I’m now in Istanbul Ataturk Airport, awaiting my flight to Barcelona via Paris CDG. No, actually, by the time you are reading this, I should already be on my way, assuming there’s no flight delay.
Bloody hell, I could find ZERO places with power plug to recharge my laptop/phone, not even near the flight gates. And I’m not sure if it will be more or less the same in CDG or not. To be safe, I have switched off my phone, and I will use the laptop until it dicks below 50% power. I’m at 89% now.
Also, I could find no place to sit down and wait, all the cafes and lounges are fully occupied, so I am now typing this blog post in a beer cafe, after paying 22 TL for a beer. I’m really hating this airport now.
Let me tell you about my breakfast today. I went to McDonald’s. Yes, McDonald’s!
I know, you must be thinking: “What the f–k, dude? What the f–k? Thought you’re gonna be eating like a local??”
And this is where I’m gonna set you straight. You see, with McDonald’s, they always have some special item(s) on the menu that is unique to that specific country. For example, you won’t be able to find the Prosperity Burger in other McDonald’s anywhere else in the world. And I really want to see what’s the unique item for McDonald’s Turkey. So here I am, trying to sample yet another “local delight”.
Or so I thought…
I immediately identified my target, Turkey’s version of Big Breakfast. To my dismay, the guy fronting the counter replied to my orders with “No have this.”
Okay… “Then what do you have?”
“Only Number 1. Egg McMuffin!”
Man, this is bullshit! This McDonald’s outlet on Istiklal Cd. is crap, man! [frustration #1]
Still, I was on the clock. I needed to eat, and to head back to the apartment, and to shower, pack up and check out. So I didn’t have much of a choice here but to place my orders.
To my surprise, the food was delivered from upstairs, through a conveyor belt! This is kind of cool…
Anyway, here’s my orders…
I was surprised that my muffin and hash brown came in a bag. Well, I guess maybe it is not such a surprise, they can’t deliver a hash brown and a burger separately through that vertical belt I suppose…
The muffin and hash brown were nothing to shout about, I think they use the same pre-packaged processed ingredients worldwide. But the coffee and cake, by my reckoning, taste much better than the stuff we get in Malaysia’s McCafe.
So, I was seated upstairs and I had a good vantage point on what’s going on downstairs. By the way, I have to note that there’s not many tables and seats available here. I guess the locals don’t really like to dine-in inside a McDonald’s here.
Midway through eating, I noticed a couple came in and ordered something. And then I watched the belt delivered the bag down. And then I watched the lady opened the bag and took out a tray looking package.
What the… The only thing that requires a tray here was the item that I tried to order but met with “No have this”! So they DO have the breakfast platter after all! Why the heck did that guy not want to sell it to me? Was it because I look foreign? But that doesn’t make sense, the breakfast platter is supposed to be a tourist draw, so why refuse to sell to a tourist?? Dang, I could not understand this at all! [frustration #2]
Annoyed, I quickly gobbled up my food and got ready to leave when I spotted this flight of stairs.
Huh? There’s another level? Weird, I’ve never seen a McDonald’s of more than two levels high. Intrigued, I climbed the stairs.
And you know what I found? Another level with its own counters and a lot more seatings! What the..?? Why is there two different food counters inside one McDonald’s outlet??
This was when a couple of things began to dawn on me. Things that was confirmed by the upstairs’ counter lady.
- The ground floor counter is actually a Take Go counter and McCafe. The first floor seatings are specifically for McCafe customers.
- The second and third floors are the actual McDonald’s dine in restaurant.
- People rarely order the Breakfast Platters for Take Go because it is not convenient to eat on the go so if anyone wants to do it then the crew has to explain the inconvenience of it, and the ground floor guy is new and speak limited English, so he took the easy way out by telling me “No”.
Damn it! I wonder if this is the normal layout for a McDonald’s in Istanbul. There was absolutely NO indication that the dine-in section was upstairs, so how the hell should I know? I see a counter upon entering, naturally I would assume that’s where I place my orders!
Well, maybe there was some indication, but because they’re all written in Turkish so I could not understand them. 🙄
To make matters worse, the ground floor guy was a… guy, and speaks limited English. The second floor girl was a… girl, pretty, and speaks good English. Fark!!! [frustration #3]
And that was my adventure (or misadventure) at a McDonald’s outlet in Istanbul. I’m sorry for wasting your time to read a long winded article on something as trivial as having a meal in McD… 🙄
And my time is up for now. Between writing this post and Facebook-ing and checking some information about Barcelona, my laptop is now left with 45% power, so I better log off. I’ll see you again when I do, I guess…