Student Blog: The China Ten - Business Study Tour of China
Touching Down in Hong Kong and Hitting the Streets!
by Brad Ross '09
Following a lengthy day of lugging baggage around airports and not to mention the 15-hour flight out of Los Angeles, we finally made it to Hong Kong! With still being very much under the influence of jetlag and sleep deprivation, me and the rest of the "China Ten" (as Dr. [Jack] Green [associate professor of marketing at Catawba College's Ketner School of Business] likes to call us) made a business decision to ignore our desires for rapid eye movement and instead go exploring through the many streets of downtown Hong Kong.
From stepping outside our Ramada Hotel and onto the pavement of Des Voeux Road, the first thing that we noticed was the peculiar smell that surrounded us. As fellow travel companion [sophomore business administration major from Jacksonville, N.C.] Angelica Frescia described, "The whole entire city smells like fish!" As we traveled a few blocks further, the smell worsened until we found ourselves in the middle of a dried seafood market. The people of Hong Kong find cooking with various types of dried seafood to be quite delectable, but unfortunately to the Western nose it can be quite nauseating.
We continued our exploration deeper into the city by a street trolley. Unfortunately, commuting through the streets of Hong Kong can be a daunting task due to the high volume of vehicles and pedestrians. So what we hoped to be a quick trolley ride across town turned out to be 40 minutes of stop and go. But no one in the group seemed to complain because the ride only cost each person $2.00 in Hong Kong money, or $0.28 U.S. We exited the trolley in the area of the city known as Causeway Bay. Our tour guide Calvin suggested us to take a look there if we wanted some good shopping.
By this point, I was starving and very anxious to experience my first Chinese meal. So I wondered into a random noodle shop and proceeded in attempting to place an order. Fortunately for me, the restaurant I had the English translations for each dish under the Chinese script on the menu. I felt extremely daring and adventurous, so I decided on fried noodles served with rolled fish balls and pig skin along with shark fin soup. Upon being served, I wasted no time in digging in. Oddly enough, my favorite part of the meal was the fish ball. It was very smooth in texture and the taste reminded me of a well seared scallop, a favorite of mine if I do add. So following my successful first dining experience, I solemnly vowed to myself to continue to broaden my palate for Chinese cuisine, no matter how bizarre or unconventional it may be.
With the first day pretty much in the books, the group gathered together for a meet and greet with the other EF tour groups at a local "Italian" restaurant and then proceeded back to the hotel for some well needed shuteye. Back at the room, me and my roommate [senior Business Administration major from Albany, N.Y ] Kyle Overacker ended up falling asleep to the music videos of MTV China. All in all, not a bad start for the China Ten!
PHOTOS: The China Ten: Business Study Tour of China