One of the duties that I have in addition to teaching English is to act as a cultural ambassador to all the Japanese people around me. I do generally try to strike a balance somewhere between bringing it to them and thrusting it in their faces, though in this instance I was most definitely the latter…
Around the beginning of March, I notice a patch of construction on some corner down the road from my house. Lo and behold, the 28th of that month was going to be the grand opening of a new McDonald’s! Oh, what wondrous news! This would cut my drive time to the nearest location by half, and also have me pass two of them on every trip into or out of the city.
Isn’t she beautiful?
As our excitement for the grand opening grew, Saad and I decided to go over there to celebrate on the day of. Friend and retired teacher Iain joined the two of us, along with my couchsurfer from Hong Kong to indulge in the savory burgers. I couldn’t of course just eat as a patron, I also had to welcome the locals by hauling a certain Uncle Sam costume out of storage. Saad and I had joked about me unearthing it for the big day, but I think there were doubts as to whether I would actually go through with it.
I forgot my bow tie
I did. And there were a lot of people leaning over, taking photos, and laughing as I swaggered on in and nonchalantly placed my order. Most of the students were Saad’s, else Iain’s from when he held that position, but as far as I could tell none of them were mine. I will be teaching at Saad’s school soon, where I find it very hard to imagine that they wont remember me. In general, I always enjoy when I can succeed to educate the Japanese public on American culture. Putting the oddity and spectacle of the situation aside, the food and our conversation was all great.