A Night of Grain Alcohol and Sichuan Noodles That Almost Never Happened At All

Baijiu in Jilin Province

Somewhere between the Pizza Hut and the KFC, disillusion set in. I’d put up with the hotel chains, the faux-Euro village, and the ski slope floodlights trapping the resort in an orb of artificial light 24/7, but American fast food had pushed me over the edge.

This was not China. Sure, we were at a Chinese ski resort in the cradle of China’s ginseng region, a crop indelibly linked with Chinese culture and medicine, but something was off. I was part of the problem....

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