Chilled lemonade, iced slushies, iced tea, cold creamy coffee!!!! OH my gosh!!..these were a few of the drinks we would have in the evenings back at home in India. Coming from a tropical zone I always hoped to someday experience living in a chilly atmosphere. But here at Keuka, when the chilly atmosphere went to 20°F, the hopes of cold weather started to turn into hopes of getting a beautiful fleece jacket, and drinks changed to hot cocoa, Vanilla Chai.
But no matter how hard the wind chill pushes me to stay inside and turn on that heat, I love going out and looking at the snow. Looking at the white snow fills every moment of your day with a sigh of happiness. I never knew that winter’s white paint would be my icon for a joy and give me warmth.
At noon, the day looks brighter than usual. As the sun flings its light on the snow covered outdoors, everything shines up. It seems as if the entire place is decorated with pure shiny crystals. And as the time flies by, Keuka Park looks even more beautiful than it was.
Late nights have never been this mesmerizing. A glimpse of snowfall under the yellow street-light gives you a sudden rush in your body and leaves your mouth open in awe and wonderment.
The next morning tells a story of how you can create dreams. The untouched snow awaits you to start your day by leaving a mark on the path that you have chosen.
Who cares about the winter chills being hard on you, when you have a beautiful white painting to look at! This teaches us that when you want life to appear easy, just change your perception, and everything will lighten up like New York City on Christmas night.
Hey, I am Yun Ling and come from Yunnan, the southwest of China. I am excited to study in Keuka and I want to introduce different food and culture to you, my American friends.
Today I want introduce you my favorite food Over-Bridge rice-noodle. A typical local delicacy of Yunnan, Over-Bridge rice-noodle is known at home and abroad for its special ingredients and preparation, its way of serving, its fresh taste, its rich nutrition and its culture background.
The soup is served hot, but its steam cannot be seen: it is covered by a layer of oil. When you put all the raw ingredients-meat, vegetables and rice noodle in, they will be well done by the hot soup in couple of minutes.
Over-Bridge Rice-noodle originated in Mengzi and have a history of more than 100 years. In ancient times, there was a scholar studying for an imperial examination, and he studied in a small islet away home. Every day his wife sent his meals there, but the meals were always cold because on her way she had to cross a long bridge.
One day, she cooked a hen for him, but she found the thick layer of fat on the chicken soup could keep it warm, So she put raw fish and pork slices in the soup, ad it tastes so fresh. After that, she frequently crossed the long bridge with the soup, meat slices and rice noodles. Since then, her husband could enjoy hot meals and he finally did very well in the exam.
This story explains how this method of cooking was created and how it spread.
Ever since I had decided to pursue my studies in States, I had a picture of the university/college in my mind. A picture of the place where I want to be.
A place distant from the city hustle so that I can hear my thoughts, listen to the people around me rather than the listening to honking horns of fast cars. A place where I can say, “Hello!! Good morning.” and get a pleasant reply in return rather than a shrug because I wasted their time when they are rushing to their office.
Keuka gave me these things. It fits perfectly in my mind, in fact Keuka is more prettier than I had thought. The people here do listen to you, and my gosh they help a lottttt. About the college?? Well we have Professors who make us think (frankly I never thought this can happen), the vegan food is good (phewww!! relieved ), the atmosphere is chilly (do not want to talk about the snow, I am already chilled) and to add cherry on this cake we have a beautiful view of Keuka Lake (no words, you have to see it yourself).
Combine all this plus the fun loving dogs of the neighborhood Arson and Shadow, I had a perfect experience. Love being here.
I was so excited about the longest trip ever in my life.
Studying abroad is my dream when I was in high school. It took me 27 hours flying from Vietnam to USA. Finally, I have been USA for a couple of weeks. It is not my first time been abroad, so I get used to everything around more easily.
