Posted by: travelrat | November 9, 2017

Travel Theme: Branches


I was very small when I saw an ad for a well-known chain store which claimed to have ‘branches everywhere’. How can that be? I wondered. They don’t have a branch in our town! Well, it was a small town, and, although it was pretty well supplied with shops, if I remember rightly, the only organisation of any size that had a branch there was the Midland Bank.

That was a long time ago, and it’s a long time since a visitor to Australia was heard to remark

‘You have a Woolworths here! Wow!’

But, these days, it’s not uncommon to be stopped on the streets of Athens, Copenhagen or even Bangkok, and asked for directions to the Kentucky Fried Chicken or somewhere. It’s called Globalisation.  For those who seek the familiar in strange surroundings, I suppose it’s a good thing; I’d guess the coffee in Starbuck’s tastes the same in Vancouver or Vienna? But, I’d rather try the local stuff, even if it does, rarely, turn out to be pretty grim.

There was the time I had my pocket picked in Madrid. The only thing of real value they got was one of my cards. (I have two, always in separate places) Almost immediately on discovering the loss, I spotted the familiar logo of a branch of my bank, where I was able to report the loss, and have the card stopped. They asked if I needed any cash, and even contacted the police for me.

‘The police station is just around the corner. Ask for Sergeant Robles; he has your details!’

Finally, a familiar story … an urban myth, really …we’ve all heard. A visitor to a certain city (most versions say Dubai, but there are variations) hailed a taxi, and said:

‘Take me to where the locals eat!’

So, the taxi took him to … Macdonalds!

This week’s contribution to the Travel Theme. More at 

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