Our travel through Alabama was from the north all the way to the south, we did it all. Let me tell you, it was an experience. I am glad that we did it, it was an eye opener into a state that has had many a negative historical experience in American history. It is a state that opened a wound that perhaps needed opening, one that we all need to work on to heal.
Of course we are language teachers and we know what it is like to drop into a foreign culture and have to observe and adjust.
To make a long story short, MK and I ended up in an unlikely place, McDonald’s. We were searching for bathrooms and a place to get a small bite to eat. Starbucks was our likely choice as they have bathrooms and we wanted something small to eat and not have to sit down and wait for a long time.
We blew it.
The McDonald’s was less than clean and in a small Alabama town on the edge of Interstate 65. We walked in, wondering if we looked perhaps, as if we were from Mars. There was a guy waiting, looking as if he were pondering his order. I asked him if he was in line and he said, « Yes. » A moment later, I found out that he had misunderstood me, he was waiting for his order. Another man was waiting, looking very impatient. We ordered two small burgers, an order of small fries, and a Diet Coke. We had to wait as we were informed that they were fresh out of fries. I went outside to go to the car to clean out the garbage we hadn’t yet disposed of. I took a few pictures of the countryside. I went back in, thinking all would be ready. Nope!
MK was getting impatient and asked why someone had just received an order with fries as they had ordered after we had. She was told that she had to wait. I spoke to her in Spanish and suggested that we had to realize where we were. The work ethic was, well, lacking as well. Here I am being kind. She agreed with me, but then moments later we were back in the same situation as she went into ‘Huffy Mommy’ mode. Her reaction provided us with many a laugh in the rest of the car ride.