This taxi ride was returning home after arriving at said McDonald’s at around 11:30pm. Not only was it open, but it was packed, and packed with kids. Today is a holiday and there is no school, but it would still be normal for dinner to happen at 11pm or after.
The bus that was supposed to pick us up from the Encounter site broke down in route. It is a two-hour plus drive, and they had to send another bus. We were supposed to leave at 4:30pm but didn’t leave until after 6pm.
So, after returning to the church, having a time of testimony from the Encounter participants, we took our bags back to the house. Then came time to find some dinner. It was around 10pm at this point. We had plans for our group of 13 (our missionaries, my family, our pastors, and Mark Miller, who is visiting and doing some work here) to eat at a Mediterranean restaurant near the house. We showed up and it was packed. Without a reservation, we were looking at a 40+ minute wait just for a table. Juliana was toast at this point, crying and moaning and just wanting to go home.
We sought out other options in the neighborhood, but everything was closed. Finally, we got in taxis and went to the downtown area. Two pizzerias on the main street was both packed with people. Finally, we found a restaurant that we could fit in. We sat down and waited 20 minutes and hadn’t even placed an order. It became very apparent that there were only three people working in the restaurant and only one waitress to attend to around 40 people (bring food, clear plates, take payment, prepare drinks and some other food). Our estimated time there would have been around 2 hours at that rate (it was 11:15 or so). Our girls were both asleep with their heads on a table.
So, we decided to go to McDonald’s instead. The girls perked up at the thought of this and enjoyed their Happy Meals. Mark Miller wanted to provide a special meal for the team after the Encounter. That ended up eating at Mickey D’s at midnight. What an adventure!