BLOG – The McQueue of Shame? 9


These photos from Reuters are easy to laugh at (particularly the chap who rocked up in his pyjamas), however – they also demonstrate the extent to which so many in HK are willing to go in order to secure a free meal…

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McDonald’s gave away 1,000 McMuffins on Monday at 230 select branches. Queues at mainland branches were equally long, where the chain is deservedly suffering somewhat of a backlash.

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Such frenzies have been seen during previous promotions at the greasy Golden Arches (e.g. Hello Kitty, Snoopy give-aways).

A non-promotional shot of said muffin

Much of the madness boils down to ‘Kiasu‘ – fear of losing – but, looking at the generally elderly make-up of those waiting in line, it is clear that it is not the only factor at play…

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Unbelievably, some customers stayed up all night in order to secure their HK$10 muffin.

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The line at Kennedy Town McDonald’s, via Nick @ Hongwrong

However, some HK netizens have complained that those photographed were not embarrassed and that the Reuters photographer simply misunderstood local culture. Many claimed the people waiting in line were simply unwilling to be photographed. Redditors, meanwhile, theorised that the elderly were ‘time rich’, so were happy for something to do.

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McDonald’s is arguably an institution in Hong Kong and revolutionised fast-food in the city, for the better and worse. Furthermore, its restaurants double as ‘public space’ for many of the working poor and elderly. Click here for a brief history of HK’s love affair with the chain and the rise of the ‘McWedding’.