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Issue 2/2008, January 22 2008 (No. 252)

        
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THE DAILY GROOVE
ISSUE 002-08:
SIGNS OF UPHEAVAL (6)


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An internationally working restaurant chain opened a branch near to a central place of town a few months ago. They offer many various hot beverages, cakes and snacks.
 
After I had entered the branch, I found myself in a line. The customers were patiently waiting for the bar staff to sell them berverages and dishes. Cakes and dishes were in a refrigerated counter. Beverages were listed on big boards behind the bar, mainly in English. I saw no separate menus or lists of beverages on the tables.
 
During the short wait I didn't have time enough to get an overview of all beverages and dishes and to choose something calmly. Besides the staff behind the bar there were not waiters and waitresses.
 

There were several separated rooms for the customers. In the room, were the bar was, were mainly coffeehouse tables and chairs. In the adjoining room were also coffeehouse tables, but in the end the fixtures in this room were a strangely indefinable mélange. Two easy chairs and a low side table namely stood on a strip of carpet at the window.
 
A look at the global sky from a central place in Bremen
 
A look at the global sky from a central place in Bremen (negative)
 
The art reproductions on the walls were either completely non- objective nor completely figurative. Besides those art reproductions there were some framed photographs of Mediterranean streets. Even the inevitable background music was a medley of slightly shallow international pop music. In this room I sat down and consumed a croissant which had been heated up in a microwave oven. I had hardly put fork and knife down when a member of the bar staff came and tried to clear up the dishes. I successfully advised him against doing that.
 
Then I looked around. I saw an about thirty-year old man sitting at the window. He was writing something by means of his notebook computer. He often stared out of the window and into space. Mainly women, who were in their twenties, were sitting at the tables and were having a lively conversation.At a neighbouring table a young woman and a young man were temperamentally talking in Turkish. A young family later sat down at an other neighbouring table.
 
I finally took my mug of coffee and went to the next room. There was a wall-to-wall carpeting.
 
A look at the global sky from a central place in Bremen
 
A look at the global sky from a central place in Bremen
 
Low easy chairs and low tables stood at the walls and at the windows. There was a lot of space in the middle of the room. The room looked a little bit like a well-tidied up living room in a flat-sharing community in the seventies. I recollected that this room had seated much more persons in the time when the previous tenant had operated a good plain café in this rooms. From my seat at the window I could see the street. After a while I saw that a security van drove up to the entrance of the restaurant. The employees of the security service entered the restaurant and picked up something (it was probably a lot of money).
 
At that moment I noticed, that there was a branch of an other internationally working restaurant chain, which I didn't notice before. This restaurant chain, according to its statement, operates 28 703 restaurants in 86 countries. Just in Bremen it operates 11 restaurants. The restaurant chain, I mainly reported about in this article, at present operates more than 14 400 branches in North America, Latin America, Middle East and in the Asia-Pacific Rim.
 
(My wife Christine helped me to translate the text. Thanks.)

Please also have a look at:

Farewell (1)

Did you like it?

Please also read Charlie Dittmeier's diary entries of January 9 2003 and September 17 2007 about the fact that chain restaurants are on the advance in Cambodia. The links lead to the latest entry of the diary. Please scroll down if necessary.

The international poster organisation Loesje has started a project to train young people from all over Europe and Asia in how to organise and coordinate information campaigns about the Millennium Development Goals. These goals are set by the United Nations to fight poverty and to improve living standards world wide.

Comments?
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Next issue 'The Daily Groove'
on Thursday, January 31 2008

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Please also read Cats Talk (37)

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