The first really amusing outing was our first dinner back in the USA. Where else would we go than McDonalds? It wasn’t that we had been missing it for the last 11 months – McDonalds are everywhere in the world. We cruised the streets of San Bernardino looking for a McDonalds. I was waiting for our food when a pudgy black guy with a see-through fish-net shirt, thick glasses, dread locks and a key chain with “Jesus Saves Lives” came in and started talking to me. He bore a resemblance to a young Stevie Wonder and his belly rolls were clearly visible through his shirt. He was very upset because they made us write our names on our receipt so they could call out our name when the food was ready. “What if you are from a 3rd world country and can’t write? And this McDonalds is really going downhill. They are slow and the food is bad.”
I guess what I thought was so funny about this encounter wasn’t really his outfit (although it did make me smile), but rather the eclectic mix of weirdoes this country has to offer. People in Latin America seemed to be a little more homogenous in their outward appearance. The fact that he also just started an animated conversation with a complete stranger was unusual for us. Maybe it was just our bad Spanish, but we didn’t have so many impromptu conversations like this on the street.