Written June 29, 2011
I have been in Vienna for almost six weeks now and almost every single day I’ve been to McDonald’s. Is it because the Viennese version of the Big Mac is better than home? No, that doesn’t even come close. You can believe me when I say that myself and hundreds of other Vienna citizens have this same love affair going.
The two main reasons I come, one out of necessity, the other out of like, have become a mainstay for me. Here in Vienna, it is difficult to get a good ole American cup of coffee. Every cup they make is a form of expresso, which I’m not so in love with at all. Mainly because it’s way too strong for me but I will admit, the flavor is good. The McCafe gives that too me as well as a free internet hotspot.
There is a phenomena that I have seen here I hadn’t noticed in the States. McCafe’s are on almost every corner it seems here in Vienna. I know that’s an exaggeration but it seems so. In one place in the Graben, the major shopping area in downtown, there is one particular spot you can see two McCafe’s and one McDonald’s.
From what I can tell, the McCafe’s are trying to compete with all the other cafes here. Places like Café Central, where every mainstream writer of the 1800s was likely to be spotted, or Café Swartzenberg, who is known for their desserts. These places are old and have some great architecture while the McCafe is a wonderful combination of new yet trying to build in some old world charm.
I have been amazed at the people I’ve seen there: school kids, college kids, dads bringing their children, teachers bringing their classes, friends, people like me who need the internet services and so many more I can’t begin to describe them all. And they all have a story to tell. One day, we stayed almost three hours and I have tons of notes with possible story lines.
The possibilities are endless here and again, I’ve just scratched the surface. You can bet that a McCafe will be in my future as there I’ve found some of the best people watching ever.