Grand Openings I:
When McDonald's Invaded Russia

The cold war turns hot

This Grand Opening
I attended: Scene
McDonald's, Moscow,
Queue extended over
Under Pushkin Square
(Some saw the poet's
Spirit rise and sniff
The air). No
Royalty to cut
The ribbon, courtesy
Of Comrade Lenin,
Just some shivering,
Hatless Business Guys
With Cheeseburger Eyes,
Cutting Communism down
To size with French Fries,
Beating back
The Russian Winter
With Hot Apple Pies.

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Poem Study Notes:

I always tell people that I was at the grand opening of the first McDonald's in Moscow. I probably wasn't. I was probably a year too late. But I'm pretty certain I did attend the opening of the second Pizza Hut in Moscow (not the small one on Gorky street where you'd buy a portion of garlic bread just so you could use the nice clean toilet, but a bigger one in some area I've forgotten). The four of us (starving students) queued from around 6am for around 5 hours. Once inside we held an eating competition - per person an extra large pizza, one salad, one garlic bread and a bottle of wine. No touching tonsils or number twos permitted. The bill came to 333 roubles, which was around £6. Co-incidentally that was in the same year when Graham Gooch scored 333 for England against India at Lord's.

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