My first impression was the ancient beauty of my college. I took lots of photos and posted them on Facebook to show my friends in Vietnam, who are attending the joint program between Keuka College and ISVNU. Where I stay in the campus is called Blyley Hall. My roommate is an American girl, humorous and talkative. Her friends are interesting and they shared with me many things about American culture and lifestyle. I also taught them some Vietnamese and we had lots of fun.
I just impressed with the transition week and student activities. One of events I joint is teamwork building. I enjoyed the outside activities the most which I had a chance to make friend with many people and got bunches of experience, connection and teamwork skills.
My first study week tends to be so tough. I am a only Vietnamese student in the statistic class. So I feel so nervous when the professor kept talking so fast. Luckily I found out a tutor who helps me out. I caught up the lesson and can do my homework on my own.
So many interesting things are waiting me ahead…
So it has been 2 weeks since my arrival in Kunming, at the Yunnan University of Finance and Economics (YUFE), and so far everything has been pretty good! It was quite an adjustment from everyday life in Penn Yan, and so I have gone into my study abroad with an open mind, and solid sense of adventure.
The first day I arrived, I was exhausted from my 31-hour trip from Rochester. I knew that the time change was going to be difficult, so I did everything I could to stay awake until the hours I knew I would normally go to sleep. I met up with one of the students who had studied at Keuka (KC) the year before, and together, he took me around, showed me the campus, and explained what to do, and what not to do. YUFE is huge!
Compared to small KC, YUFE has thousands of students, and sits on an area that is 5-to-6 times larger than what I was used to. Luckily, where I am staying is relatively close to my main academic building (roughly distance from Saunders Hall to Ball Hall). I am the only American student here, and so language, at first, seemed as if it was going to present itself as a huge challenge. Luckily, I was wrong. The students here speak English for the most part, and it isn’t very difficult to navigate through campus without Chinese language ability.
I got settled into my dorm which is titled “IBS Dormitory for Overseas Students” which is mostly composed of students from Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, and other Southeast Asian countries. One of my neighbors, however, is a man from North Carolina, who is a professor here at YUFE for the Keuka-China Program. He has been tremendous help, providing me business cards of local restaurants where “westerners” hang out, and even so much, as to lend me a book to help me with my Chinese history class! There are a couple other people I have meet from North America. There is a lady here who teaches English, and she is a native of Ontario, Canada. It was shocking to find out that she lives near the Buffalo border, which upon finding this information out, I quickly told her how close Penn Yan was to that; it truly is a small world!! I have also become friends with some other English teachers here at YUFE. One is from Turkey, and the other is from Latvia…it’s like a geography lesson each time we talk about “home.”
I have had a couple adventurous nights here in Kunming. I went with some of the Chinese students to go eat, what they call “hot pot,” which is basically a pot of soup that is at a continuous boil, and it is up to the customers to order what to put into the soup. We ended up ordering beef, pork, bamboo shoots, potatoes, and rice noodles. At the first stage of the hot pot, it starts out with chicken broth, chicken (which the bone is not removed from the pieces—much different than America), onions, and some seasoning. I was hungry, so I dove into the hot pot with my chop sticks, and started “fishing” for chicken, which had settled to the bottom of the pot. I felt a big piece, and so being hungry, I picked it out, only to find that what I had hoped would be a piece of white meat (or something of that nature), was actually the head of the chicken-eyes, beak and all. Not being used to that, I picked the head out, set it on the table, and had a moment of thinking. I thought to myself, “Oh boy, this might be something I won’t get used to!” So, being in China, I had to regard that this is customary, and nothing out of the ordinary. The Chinese students knew I had a little issue with it, so they just threw the head on the floor, and waited for the waitress to come by and sweep it up. The soup however, was delicious. I am still adjusting to the use of chop sticks, but that’s something that comes with time!
Kunming is a great city! It’s warm, and the people are very friendly. One afternoon, after I had finished with my classes, I went to a place called “wang fu jing,” which is like a shopping center, mall, and area to eat. I took a cab from YUFE to “wang fu jing,” and when I arrived, I met up with one of my friends. Walking past the L.L.Bean, and Disney Store, we found our way up to the “Hollywood Cinema” where we bought tickets to see The Last Airbender. We went to watch it, and afterwards I took a cab back to YUFE, and my friend took a cab back to his home to pick up some clothes, and then eventually return to school later that evening.
