Beth Gregory was the first to notice. Michael Gregory was first to confirm it. Then it happened. With the speed of Usain Bolt, word spread around our area of of this city that the famed Golden Arches of McDonald’s are making their way to town. Since that magical moment, the American guys of this area have checked in at the construction site and reported back to everyone else daily.
McDonald’s will open up around 200 yards from my apartment complex by the end of this month. I know this sounds crazy to be excited about this, and it is. The food here is terrific. I am fortunate to live in a region with some of the most creative, flavorful, and delicious food on the planet. However, sometimes you just want some that tastes like you remember it as a kid. McDonald’s is such a taste. I’m sure we will all be sick of it within the first few weeks of opening, but for now, I feel like I am five again waiting for the Christmas where I will get my first bike. McDonald’s is a blessing from abroad.
Now from the trivial to the significant. . .
This week, I have also been blessed by the arrival of two families from the States, both dear friends. They live in my same complex. The Stuarts (Rush, Meredith, and Jack) arrived early in the week. They were students here a few years ago, where we became friends when they were both singles. Now they are back as a married couple, with little Jack in tow. It has been great helping them set up their new lives here and thrilled to have them back in our community.
The Littlepages (Scott, Cat, Noah, and Adelaide) arrived Friday at mid-night. Even though they had been traveling for over 30 hours, with the added stress of a toddler and an infant, they were a beautiful sight walking out of baggage claim. The Littlepages arrived in this city last year and went back to the States this summer to have Adelaide, but not before becoming dear friends and trusted confidants of mine.
As I talked about this past spring in this post, my biggest challenge to living overseas is constantly saying good-bye to wonderful people and close friends. However, one of if not the biggest benefit to living here is getting to do life with incredible people. The three couples just mentioned, the Gregorys, the Stuarts, and the Littlepages are three such families.
So, as I type this, I am grateful to the core for new arrivals from abroad this week. McDonald’s will be great. The thought of McMuffins and coffee for breakfast over the course of this long, brutal winter will definitely make getting out of bed a little easier in December. However, I am most grateful for my friends, both local Asian friends and those from abroad, whom make the community over here more than a group of neighbors and colleagues.
We truly are an extended family.
Oh yeah, one more new thing is this cheesy mustache. Not my best look, but thought I would give it a shot just this once. . . don’t worry Mom, I have already shaved!
Have a great week!