A Night At McDonald’s

I am travelling with my digital camera, a Leica, but I tend to leave it in my hotel room on most outings; I’m not in Karachi to take pictures, and the presence of a camera can get in the way of things. But I shouldn’t have neglected it last night, when I finished an interview in the center of town and had an hour before meeting someone else. I drove to the McDonald’s in Clifton, a trendy neighborhood by the Arabian Sea; my primary interest wasn’t a McChicken, though I consumed one, but the scene, which did not disappoint. You walk into the restaurant and to your left is a bench, upon which sits a smiling, life-size model of Ronald McDonald, painted in brilliant shades of red and yellow, with his right arm extended along the back; you cannot sit on the bench without appearing to be embraced by RM. Snuggled next to him, and giggling, though I couldn’t tell for sure, was a woman wearing a hijab, which is a black gown and veil that revealed only her eyes, which were full of mirth.

Author: Peter Maass

I was born and raised in Los Angeles. In 1983, after graduating from the University of California at Berkeley, I went to Brussels as a copy editor for The Wall Street Journal/Europe. I left the Journal in 1985 to write for The New York Times and The International Herald Tribune, covering NATO and the European Union. In 1987 I moved to Seoul, South Korea, where I wrote primarily for The Washington Post. After three years in Asia I moved to Budapest to cover Eastern Europe and the Balkans. I spent most of 1992 and 1993 covering the war in Bosnia for the Post.