Around the World in 17 McDonald’s Placemats

Audio Slideshow  •  Bob Payne  •  10.25.10 | 12:06 PM ET

Bob Payne is a contributing editor at Conde Nast Traveler. Based in New York, he has traveled to more than 140 countries.

21 Comments for Around the World in 17 McDonald’s Placemats

pam 10.25.10 | 4:15 PM ET

Just goes to show you that we can always find common ground with different nations in order to start a dialog even if its just a Spicy McChicken sandwhich!

Gary Arndt 10.25.10 | 4:30 PM ET

This collection gets my personal stamp of approval.

Mary Arulanantham 10.25.10 | 8:35 PM ET

I don’t know about placemats, but I love the Ronald McDonald outside the Grand Hyatt in Bangkok. Namaste, Ronald!

johnedison 10.26.10 | 8:51 AM ET

McDonalds is great for one thing around the world: clean toilets.

Just hope you didn’t eat the thing they call food.

John M. Edwards 10.26.10 | 9:53 AM ET

Arches or Crown, mates?

John M. Edwards

Directline Flights 10.26.10 | 10:18 AM ET

It always amazes me that there seems to be a McDonalds, KFC, Burger King etc in every country I travel to! I try to avoid them as much as possible and go for more ‘local’ food, but this is a pretty funny idea for a collection!

Bob 10.26.10 | 2:23 PM ET

Perhaps it’s not about McDonald’s the burger maker, but McDonald’s the producer and exhibitioner of art— on a tray. Which raises the question: Should you judge an art exhibition by the quality of food it serves?

sally 10.26.10 | 3:02 PM ET

You’ve got to admit, as souvenir collections go, it doesn’t get more budget-friendly than this. (PS: Anyone traveling to Athens should try the airport McDonald’s chocolate churros. Mmmm.)

Brussel Sprout 10.26.10 | 6:05 PM ET

If “local” food is so good, how come all the local kids are eating at McDonald’s?—A ten-year-old traveler

Grizzly Bear Mom 10.27.10 | 11:15 AM ET

The local kids eat at McDonalds because it is cool to do so.  Also because McDonalds food is full of sugar, salt and fat which tantilizies the tastebuds.  Freshly prepared food tastes much better.  I only eat McDonalds when I am running through the train station.

sally 10.27.10 | 11:26 AM ET

DUH!!!! Of course the food is generally awful. But this placemat thing is about McD’s as a global phenom, not about nutrition. That’s what’s so intriguing—how these countries put their own apparently insane spin on burgers and fries.

Gayle Conran 10.27.10 | 1:28 PM ET

What a great collection of cultural memorbilia through eyes of a Big Mac.  Loved this. Just wish I’d brought home a placemat at the McD’s in Tallin Estonia.

barrie 10.27.10 | 1:53 PM ET

and to think i was collecting snowglobes!

Pam Blanton 10.27.10 | 10:50 PM ET

Leave it to Bob to cleverly think of McD’s placemats as art years ago.  When’s the opening?

Pam Blanton 10.27.10 | 10:53 PM ET

Leave it to Bob to think of McD’s placemats as art years ago.  When’s the opening?

Pam Blanton 10.27.10 | 10:55 PM ET

Leave it to Bob to think of McDonald’s placemats as an art form years ago.  When’s the opening?

Pam Blanton 10.27.10 | 10:57 PM ET

Leave it to Pam to screw up adding a comment!  Oh well, the intention was from the heart. :)

judy 10.29.10 | 10:39 AM ET

a wonderful piece. thanks!  who would have thought that one can look at world through Mickie D’s placemats? loved it.

Hotels In Ontario 11.03.10 | 9:55 PM ET

I love the comfort of seeing Mcd’s and others fast food joints when traveling as there’s a comfort there, like clean toilets, but agree that eating locally is best.  What’s the point of going abroad to eat fast food right?

Lane 11.04.10 | 7:17 AM ET

...this is about Mc-Imperialism. Thats what it is.

Bob 11.08.10 | 6:15 PM ET

McDonald’s just announced a big sales increase. Do you think this piece had anything to do with it?

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