A poor college kid’s dream…

One of the simple joys of living in Europe: Fast food and beer. All in one location, at more than one location.

I decided to blog about this at lunch today. A new Subway has recently opened on my stomping ground, and my Italian hubby (who insists on having a Subway sandwich every time we’re in the US) had a hankering for the oversized delicious-ness that only a footlong sub can satisfy. Although I am the #1 fan of authentic Italian food, seven years of living in Rome has trained me to appreciate a good American sub once in a while.

After ordering my teriyaki chicken on oregano-and-parmesean bread (aka “Italian herb and cheese” if you’re in the US), the girl at the cash register asked if I’d like a “menu” — which includes a cookie and a drink. Of course, that cookie display is always so enticing …and I’m not one to turn down anything that includes the words double-chocolate and macadamia nuts. “And the drink?” I asked while guiltily breaking off a piece of the cookie. She pointed toward a large refrigerator stocked full of Pepsi, water and three types of beer. “Help yourself.”

This is no surprise to anyone who’s familiar with McDonald’s in Europe. You can easily substitute the Coke in your “value meal” for a small glass of beer (no ID required). Drinking is not nearly as taboo as it is in the US. Ask an Italian what the drinking age is, and you’ll rarely get a straight answer.  Some say 18. Others will say 16. Others will claim it doesn’t exist. Whatever the law may be, I’ve never seen it enforced. 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