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The Diary
Anne Ku


5 September 2000 Tuesday dry, cloudy, getting colder


Tonight while swimming my lengths, I pondered over where I was going to have dinner. I could take the bus to Wagamama's - one of my favourite noodle places, but it is likely to be full of people and not peaceful. The other place - a cheap but good basement Malaysian eatery has poor atmosphere. The noodles would be equally delicious, the staff friendly and personal, but the air wouldn't be smoke-free. By the time I reached the station, I still had not made up my mind - so I chanced upon the Burger King.

For the very first time, I ordered a veggie burger. I looked around, conscious of my black suit, hoping no one would take pity on a hungry woman. A businessman in a pinstripe suit came up behind me and ordered a whopper with no pickles, lettuce, onions, or tomatoes. Forgetting myself for a moment, I stared at him thinking - why not just order a plain hamburger? It's like ordering decaffeinated coffee. In hindsight, he was probably thinking of me - why not order just bread and salad?

As kids growing up in Japan, we looked to MacDonald's as some kind of luxury restaurant. My mom would rarely buy big Macs for us - only on special occasions. Even so, the three of us would split a big Mac. Thus when I went to America to study, my first ambition was to visit all the fast food restaurants. Not only did I purposefully eat at MacDonald's, Hardees, Wendy's, Burger King, Kentucky Fried Chicken, etc., I also collected the napkins so that I could use them as stationery - to write to my sister and brother. I told them the joys of being able to stop and eat at fast food restaurants. Most of all, I told them that MacDonald's were not the ONLY luxury restaurants around.



Two lengths make a lap.