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A Jewish Childhood - Sitting in McDonalds - Santa Fe
Sunday, 19 January 2014 21:20

It was bound to happen. I forgot to take an appointment out of my calendar. The old fashioned kind. The kind I buy an insert for each September at my birthday so I can track my days, carefully noting each meeting so I don't show up at the wrong time.

Well, today my 11am appointment is actually next Friday so here I am at a small round table at McDonalds off Pacheco Street and St. Michael’s Drive in Santa Fe.

I don't have anything until 12:15pm, so why not stop and try what McDonalds proclaims to be the best decaf in town. A medium size of coffee and three creams is $1.90, a good price for these days. I am ready for my new experience.

There are many tables filled with other elders asking, Hey, pass the paper," and visiting with each other leading me to believe that this may, in fact be a daily experience for this group, which I confirm by talking to two men sitting at another table close to mine. One has a cap identifying him as a Viet Nam soldier. I thank him for his service. He then tells me yes people meet here about 9am on.

Music comes from the table in back of me and after a second I identify it as a cell phone ring. It is a Cuban tune and I consider getting up and dancing but it doesn't last long enough before I learn that the man answering the phone speaks in Spanglish, and tells his friend, "No, I'll bring the money Monday."

I have noticed more and more lately that more people seen unfazed to share their lives in the middle of anywhere. Why not McDonald's?

I think about my last trip to Paris where I go in to McD's on Boulevard St. Michel because I suddenly have a desire for pommes frites (french fries), the thick ones. I walked up and ordered. I noticed mostly students or persons I would suspect to be students and after all where I stay is about one half mile from the Sorbonne, part of the French public schools.

"Pas mal," I exclaim after I put on an adequate amount of catsup and some extra salt. Based on that experience, did I go back? "Non, c'est n'ai pas pour moi."

Distracted by another elderly woman who talks with a man who has just come up to her. "Hey, do you ever see Peggy?" She responds "No.” He then comes back with the question "Hey, what's your name?" She answers in a low voice that I didn't catch.

"Yes, this is definitely the spot. Is this daily or only on Fridays? Equal distribution of women to men.

One of the workers is mopping the floors. Perhaps it was really jammed a couple of hours ago.

The McCafe? Okay. But it brought a chance to write, priceless.

Meanwhile out the window I note that the cars are lined up to get a chance to order.

I have missed this opportunity for social interaction, which for me usually takes place at Trader Joes or Whole Foods. Just goes to show me there is so much I don't know about my hometown.

Again, thanks for reading my Jewish Childhood Blog. See you again soon.