Tuesday, January 27, 2015

China Today: A beautiful view



Visiting the Chinese markets was a really wonderful and amazing experience. The people selling goods display their colorful items and have them layered on tables, hung from hooks, and even lay them on mats on the ground. They bargain and fan you closer so they can show you all that they have to offer. The air is full of wonderful smells consisting of spices, meats, and fruits. The most exciting experience I had was walking into this area that was covered in cabanas and seeing this middle aged woman holding these ducks in her hand just completely hacking away at the featherless meat. She was quite delighted to see Jenn’s and I’s horrified reactions. As we inched closer her smile got bigger and she swung her meat cleaver like she wanted to cut straight through the table. I politely asked if I could capture a picture of this hilarious moment and she obliged.

Southern China landscape is extremely beautiful and the vegetation varies from tropical plants to pine trees and everything in between. There are great planes that go for miles and then huge mountains that get hidden in the clouds. The color of the Earth ranges from light browns dirt to blood red clays and huge rocks stick out of the ground like shark teeth. It’s just a completely beautiful country that’s nothing like anything I’ve seen in the states. The rivers and lakes switch between and algae greens and mud browns. Even in the winter everything is still green and lush. I really love that the mountains aren’t just a bare rock, there’s plenty of vegetation on and surrounding them. There are an endless amount of crops and fields for planting rice, tea, bananas and other plants.

America has many tasty fruits but I’ve got to say China’s fruit takes the cake. You can see how directly the fruit goes from the tree to the stands. It’s a really wonderful system of selling where you can always get the freshest fruit available for next to nothing price wise. The fruits sold at these markets were unbelievably colorful and delicious. I tried fruits I had never eaten before like Jackfruit and then I had familiar fruits such as pineapple and yet it seemed so much sweeter and more delicious than any other pineapple I had eaten before.

There are always places you visit that you never quite forget and the Terrace Fields took the breath right out of me. You can see these beautiful man made fields go on for miles and then just disappear in the fog of the mountains. Sometimes the sun peaks through the clouds and gives the water a beautiful golden shimmer. The ground is dug out using hoes except for a ridge at the edge to hold the water in so it can nourish the ground for upcoming crops. These sections of water and Earth seem to just go on for forever eventually looking like steep steps of water that just flow into each other. I am one of those people who are completely obsessed with ramen noodles and I’ll never be able to look at them the same way again. I have eaten at a decent amount of Chinese restaurants and tasted delicious noodles but the famous Crossing Bridge Noodles are by far the best noodles I’ve ever tasted. To my surprise we start out the meal with a plate full of ingredients.

A few examples are quail eggs, a variety of meats, veggies, and plenty of spices. Each plate had seven ingredients for us to later put in our scorching hot broth. All of the ingredients get dumped into the hot broth and then the noodles go in last. I couldn’t believe how delicious this dish was, it was absolutely wonderful. There was no way I could’ve eaten it all but if I could’ve trust me when I say if I could have, I would have.

Our visit to the Lake in Mengzi was extremely peaceful and relaxing. The lake is surrounded by parks, food stands, and a small amusement park. It was a beautiful sunny day and delicious smells filled the air drifting away from the food stands selling savory meats and candied fruits. Beautiful gazeebos decorated in the traditional colors and Chinese style are placed in the shade with trees surrounding them. Big yellow duck-shaped boats are rented out and couples paddle out to enjoy the gorgeous day. We also got some great shots of a beautiful building sitting on the edge of the lake that was decorated and had a great view of the surrounding city.

— Jessica Brown, art studio major #HuskyAbroad

Led by Vera Viditz-Ward, professor of art and art history, and Jing Luo, Ph.D., professor of languages and cultures, a group of Bloomsburg University students spent three weeks in China studying language, culture and photography. The group, hosted by Yunnan Normal University, traveled to Kunming, Hekou, Yuanyuang, Mengzi, Dali, and Lijiang, where they had close contact with a variety of ethnic groups and learned about their lives and cultures.

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