Three days ago, I was woken up quite early by Dad peeking in through the door to let me know he was leaving within the hour.
I got out of bed, reluctant to leave it’s warmth, but excited to go pick up Mom. Despite the effort Dad and I made to be quiet and not wake the boys, they were up bouncing around the house almost as soon as we were. We headed out into the morning light. A slight rain was drizzling down onto the concrete jungle below. A cat stretched lazily and sauntered out of sight as we wandered towards the car rental. Few of the fruit vendors were out yet, and those that were there yawned as we walked past, not even bothering to attempt to reel in their first customers of the day.
Upon arriving at the car rental, we discovered we were quite early, and had an hour still before the shop would open. Dad looked at his watch, and then at our surroundings. “Well kids, I suppose we’d better eat breakfast.” None of the shops were open yet, and having nowhere else to go, we made a beeline for the nearest McDonalds.
The very fact that there is a McDonalds in Patong should tell you something about the city.
Only the cities that make the “tourist hotspot” list posses one of these greasy American restaurants. I am ashamed to say that I was in fact, quite excited to eat there. I must say, I’m only ever excited to go to an American restaurant when we aren’t actually in America! Ezra pushed the doors open, and into an air-conditioned, red and gold piece of the States we ventured. There was the giant plastic clown, with his gigantic red shoes and slightly maniacal grin. There were the cheap plastic toys, cheaply advertised in a large plastic box. The smell of grease, grease, and more grease was in the air. We took our orders from the woman at the cashier. She greeted us with a wide smile, speaking to us in prompt English. Our food came quickly and we made our way to our seats.
There they were: Soggy buns, a thin patty of processed meat, the unnaturally perfect egg, and a delicious hash-brown.
To my amazement, everything in the restaurant was in English. Signs, text on the wrapping paper, the music, even the announcements! I caught myself staring around as if I was in Disney, and laughed. Apparently I’ve been out of the States too long!
After our hasty meal, we headed back to the car rental building, and waited for another ten minutes before a little Malaysian woman in her tight blue uniform came to let us in. The boys and I sat on the torn couches as Dad did the paperwork, and soon we were loading into our new van. The drive to the airport took just under an hour, even though Dad was driving as fast as he could. When we finally got there, we picked up one very tired mama and drove back to the apartment.
For those of you who don’t know, Mom spent the past three weeks in the U.S, visiting friends and family and attending my cousins wedding. She had a wonderful time, but was extremely exhausted upon arriving back in Asia. Thank you, to everyone who took care of her while she was away! We’re very glad to have her back with us!