If you’re an American in Austria and you need help from the US Embassy, you apparently don’t need to figure out how to get aid from this busy enterprise. Believe it or not, all you need do is go to the nearest McDonald’s for assistance. Really.
This news comes per the consular section of the US Embassy Vienna. Terms of the new partnership between the US Embassy in Austria and McDonald’s mean that US citizens visiting the country will be able to get in contact with their Embassy at any McDonald’s fast food operation in the European nation.
But hold on. This dictum doesn’t mean that the staffs who work at every Austrian McDonald’s have become trained ambassadors who can help deal with, say, a lost or stolen passport. However, each can put you in contact with someone who can. And you can get tourist information from these folks, too.
The new arrangement became effective Wednesday, May 15th, and was met with understandable incredulity. As twitter user JKR pointed out, this new deal sounds like an Onion article. Meanwhile, Twitter correspondent Yellingfore called the move “peak Americanism”.
And sure, McDonald’s acting as an embassy-by-proxy does seem like something from a dystopian cyberpunk novel inspired by America’s current consumer culture. That said, the move can still be valuable for American sojourners even though some naysayers have been quick to point out that it can’t be too hard to get in touch with the US Embassy.
That is not entirely true. Anyone in a distressing situation who has lost access to the internet or their phone can now know that all they need to do is find the nearest McDonald’s. After all, finding a nearby McDonald’s in Vienna is often easier than traveling to the physical Embassy address, especially if you don’t happen to be nearby.
So, if you’re planning to visit Austria, it might be a good idea to find out where the closest McDonald’s is to your hotel. You know, just in case.