By: Rachel Reyes
A group of seven Evening MBA students are spending two weeks in Lianyungang and Beijing as part of their China in Transition class taught by Professor Marjorie Lyles.
Journey to the East
For most of us, the journey began on Friday morning (Indiana time), and ended on Sunday Morning (China time). There were a few bumps along the way, but we all made it in one piece and with most of our belongings – I left my newly purchased iPod on the third flight of our trip.
Due to unfamiliarity with the Beijing airport and baggage issues, our group missed our flight to Lianyungang. The International terminal in the Beijing airport was new and very beautiful. I would like to include a picture in this post, but I did not have any time to take any while sprinting out of the terminal in a desperate hope to catch our connecting flight. Asia Institute, which arranged many of our activities while in Beijing, was kind enough to send someone to pick us up and drive us to a hotel for the night.
We arrived at the hotel and went exploring a few blocks. It was fun to see the American restaurant chains such as KFC and Starbucks interspersed with the local fair. No matter how far away from home we were, there was still a Starbucks on every corner. It was almost comforting.
After our stroll we grabbed some dinner at the local restaurant across the street from the hotel. The place was crowded, so we were sure the food must be great. (It’s important to note here that none of our group members speak or read any Chinese). One group member was brave enough to attempt to order for everyone. We were confident we knew what we were getting by the handy pictures on the menu, but somehow still ended up with tripe and intestines…we ate it anyways. All of the food was very good. Our Asia Institute guide, Elva, said that she finds Americans strangely enjoy noodles and dumplings the most. I would have to agree. Of the all the items we ordered that night, the dumplings were my favorite.
The next day we took a late morning flight to Lianyungang. We were all glad our Journey to the East concluded safely and with enough time to do some sightseeing.