Resident experiences the unusual and magnificent

August 20, 2009 // 0 Comments

  by CHRISTINE BIGNEY They say that it’s good to try different things. In Stacey Kowalczyk’s case, she didn’t think that would include drunken shrimp and cow’s intestine for dinner. The 2007 graduate of Rockford High School always wanted to study abroad. So when a trip to China presented itself, Kowalczyk jumped at the opportunity. Never mind that she didn’t know the first thing about the language; she was ready to go. Kowalczyk, currently in her Junior year at Grand Valley State University, traveled to China with two Professors and eight other Grand Valley students from May 5 through June 14, 2009. “I took one class on how to speak Chinese, but I’m not very good at it,” Kowalczyk said with a smile. For the most part, Professors Peimin Ni and Geling Shang interpreted the language for them. That came in handy when they were served a dish called Drunken Shrimp. Kowalczyk’s professors explained to them that the chef would literally soak the shrimp in liquor, and serve them alive to the diners. “My professor would prepare the shrimp for us, and then hold them out to us and say, “Here, eat this.” Kowalczyk wasn’t too crazy about the drunken shrimp, but said at a breakfast buffet they were served cow intestine. “It wasn’t that bad, it tasted like noodles. It was grosser to look at, than eating it,” she said. The students did, however, get an opportunity to visit an Italian eatery. “We were pretty psyched to get a fork.” Kowalczyk explained. “We had to get used to chopsticks real fast,” since other eating utensils were nowhere to be found. The group stayed in Shanghai, but took side trips to Beijing, and Hainan, (sometimes called the “Hawaii of China”), which was on the South China Sea. “The scenery was beautiful,” Kowalczyk said. The most memorable site for Kowalczyk was the Great Wall of China. Kowalczyk explained that they were very fortunate to have their professors, who knew their way around China and its sites. “We were able to visit parts of the Great Wall that most tourists don’t get a chance to see. They took us to parts that were crumbling and overgrown with vines,” she said. “It was magnificent.” While the students were […]