Blog by Sumana Harihareswara, Changeset founder

05 Aug 2010, 23:01 p.m.


Hi, reader. I wrote this in 2010 and it's now more than five years old. So it may be very out of date; the world, and I, have changed a lot since I wrote it! I'm keeping this up for historical archive purposes, but the me of today may 100% disagree with what I said then. I rarely edit posts after publishing them, but if I do, I usually leave a note in italics to mark the edit and the reason. If this post is particularly offensive or breaches someone's privacy, please contact me.

I need to post at more length about the people and things that have kept me sane these past few weeks. The familiar, the distracting, the intellectual and olfactory hits direct to the pleasure centers of my brain. A few days ago I was at a low ebb, then ate Pizza Hut pizza and drank 7-Up: the first non-Indian dinner in weeks. This is the point of easy, cheap Western franchise food. Like the scene in Dear Mr. Henshaw where mom & son cry, then go out for buckets of fried chicken and eat it in the car watching the ocean. They roll the windows down to hear the rain and surf, and the fast food place forgot forks so they scoop mashed potatoes with chicken bones.

[I (think I) last ate McDonald's french fries years ago, in Tokyo, when I badly needed to be Home.]

Franchise food serves this purpose... when home-cooked food itself is fraught, franchise and microwave-from-frozen food promises autonomy, familiarity, control, solace.


06 Aug 2010, 12:48 p.m.

I ate McDonald's in Serbia when I was feeling homesick. I never eat it at home so I don't know if that's what its supposed to taste like, but it was the best I could do. Here, there is a Mediterranean grocery that sells Kraft mac n cheese.