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In retrospect

Cultural homogenization? Yup, there's a bit much of it, even extending into some parts of the old Eastern Bloc, but still, it seems every place I visited remains enough of a place in its own right not to be overwhelmed by the homogenization.

As for that benchmark McDonald's, I have to admit they are pretty ubiquitous, and the only place where that had any element of interest in itself was in Budapest, where McD's moved very fast after privatization and has garnered about a dozen gorgeous turn-of-the-century restaurant spaces.

This is certainly the best trip of this sort I have ever done. It was so nice to have 3 months and be able to take things slow, none of that, "If it's Tuesday, this must be Belgium" aspect.

If anyone wants to correspond about any of this, please feel free. Although this document is essentially in its final form, comments and corrections are very welcome, especially comments about whether something comes up "funny" (that's "funny" = "strange", not "funny" = "haha") under your favorite browser. And if there is a story in here you think should have a link to something else on the web, let me know.

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Originally posted: August 1996
Last modified: April 4, 2002

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