As maybe the only person who still wanted a ‘Big Mac’ after watching the ‘Super Size Me‘ (2004) documentary film it should be no surprise that I sometimes like nothing better than a visit to the golden arches (known in these parts as Makudonardos or just simply ‘Mac’) or ‘First Kitchen‘ which is the Japanese equivalent selling delicious flavoured fries.
Like most other things going to these types of restaurants is different in Japan as there are many types of person there. The first type of person is the one like myself; the gaikokujin who pops in and scoffs down a set meal while being surprised and amazed at the others. Space is limited in Tokyo so many people use fast food restaurants to relax in. Other common types are:
Sleeping Schoolgirl – this girl buys maybe one or two cheap things on the menu and consumes them with all her books out before inevitably falliing asleep as only Japanese people can in public.
Preening Queen – this is the girl who uses the restaurant more as a make up studio and concentrates all efforts on her appearance using a number of different tools and sprays.
Seat Hogger – this person doesn’t seem to understand that seats are limited but still selfishly uses up an extra seat or two for their coat and/or bag and gets away with it due to the Japanese lack of confrontation.
The One Drink Nurser – they buy one cheap 100 yen coffee and think this entitles them to while away hours conducting their business or reading or whatever while nursing their drink.
The Free Meeting Venue – usually consisting of old biddies having nothing more than a drink each while having their coffee morning chinwag.
The Slow Eater – This may help explain why Japanese girls are usually slimmer than their western counterparts. Although they may buy a regular meal they seem shy of eating it and just nibble at a few fries before they go cold and a few more are later consumed before the rest is left.
No doubt there are many more types but overall fast food restaurants seem to be far from a quick in-and-out for many Japanese who use the place as an office, library or their own quiet place away from their families and the everyday pressures and intensity which comes with living in such an over-populated city.