Posted by: ptatum62 | July 11, 2010

New Friends in New Places

It’s really fun to visit new places especially when you are in a different country. You get to see things that you have never seen and do things you’ve never experienced. We have seen temples, palaces, monuments, and walls. We experienced bargaining and haggling; plane, train, and automobile rides; and customs and culture. But, of all things we’ve seen and experienced on our journey the best things were all the faces and people we’ve met and befriended along the way.

-Patrick

Posted by: dambabh | June 25, 2010

Visiting the Economic Herald

On Friday, we went to visit the  China Economic Herald and have a discussion with several employees on the economic issues in the U.S. at present.  We arrived and were introduced to several of the editors and then taken up to their conference room to begin our discussion. Upon beginning our discussion it became quite clear that we had more questions about the state of China’s economy. So the discussion quickly turned from the state of the U.S. economy to the issues that China is currently facing.  The Head Editor expressed his concern that China is growing so rapidly and how we thought this rapid expansion might affect the Chinese economy and if we agreed it was growing too rapidly.  After about an hour of discussion we were escorted from their offices to a Korean barbecue restaurant on the second floor.  During lunch, the journalists were much more inquisitive about the U.S. economy and our thoughts on the issue.   After lunch we said our goodbyes and they arranged for several of their employees to take us back to our hotel.

Despite somewhat of a language barrier it was still very interesting for all of us to exchange ideas between each other, and to see how they viewed the situations their economy was encountering in comparison to those the U.S. in experiencing.

-Brandon

Posted by: dambabh | June 22, 2010

Real American Food

Our first night  in Beijing we all went to Wangfujian, a large shopping mall area, very similar to the Summit.  After walking around and window shopping for awhile we all decided to go to an Outback Steakhouse that we had seen we when got there.  You have never seen so many Americans that excited about eating Outback ever in your life. It was delicious and gave us all a taste of home.  Everything we ordered tasted just like you would get it in the U.S.  In fact it was so good we have been back 2 more times.

-Brandon

Posted by: mdillavou | June 20, 2010

Food Critique

Over the past three weeks, I have tried a variety of foods. Some good, some awful.  Some have become my staple diet (well no, not really!).  Below is my review of some of the dishes I have tried so far:

Caterpillar:

Caterpillar

Caterpillar

I’m not exactly sure how this was prepared, but it was the bedding underneath a shrimp dish at lunch.  When this came out, we had no idea what it was, although most were betting on cockroaches.  Knowing it would be unlikely that I’d sample if I knew what it was, I went ahead and sampled one before asking what it was. The first reply translated to locusts.  I immediately began gagging, but was able to hold back long enough for a second translation to come through: caterpillar.  Not a whole lot better, but did give me the courage to have seconds.

My opinion: a little shelly.  It has a nice outer crunch, but is a little chewy on the inside.  This dish is a little hard to swallow, so I recommend washing it down with a cold beer. A LOT of cold beer!

Chicken Feet:

chicken foot

Chicken foot

I was out with my chinese students for dinner at a lovely Hot Pot restaurant.  My group came back with chicken feet and insisted I try.  Not wanting to disrespect their culture, I felt I had no choice.

My opinion: The presentation takes a little getting used to.  There is no trying to hide the fact that this is an entire chicken leg, foot, and nails.  There was no attempt to batter and fry to give this a new texture.  On top of that, this dish was served cold. Not knowing where to start I initially took a nibble off the leg.  Unable to find any meat, I looked around to see how my fellow chinese students preferred to eat this dish.  Ah hah!  The trick is to grab a toe, give it a few good wiggles, then a hard yank.  Once the toe has been removed, the best way to enjoy this is to suck the meat off.  Watch out though, the tendons tend to get in the way!  After sucking on the toes for a while, it’s time to move the pad of the food.  The bumpy, leather texture is a little off-putting at first, but you’ll find a suprising amount of tasty meat once you finally break through.  All in all, I am still have nightmares about chicken feet, and still, after two weeks can’t get the taste out of my mouth.

Pig Ears:  That’s right, these aren’t just dog treats!  Freshly prepared and thinly sliced, these look like a deli slice of roast beef.  They have a nice texture and go down smoothly.  I highly enjoyed these (until I learned what I was eating), and would recommend them to all

Blueberry Potato Chips:

Blueberry Potato Chips

Blueberry Potato Chips

This just falls into the odd category.  The second night in China, while walking through the super market, I discovered the vast array of flavored potato chips.  From Numb and Spicy Hot Pot to Sweet and Sour Fish flavored, I was mesmerized by the Blueberry flavored.

My opinion: A little sugary for a potato chip. An initial sweet, almost blueberry taste, then a rancid after taste.  I bet you can eat just one of these!

That’s all for this edition.  Next up will be some other plates such as pig tongue, chicken heart, and chicken liver.  I’m hoping to also try stinky tofu, stink fruit, and fried scorpion!

-Marcus

Posted by: rsherman44 | June 18, 2010

Thursday Night in the Park

Thursday, June 10th: A Night in the Park

After a short dinner on Thursday night, Nereyda, Meredith, Umair and myself went for a jog in the park behind our hotel. There must have been over 2,000 people in the park that night, all doing some sort of physical activity. After our jog was over, a man by the name of Peter stopped us and wanted to speak to us. Peter is a native of Anshan who works for Ansteel, which just happened to be the company we toured earlier that day. We spoke with Peter for about 10 minutes, and by the time our conversation ended, there was more than 20 people hovering around us, eager to know what the “Mei Gou Ren’s” (Americans) were up to.