This was one of the only times I had ridden in a Chinese cab alone, and so I was nervous, yet confident that I would be just fine! I had written down the Romanization of how to say YUFE in Chinese, and so when I got into the cab, I said “Yunnan cai jing da xue,” and the cab driver, nodded and off we went. It’s about a 15-20 minute drive back to the school, and so as we got closer and closer to the school, I started to recognize familiar shops. So, I texted my friend to let him know I was getting closer. Apparently, between the time it took me to look down at my phone, text out a message, and send it, we had driven past the school, and we kept going further and further, to a point where I had absolutely no idea where I was. Panic set in, and being a small-town kid, I have no city instincts! I of course thought of every bad thing that could happen, like kidnapping. I was getting scared, and even thought I would jump out of the cab when he hit a red light, and just start running (For those of you who don’t know me, I am rather dramatic at in some scenarios). I had my paper which had the Chinese characters of the school’s name written down. I flashed the paper to the cab driver, and he looked at me and just nodded. About (I’m guessing) 5-6 minutes after we had passed the school, he pulls over and told me the cab fare. I got out, and was all sorts of confused. I knew the direction the school was in, but didn’t know if I was on the same road. Anyways, I started walking…fast. I called my friend, and told him what had happened. I had no idea where I was, so I couldn’t explain what my surroundings were. He told me to just walk, and that to call him if I was truly lost. I followed his orders, and just kept walking (marching along in the same fashion as Dory, from Finding Nemo, I muttered “just keep walking, just keep walking”). I walked for probably 10 minutes before I still didn’t recognize anything, so I wandered into the China Mobile store, and nervously said “Yunnan cai jing da xue zai na li” (which I hoped meant “Where is YUFE?”). The store attendant laughed a bit (probably at my pronunciation) and pointed. I knew it was okay then. So I walked maybe 15 more minutes, and eventually I saw the building sign for YUFE!
Apparently what had happened was the cab driver thought I meant the Kunming College of Finance, not YUFE. It was just a misunderstanding…a scary/confusing/frustrating misunderstanding. But hey, what an adventure! Hind sight is 20/20, and so looking back now, it wasn’t a big deal. It was kind of cool walking through the city with a mission. People just kept staring at me, and I just kept walking. No big deal!! I am still here and I still love China!
So, those were just a couple stories from the adventures that I have encountered here in Kunming. Everyday something new happens, and I learn a little more about the city, and how to get around. Kunming is a great place, and I am fortunate to have been given this opportunity!
Hope all is well stateside! Until next time-
Oh yeah, just an “FYI”—seasoned chicken feet are amazing. Don’t hate on them until you’ve tried!
This day of one month ago, I was preparing to get on the airplaneUA888 at the Beijing international airport. One month later, I am sitting in the beautiful library located beside the Keuka Lake, typing these words.
I am lucky, after a series of preparations, I arrived at the Keuka college to study for management master degree. The month passed happened a lot to me, and changed me a lot.
Our curriculum is very intense, actually only the time in class is relaxed, because we just need to do the presentation and listening. But after class, we must make massive reading about our course, our cases and presentations. These are what I did not experience before .So I did not feel good at the beginning very much. With the course goes, and the improvment of my English, I thought that all changes are better to me gradually.
The place I live is a beautiful house outside school. As the graduates we are arranged to live off campus. We all think this is great! What we need are all there, including dishwasher!
All the American classmates here give me lots of help, they are so friendly that over my expectation. We need a pan, then we get one from Justin, we need a sofa, then we get one from David, we need to go shopping, then we get one jeep from Ryan, including a driver. We need dollars….haha.
In a word, I like here, nothing complain at all.
It’s time to leave the library, to prepare the shopping tomorrow! Haha