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Reporters on the Job

Coffee and a Story to Go: American fast-food joints are almost as ubiquitous in Asia as they are in the United States. What's ironic, says correspondent Simon Montlake, is that in Asia the traditional meals are already fast. "You sit down, are served tea, and within minutes the first dish arrives."

He says that most Chinese teenagers can't remember a time before McDonald's. The first McDonald's opened in China in 1990 in Shenzhen, a few blocks away from where he did his reporting for today's story. Today, there are 700 McDonald's in China. "It's normal for teens here to say, let's meet at KFC or Mickey D's."

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Simon admits that he's not a big fan of American fast food. But during his interviews at McDonald's he ordered coffee, and admits that "it wasn't bad."

David Clark Scott
World editor