Welcome to McDonald’s. May I take your New World Order?

YOU CAN’T ESCAPE. Maybe you thought that going to Egypt, Israel, China or Malaysia would spare you the sight of the golden arches. Maybe you thought you could see the iconic structures of Rome, cover every inch of the Louvre, or sightsee in historic Vienna without being jarred by the realization that McDonald’s is a world leader in globalization. But you certainly saw quickly that you were wrong.

Billions and billions served, it’s true. Sometimes the biggest fast food chain in the world makes an attempt to blend, but when they can get away with it, that yellow M towers over the scenery, a beacon of fake cheese and pressed meats, omnipresent, infinitely adaptable, and painfully conspicuous, no matter how thoroughly entrenched in centuries old architecture the branch may be.

The Economist claims that its Big Mac Index (which compares prices of the sandwich by nation) “is arguably the world’s most accurate financial indicator to be based on a fast-food item.” McDonald’s, it seems is everywhere, and not going away.

Feature image: PINEAPPLE XVI with tweaks by author.


Luxor Temple, Egypt

Luxor Temple of ancient Thebes, constructed 1400 BC, court of Amenhotep III, and a prime view of the nearby McDonald's. Photo: k9nine.


Rome, Italy

We can't be sure. Is McDonald's directing us to the Pantheon or to itself? Both? Photos: saragoldsmith.


Yangshou, China

Ahhh. A beautiful day in a beautiful place by the side of a beautiful river with karsts, trees, birdsong, and a McDonald's. Photo: ToGa Wanderings.


Negev Desert, Israel

Rich with history, inhabited for at least 4,000 years, once the Kingdom of Solomon then Kingdom of Judah and now home to a McDonald's. Photo: SpecialKRB


Plaza de Armas Cusco, Peru

Historic Plaza de Armas in Cusco was once capital of the Incan Empire, site where hero Túpac Amaru II was executed, and see those arches in the upper right? They're not quite golden, but maybe the rich Incan history makes up for that. Above: guillenperez Below: Rogério Ferraz


Piazza della Repubblica, Italy

Piazza della Repubblica where Naiads frolic, or maybe they're running to grab a McRoyale. Photo: timatymusic


Beijing, China

Beijing, China: McDonald's towering over Beijing pedway. Photo: kenner116


Bavarian style McDonald's in Leavenworth, WA, USA

In 1962, a project was undertaken to transform the economically bereft Leavenworth into a Bavarian village to boost tourism. Witness perhaps the only Bavarian style McDonald's in existence, but I bet they're still serving Quarter Pounders instead of the Hamburger Royal TS. Photo: internets_diary


Selangor, Malaysia

Scenic roadside view from the Klang Valley in Selangor, Malaysia. With a McDonald's. Photo:: uduokkamah


Vienna, Austria

Palais Wertheim is the home to the first ever McDonald's in Austria. Photo: S1


Valparaiso, Chile

Valparaíso,Chile: Valpo camouflaged, but pink in the wrong part of town. Photo: Anna Maj Michelson


Tempere, Finland

The Commerce Building is noteworthy architecturally and mentioned on several tourist sites for Tempere. It also houses a McDonald's. Photo: M62


Aswan Dam, Egypt

McDonald's on the Nile. Photo: Karelj


McDonald's at the Martinstor in Freiburg, Germany

My friend, trilingual translator extraordinaire Valeria Otero says of this Micky D's, "Martinstor is one of the gates to the Altstadt (the old city), Freiburg's old city center is very well preserved and they have very strict rules regarding building's facades: supposedly, they must remain untouched. That makes the McDonald's sign stand out even more!" Photo: Flominator


Guantanamo, Cuba

McDonald's Guantanamo, making an ugly situation just a little uglier. Photo: Author unknown


McDonald's that was once a bank; Kristiansand, Norway

A former bank, this is the most imposing McDonald's yet. Photo: Tomasz Sienicki


Ohrid, Macedonia

Monumental statue, ubiquitous McDonald's. Photo copyright Sten Govaerts.