From Last Resort, to Guilty Pleasure, to Inexpensive Indulgence

Our story with McD’s.

Last Resort Stage

Many of you have heard our McDonald story.  For those of you who haven’t… read on.

After we first started officially dating, Andrew decided he was going to take me out to dinner for my birthday. Yippeee!!! He did the appropriate building up of suspense. He told me that he had gotten reservations for somewhere special that he thought I was going to enjoy. I was beyond excited. Here my first beau was going to take me out on my first fancy dinner! A momentous occasion to say the least.

A few days after my birthday the time for the date had arrived. I had yet to discover the place. I drove to Edgewater where I met Andrew at a Wawa’s. The plan was for me to follow him the rest of the way to the surprise location. Looking back I wonder if I should have noticed some gleam of mischief. If there was I blame my ignorance on my enthrallment with my knight in shining armor.

Little did I know that my knight in shining armor was about to commit one of his few less than shining moments.

As I drove in my Corolla behind his Nissan, I noticed some golden arches in the distance. A fleeting thought crossed my mind, “He had better not go to McDonald’s.” (The fact that such a thought should have even crossed my mind should have given me pause. However, I quickly dismissed the thought.

The thought came back and intensified as Andrew’s car turned into the parking lot of McD’s. The whole time I followed his car into the parking lot and as I parked beside him, I thought to myself, “This cannot be happening.” It was happening. Andrew proceeded to proudly climb out of his parked car. He came to my open door, where I sat stunned. I voiced my earlier thoughts. He audaciously replied, “I made reservations!” He thrust a bouquet of handpicked flowers into my own hands. After the romantic gesture he then told me that we were not yet at our final destination. I sighed with relief.

We spent the evening a block away from the golden arches at a hibachi grill. The evening was spent in blissful conversation. Thankfully the horrific memory of our first stop remained faded for the rest of the evening.

During this time in my life I abhorred McDonalds. I cconsidered it’s primary skill to clog arteries of millions of Americans with succulent fat. I avoided it like the plague. I would rather stop at Taco Bell or Wendy’s then to stop at the offending fast food place (not that either of those options were particularly better). I RARELY stepped foot into McD’s. Andrew didn’t frequent the establishment too often on his own. As our relationship strengthened, so did our resolve not to readily offer our patronage to the popular fast food store. Our most common reason for stopping at McDonald’s was not the food, but rather was the Netflix kiosks.

Guilty Pleasure

Fast forward 1.5 years.

Our first few weeks of Singapore life we did what we could to try the local fare. But there were days and nights that we wanted nothing less than to eat a slice of home. One night we stopped at McDonalds and purchased a Big Mac, Dbl Cheeseburger, Nuggets, and Fries. It was much more expensive than the regional cuisine, but we didn’t care. We wanted something that we could rely on.

I am ashamed to say that I now enjoyed stopping at McDonald’s to pick up some familiar cuisine. Grease? Who cared? Frozen burgers heated up? At least they were burgers. I didn’t know a Big Mac could taste so good. In fact, I must admit my ignorance. I had no idea that a Big Mac had thousand island dressing on it. I liked it!

McD’s became a splurge for us. When we didn’t want  to spend the S$3-4/person on some sort of Singapore adventure – we would go and spend the S$6/person on a McD’s dinner. Wrong on so many levels. But, we did  it anyways.

Inexpensive Indulgence

The McDonald’s of Singapore do offer that feeling of “this is like the States.” However, they also have their differences from the chain in America. No more Netflix 😦 There goes that reason for going to McDonald’s.

There may be a lack of kiosks that hold DVDs … but they do have delivery. We have seen little delivery motorbikes with a McD’s insulated bag attached.We have yet to try out this feature of McDonald’s – but we’ve found others that have already caused us to increase our frequency of stops at McD’s.

A few weeks ago friends of ours (American couple) convinced us to choose McDonald’s as the place to eat for our shared lunch. We were skeptical at first, but they assured us that their lunch deal was worth it. Lunch deal? We didn’t even know that such a thing existed.

Apparently during the lunch hours (12-3pm) McDonald‘s offers their meal selections at S$4.50! This deal included fries and a drink. What’s more is this is cheaper than some of the individual sandwiches that they offer during non-lunch hours.

Then there’s also the beauty of the ice cream.

Mmm... melted and eaten quickly!

Before you question our enjoyment of ice-cream at the golden arches, let me describe  the ice cream situation here. Ice cream is NOT cheap. Eddy’s brand – 1 quart will run you more than S$10. And it’s not just Eddy’s. All of the brands of ice cream are like that. House brands, if and when they exist, aren’t much better. You can by a Haggen Daas (the smaller containers, mind you!) for $14. Long story, short – buying ice cream at the store, doesn’t really turn out to be a cheap snack to have on hand.

We tried buying frozen yogurt (similar to Pink Berry or Red Mango). We bought one fresh serving, in the smallest available serving dish, enough to satisfy both of our dessert cravings. S$13. No joke.

So ice cream is expensive here. It probably goes back to the fact that Singapore  has no cows, thus no locally produced milk, thus dairy products = imported = expensive.

We discovered soft serve  vanilla ice cream at IKEA for S$1.50. Sweet. Nothing special, unless of course you count the inexpensive price tag!

And then last week we realized that soft serve at McD’s is even cheaper. S$0.70 – that’s 57 cents in US dollars!!! It’s no Ben & Jerry’s, but it’s only 70 cents. It doesn’t have the fancy waffle cone you get at IKEA… But to make up for it it’s sold at all the McD’s. Slightly more plentiful, and way more available than going out to 1 of 2 IKEAs for similar fare.

Oh, it is absolutely delightful.

I never thought I would be so thrilled to have a McD’s at the nearest shopping center. It rivals our favorite Strawberry Soursop. (Though, I must say that the smoothie wins out.) For just a few cents is a cheap and convenient way to cool down.

There you have it. That is how McD’s of Singapore has gone from my last resort to one of our standby indulgences.

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2 responses to “From Last Resort, to Guilty Pleasure, to Inexpensive Indulgence

  1. Pingback: Love Story with McD’s Continued | Randles like Candles

  2. Pingback: Birthday Surprises and Adventures | Randles like Candles

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