Friday, February 01, 2008

The drive-through

The drive-through is a thoroughly American concept, and something I managed to avoid for a very long time. I have no interest in eating at somewhere like McDonalds or Burger King, and even less desire to eat their food in my car. I think I have been to a drive-up window at a fast food place precisely once - and that was because the driver (not me) wanted a Coca-Cola and decided it was too hot to get out of the car.

There are the obvious places for drive-through windows such as fast food emporiums that I knew about before coming to the US, but there are others too. There are the drive-through wedding chapels in Vegas, though I didn't know until today that at least one of them was originally created to make it easier for individuals who have difficulty walking to get married. There are drive-through flu clinics where you can get your flu shot without even getting out of the car and even drive-through liquor stores, which just seems so wrong! I used to think the whole idea was plain silly, and typical of lazy Americans who couldn't be bothered to walk a few yards. I suspect that in the many years since I left the UK, the idea of drive-throughs has surfaced over there too.

Since having children, I have discovered advantages to the drive-through. It is very nice not to have to get the children out of their car seats and then back in them again, especially if the weather is bad. On the days when getting the children moving anywhere is like herding cats, it is just so much easier to use the drive-through ATM (hole-in-the-wall cash machine). I get my cash, and I don't lose any of the children or my temper. Ditto for dropping off or picking up prescriptions at the local pharmacy (chemists) - PLUS I don't end up making impulse purchases in the store. "Ooh, look, that lipstick's on sale! Can't remember the last time I wore any, but it's a good deal, and I'm sure I'll remember to put lipstick on in the morning if I buy a new one!"

I'm very glad they don't have drive-through liquor stores around here though. That would be very bad.


Anonymous said...

Well you know why I'm a convert too!
BEst wishes

Anonymous said...

The scariest drive-through situation that I think I ever saw was on a business trip to Texas. I probably need to preface this little ditty with the fact that at that time (I'm not sure if it's still true today...) It was not illegal to be in a vehicle with an open alcoholic beverage.

This fact seemed to me at the time to be underwriting for the Darwin Awards.

Anyhow, I was driving along through the darkened countryside around Brownsville, Texas, which is just this side of the Mexican border. There were many interesting things which attracted my attention. I couldn't possibly go into all of them at the moment. The 'kicker' was a sign that said DRIVE-THRU BAR

Yup. You read that correctly.

It was a single story ranch-style building with covered drive-through windows on either end where they were selling drinks in plastic cups. Most patrons seemed to be sitting in their cars in the parking lot drinking and listening to the music in their cars.


No, that's not adequate - Bizarre.

That's better.

Most of the patrons were probably also carrying their loaded side-arms as well.

Almost American said...

Drive-through bars - I'd forgotten you'd told me about those!

Expat mum said...

When I first moved to the States we lived in Dallas where there were more than a few drive-thru liquor stores. Hmmmm. Here in Chicago we have a bar close by which has discount parking!! When my husband and I go out, we never drive. It's very easy to get a cab here, but our American friends usually assume we don't drive because we can't find parking.

Anonymous said...

We have a McDonalds 22 miles away and I enjoy a Big Mac from time to time.

Crystal xx

Anonymous said...

So I see you haven't had time to update! Must have been too busy watching the Superbowl.

Almost American said...

The Superbowl? What's that? ;-)

There are no football fans in this house! Unusually, DH did actually watch parts of the game though.

AliBlahBlah said...

I'm definitely a convert to drive-thrus, due to a small child in a carseat. I completely agree with you, it sounds such a ridiculous thing to complain about getting them in and out of the thing, but after a while you seem to spend your life doing it!!

My life would be made though if there was a drive-thru convenience store where I could get the milk that we always seem to be running out of. I wonder if British milkmen would consider a move out my way to California?!

Almost American said...

Ali - ooh yes, a drive-through place where I could get milk would be great! We can actually get milk delivered here, but it is significantly more expensive than buying it at the store. Plus, even leaving a cooler out on the front step for it to go in, I wasn't happy about the thought of milk being left outside all day. Too hot in the summer, too cold in the winter. OTOH, it would be supporting a local farm . . .

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