The American Council of Fitness estimates that the average American wolves down three thousand calories for their Thanksgiving meal. That doesn’t include the appetizers and mulled wine, which adds another fifteen hundred whopping calories.

And yes, I was very patriotic this holiday in China. I ate my part. How did I work off those calories so they wouldn’t turn into a broken New Years Resolution? I took an after-dinner stroll in the Yunnan countryside.

The colors gave my eyes a taste of home.

There wasn’t one Starbucks in sight.

There were a few unexpected detours.

In case you gotta go…guys always swing to the left, girl stalls are on the right.

Our eyes started burning as we passed this innocent-looking house. It was as if the fall air had turned into fire, turning our nostril hairs into red hot razor blades.

Could it be a Chinese meth lab?

“No,” explained Yang, one of the local hikers. “It’s something even more lethal. A pepper processing plant.”

We’ve worked off the dressing, and the pumpkin pie, just a few more steps of penance for stuffed mushrooms.

Stopped by a future Police at the city entrance. Can I see your passport, please?

The color of China. Rich red earth.

Just five hundred calories? You got to be kidding!

No turkey leftovers here. Fish soup, spicy tǔ dòu (potatoes), okra, squash, melon soup, and other things you won’t find at the kid’s table.

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