China Trip – Leigh Cosolito

Before beginning graduate school, I did not own a passport. My previous international travels were restricted to North America back in times when a birth certificate was sufficient. Traveling to China was both new and interesting for me. While some places felt like I had not left America, others were unlike anything that I had seen or experienced. From the busy streets and markets in Shanghai to the grand architecture and beautiful gardens in Xiamen, I found myself struggling to embrace all of the sights and sounds around me, but the tastes are hard to forget!

As I was complaining to my parents that they feed me too much when I visit, my mom said, “Don’t worry. You’ll lose the weight in China because you won’t eat the food.” Boy was my mom wrong! It seemed like every meal was a huge affair, from enormous breakfast buffets in the morning to never empty lazy Susans at night and fast food samplings in between. I never found myself feeling hungry on the trip.

I did, however, find myself being a more adventurous eater, especially with clients at meals. It is difficult, and rude, to refuse food that your client has ordered and is insisting that you try. Despite living in New Orleans for years, I have never been a big seafood eater, but in one meal, I found myself eating oysters, shrimp, fish off the bone, and jellyfish. The cuddle fish, on the other hand, is where I had to draw the line. If not for the business atmosphere, I am not sure that I would have tried the foods, but I am glad that I did. Food is an important part of any culture, so I am glad that I got to immerse myself in that part of the Chinese culture. This trip to China has only made me want to travel more, and I hope the opportunity to do so presents itself soon!

Leigh Cosolito

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