Saturday. Wisconsin Dells.

Breakfast at Maple Manor: poached eggs, too many hash browns, whole wheat toast and grapefruit juice. Lilacs in a recycled mayonnaise jar on the counter.

At China Buffet, we talked to a young guy from Fujian; he said there are lots of people from Fujian coming in the past three or four years. I have heard this as a general thing, too. He said he had been in Philadelphia before and liked this much better because he loves cold, cold weather. (Philly isn’t cold enough?) Mystery revealed: China Buffet is a franchise operation! No wonder there’s so many of em. Everyone is trying to become the Chinese Taco Bell... except that it’s mostly all Chinese or at least Asian, and Taco Bell isn’t. Mexican, I mean.



We worked our way east and south to the bizarre tacky Americana that is the Wisconsin Dells. There’s a car show this weekend so the streets are roaring with hotrodding testosterone. There’s taffy and fudge, zillions of water slides and every other possible kind of tourist trap you can imagine. For miles. Why are we here? Well, there’s one Chinese restaurant, and it closed for the night right before we got to it. Can’t win em all.

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