After our conversation with Peter, we ventured over to the area where we got our cha cha cha lesson last Thursday night. Our dance instructor was there again, and he offered to give us a step-by-step lesson for the dance he was teaching that night. We got pretty good by the end of the lesson, but we still have a long way to go. He also told us that he will be at the park every night at 6:30, so there will be more dance lessons to come.

Bobby Sherman

Posted by: medmonds1 | June 11, 2010

Friday Activities

Today in Culture class we learned about Traditional Chinese musical instruments. Music students of Anshan University presented four instruments to us: the Gu Zheng, Er Hu, Di Zi, and Pi Pa. They played each of them for us. They also played three traditional Chinese songs, including “The Colorful Cloud Follows the Moon” which is one of the top ten ancient songs. It was very beautiful.

In Professor Pang’s class, Groups 1-3 presented their International Business Plans to their classmates. These groups were Marshall, Bobby, and John’s groups. The students did very well on their presentations, their leaders should be proud. At the end of each presentation there was a Q&A session. The classmates asked many challenging questions to each group. They were very intuitive. We were all impressed with their critical questioning, presentation skills and each group’s responses.

After lunch we had a Traditional Chinese culture lecture in the Liren Art Gallery of Anshan University. We learned about the Chinese art of calligraphy.

-Meredith

Posted by: rsherman44 | June 8, 2010

Thursday Night at the Park

After dinner Thursday night with some of the local students, Meredith, Brandon, Marcus, Zhou, Patrick and myself went to the local park behind our hotel. Many of the locals go to the park for dancing, exercising, and other general physical activity. Someone spotted us and immediately asked us to join them for some dancing, specificially the cha cha cha. It was very difficult for us to follow the instructor, but we tried our best. I think Marcus was the star student of our cha cha cha class. Our experience in the park was one of the most interesting pieces of Chinese culture we have seen thus far. I hope we can experience many other aspects of Chinese culture similar to our experience at the park.

-Bobby Sherman

Posted by: medmonds1 | June 5, 2010

Fruit Decorating Competition

Just to let everyone know, we had limited access to internet earlier in the week, therefore little time to post to the blog. We changed to a new hotel that provided us with internet access in our rooms. Now we can catch everyone up on our experiences in China.

On Tuesday I guess you can say we started what will be our normal routine while in Anshan, China. We began the day with our two classes, Oral at 8:00 and Culture at 9:10. Oral class is very overwhelming. I’m not familiar with very many languages, but I can honestly say that Chinese has got to be one of the most difficult languages to learn. I am grateful to be learning such an interesting language though. In Culture class we learned about the history of China, including the many dynasties. China is rooted with thousands of years of history and tradition. It is no wonder their culture is highly respected among all Chinese people.

After our classes and Mr. Pang’s class we had a wonderful lunch on the campus of ANU with a variety of Chinese cuisines.  We all like the food served on campus which is good since we will be eating it every day.

After lunch we were assigned two Chinese “buddies”, one English major and one Accounting major. We met with them briefly to exchange contact information to schedule a time to hang out and get to know each other.

Some of the “buddies” invited us to a “Fruit Decorating Competition” on Tuesday night. None of us knew what this would be about, so we were all eager to attend. The competition started with several students performing dance routines. There were 12 competing teams of two with a table of fruit set up in front of each team. While the teams were decorating their fruit, many students got on stage to sing, dance, or perform a skit. I was glad to be sitting next to Jo because she could at least translate some things for me. When the teams finally finished their decorations, each plate was taken around the auditorium for everyone to see. The judges then voted on the best decorated fruit. The winning team made a phoenix dragon out of fruit with flames of fire on its back. It was really cool. The competition lasted for about 2 hours.

After dinner we headed to a Korean barbeque. It was buffet style, but not the buffets we think of. This one had raw meats and vegetables. You picked what you wanted, then went back to the table to cook it on a “barbeque” set up in the middle of the table. This was an interesting experience. Not sure I will return to a Korean barbeque…I’m not completely confident in my cooking skills.

Once again we had a jam-packed day, but we are honestly loving every minute of our trip. Thanks for reading our blog today!

-Merideth

Posted by: dwmartin2k10 | June 3, 2010

Peking Opera

The UAB in China program is one of the best because the level of cultural immersion that it offers students. I feel very fortunate to be able to see many different aspects of Chinese culture. Often times (especially in business) the personal cultural aspects are left unexplored or pushed to the side in the pursuit of more financial based information like GDP or per capita income levels, but a country is SO much more than its financial capabilities. The sights, the smells, the sounds, and the taste are the things that are personal and unique to the people of different countries. These are ultimately the the things that I will remember 20 years from now. Today, I used my ears to experience Chinese culture. We learned about the Peking Opera during class. One thing that I found to be  most intriguing  is that apparently in China it is very typical for men to play both the male  and female roles in Chinese operas.  The guy in the picture has been studying Chinese Peking Opera for the majority of his life and he ONLY does female roles. Interesting huh?… Check out the pics below to see his before and after transformation ;).

Xia Tian

-D. Martin

Before

After



Posted by: dwmartin2k10 | June 2, 2010

Double Happiness!

Today was our 3rd day of class. The day usually starts with Chinese oral class (Chinese is very hard by the way) and then the next class is usually some type of Chinese cultural class. The cultural classes are my favorite, because we learn about something different each time and they’re usually more hands on. So  today in culture class we learned how to do Chinese Handwork and paper cutting. In class, we were shown some examples of Chinese paper cutting, ranging from simplistic to extremely intricate. Although the paper cut that we did was rather simple, I think it turned out great! Check out the pics below and let me know what you think.

-D. Martin

Step 1

Step 2

Step 3

Step 4

Ta Daaa!

This means: “Double Happiness” or “Marriage”

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