Your Neighborhood; Just in ANOTHER Country

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I may be half way around the world, but I could be just down the street from my home in the USA.

I woke up and grabbed some milk from a nearby 7 Eleven, throughout the day I passed by numerous Subways promoting their special footlongs of the month, and for dinner I had a meal at Outback. But this is not America, this is the international-super-city Hong Kong.

Of course there are plenty of “local” options to eat at. But it just frustrates the hell out of me how Western chains dominate local culture and commercialism. What’s next… A Starbucks among the ancient ruins of old Athens in Greece?!? Too late! I have already personally witnessed the coffee giant’s disrespectful presence in culturally significant and historic Athens. But something that shows how far we have gone with ignoring local foods and traditions is the Americanized “Mongolian barbeque” casual-dining restaurant I ate at while in Mongolia’s capital of Ulaanbaatar. I found it so funny that they were calling the food “Mongolian” when it was nothing like what the nomadic people actually eat.

So this cultural clash caused by conquering chains and Western brand building is slowly becoming more and more prevalent. But it is not all bad… I am certainly not going to make a big deal about it today while here in Hong Kong. I don’t like the local grub and gladly take shelter in the familiar comfort I get from Subway.

Sometimes it is nice to have a part of your normal routine be available even if you are in a whole other world.

I may be a 16 hour flight from home, but it is still just a six minute walk to a 7 Elven convience store. Ok there may be a few more options of soy milk available, some random bags of dried squid snacks and everything is in Chinese, but other than that, it is pretty much the same thing.

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Categories: Rants, Recommendations, Unexpected Randomness

Author:Mr. Fed Up

A guy looking for good grub. and YES....I have a website...and I am not going to bore you with one of those personal journal type of blogs. I promise. Check it out; www.FedUpFood.com

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10 Comments on “Your Neighborhood; Just in ANOTHER Country”

  1. May 30, 2012 at 9:58 pm #

    I get the appeal of a chain place – in theory, you can get the same thing in any location. But I live in a little foodie town, and it really bothers me that some (bordering on many?) locals eat in the branded places instead of trying locally-owned restaurants that often try to source foods locally. Sure, you can get a well-done burger safely at any Applebee’s, but you’ll never get one stuffed with topped with cream cheese and locally grown cherries.
    I apologize for ranting on your rant. Happy travels, and perhaps enjoy some of that squid 🙂

    • May 31, 2012 at 6:26 am #

      Haha, all rants are welcomed (and encouraged) on FED UP.

      That burger sounds really good.

      I live in New Orleans, where chains really are discouraged(especially in the heart of the city). I rarely eat at chains, so when I am on the road, eating at an Outback or Chilies or Ruby Tuesday is actually kind of an event for us. BUT, I will almost always prefer a local spot(except when I am traveling abroad, and tired of trying to put up with the regions cuisine) v

  2. May 31, 2012 at 2:08 pm #

    While local food is a great option, there are times when you just don’t like the local food. Just like you said. So a haven of some chain store or eatery is great. The think that drives me crazy is that there are some items from U.S. brands that are only available in other countries but I love them and I wish I could buy them here. One of which is the Wasabi Pringles.

    • May 31, 2012 at 9:17 pm #

      Yes, and there are even amazing cereals only found overseas. But sometimes if a product is successful enough abroad, it will make it over here. Kellogg’s Crunchy Nut cereal was first successful in the UK before being introduced here this past year. I personally am not a fan if this cereal(way too sweet, not enough nut), but I like that they are bringing it over here.

  3. June 1, 2012 at 8:12 am #

    Acting as the devil’s advocate a bit for the big western brands, they wouldn’t be able to survive overseas if the local people didn’t like the food or objected to having that western influence. I doubt that most places would just be able to survive on just visiting tourists. I can’t really fault the company because they are tapping into a market that wants their product. Not all western brands survive overseas though. Just look at Best Buy in China. They had opened up a handful of their sprawling electronic “super stores” like you see all over the US, and the stores just didn’t work. Best Buy has since closed down all of their big retail locations in China since the local population just didn’t shop there.

    Personally, I’d try to embrace some of the exotic (to me) local food and try some of those dried squid snacks at the 7-11 and other local places. I’d avoid any of the western brands unless I was really starting to miss familiar flavors (or the local food just plain sucked).

    • June 1, 2012 at 7:33 pm #

      I agree completely with you. I actually saw a CNBC documentary on best buy that brought up their failure in China.

      But many countries do embrace American chains and are excited for their arrival in their country. In college I remember a film we watched about McDonalds global expansion and how one Russian felt that going to eat at a McDodanlds in Moscow, was like going on a vacation to America.

  4. June 10, 2012 at 11:07 pm #

    Thanks for commenting on my blog! I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy the local food in Hong Kong … I loved it when I was there. And, a few times I’ve been pleasantly surprised by McDonald’s in other countries…not the food, but the atmosphere and upbeat staff attitudes, which you don’t often see in the U.S..

    • June 11, 2012 at 8:37 am #

      I agree, the SERVICE (and even the quality of the food) is FAR superior in many chains overseas then they are in the USA. But…I have found that almost all American chains overseas are NOT cheap. Thanks for reading.

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