Small Update from a Small Sellout.

Like this? Follow me:


What do people think of when they think France, *and* when they think of people who ride a lot of miles on le machine – the bicycle?

Food! Lots of food. Lots of good food. Yum yum yum. If anyone knows me, I can put it down and Mezcal back home has a special place in my heart for their dollar taco after ten and after a 100 mile ride: the looks on the waiters is one – not of surprise or amazement, but of seaching, searching to see if I’m drunk – if what I’m ordering is some heroic feat, put on by the gratuitous tasting of

But, no no no – it’s more that I don’t want myself to eat… myself and the price of the tacos is a price I can stomach.

So, in France, I have the problem of: wanting to taste good cuisine and,

being able to afford good cuisine.


So I’m sitting here, in a McDonalds. For the second time today. Let me defend myself.

The McDonalds here are a carbon copy of the one’s in the US, except they serve a few more salads and some different coffee (I haven’t studied the menu extensively, for obv. reasons).

They also have free wi fi, pronounced Wee Fee here and free is good, since wifi access in France goes for about 5 euro an hour, which is robbery. The problem sometimes is that it’s hard to find a power outlet. They must try to hide these well. Right now, I found one, to the right of the cashiers. These McDUHs as they’re pronounced in local slang are pretty cookie-cutter, not quite as cookie-cutter as say, an In-And-Out, but pretty close. I may find another outlet in a similar place, in the next McDUH I visit.

So, if I want to get online, like now, this is the place to go. It’s smells horrible, there’s annoying little kids and annoying beyond all understanding teenagers (and you have no idea – they buy these super power snap pop thingies – about 2-x as powerful as at home and just walk around and through them. BANG! BANG@), machines that keep going, BEEP BEEP BEEP and the worst Euro Pop imaginable, mixed in with say… top 40 from the USA. Blech.

So I’m here, with my, le big mac and my frites, the second time today, because nothing in this amazingly picturesque town is serving food. And I am starving. Except, of course, McDuh!

I can remember the last time I’ve eaten here. About two.. three? years ago? En route to Las Vegas, a friend driving and a friend stopping over for lunch at Mc-d. I got the fish sandwhich, Bad idea. The rest of the day was good, though (we won BIG). And I just inhaled it.

This morning, like a good little traveler, acting as if he’s just another local – and this is a false statement, written in touring books to make YOU feel good about yourself – I can pick myself out that I’m no where NEAR this place by anything – anything what’s so ever. Mostly, that I look like I’ve been camping in the sticks for the past few days. In short, I look homeless. That’s fine. This is McDUH. This is where, in the states, the homeless go when it’s raining and they’re cold. Guess what? Today, it’s raining, I’m cold.

Anyways, I’ve completely got off track: In the morning, like a good little tourist, I went to the boulangerie and got a few pain chocolat and a croissant avec pomme – which wasn’t so good, as the apples were just apple sauce, but it still was amazing. Along with an orange from yesterday, it made a good breakfast. At 9:30am.

I get into Argentan at about 4:00pm – which is eons in my eating schedule (if you ever adore, love me, want to be with me forever, please, my dog, feed me continually) and I look for food. I even sit down at a bar and ask in very bad, broken French, if they have food:

Vous ser cuinsine?

This gruffy man looks at me and says, “No”


So I did town, which, like all the Medivel towns, is absolutely picturesque. The huge, cathedral is absolute in heaviness from the outside, with gargoyles tricking water from the storm that just passed and flying buttresses with moss so think they’re habitat for small elm trees.

But still, I couldn’t find anything open. The kebab place was even closed. A few Tabac places, good for a drink, maybe some… peanuts? But nothing to fill up the tank. So McDUH.

If you think about it, it’s not the worst choice. The reasons it’s dimayed are actually benefits to someone like me: lots of calories in the food. Well, good! I need those. Salt content. I need that too, what with sweating and all. And another: It’s cheap. Well, pretty cheap. Good meals here do cost a lot, and the $6.90 Euro for this meal,. although not a bargain is cheaper than a lot of things, except maybe eating out of the super marche, which is a good experience in itself.

And that’s McDUH. For now. I know that’s not exactly what you thought you’d read, but it’s been a very unique and important part of my tour. Without McDUH, I couldn’t even write this post. So there.

Support Justin on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!

Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
15 years ago

“Avec Pomme” is always applesauce, at least when I’ve had it, so don’t hope for apples or you will always be disappointed. I can’t believe you’re eating at McDuh’s! Ugh. Que horrible! Rick insisted on eating there once because he had to see if the “Cheese Royale” was the same as in the states. I wouldn’t go in (yes, thank you, I AM a snob, but for free wifi I would consider choking down coffee), but I remember from the window I could see signs for the McDuh’s version of escargot. No, I did not try them, but maybe you can!Sorry ’bout the luggage. You know I’m broke to, but I’ll still paypal 5 bucks — you would for me! Maybe you should get a sketchbook and try to sell sketches to tourists, too? I bet you could rake it in that way, charm the pants off of them with your sad American in Paris sans luggage story. Everyone hates the airlines, it’s universal.Which makes me think….do they have cardboard sign guys over there at intersections? Not a suggestion, just curiosity!Trajet avec le vent!

chris martucci
15 years ago

i try to keep it a secret, but im a fan of mcd’s on occasion, too. you’re right on track: huge calories, huge carbs, lots of sodium. and its not like people like us don’t burn it off… i mean, as soon as you eat it, its gone! and just think about all the soy youre getting, too!the kids in the office i work at look at me strange when i talk about doing 200 miles on the weekend extra-carricurally, then come back from a run with a massive coke from mcd’s… they just can’t understand people like us. in fact, im so broke this week, i’m starting to arrange my laundry quarters into dollar menu quarters. if not for the $30 illegal pete’s gift card a client gave me after hearing i was hit by a car doing her run, i would probably be a dollar-menunaire all week. good luck on the rest of the trip. and if you see christian vandevelde, tell him to pick it up.

15 years ago

I would love to say that I havent been in the midst of someplace wildly fantastic sitting at a mcduhs, but I have. Crap…Glad that your on the move again. Also I like your socks…Have you made anythings to leave on the side of the road yet? How far have you gone? Any strange conversations with strangers? what are the flowers like in these fields you pass out in? Over all, what colors are france? Thats all the ?’s i have presently.In lieu of not being able to post you sandwiches I’ll have to send you e-monies, when i figure out its strange and mysterious ways. And you will have to eat some cheese in my name, as cheese is lovely. The earlier suggestion of selling sketches to tourists, brilliant. maybe they will trade you a sandwich for a drawing. It could happen.Have adventure, and dont forget to ride down hills giggling.-nikki