only have I lost all perspective when it comes to the reasonable price for any given item, but now the door to door beggars are taking the piss.