A few days ago Jennifer and I apparently both came to the realization that neither of our blogs have really revealed much about Liechtenstein or our experiences
here at the Uni. Sure, we have detailed our travels to the fabulous surrounding European countries, but not much has been said about the people, food, and activities we partake in each and every day. That being said I figured this next post should focus a bit on more than just traveling so here goes!…
Since we are of course living in dormitories with people from all over the world,
food always seems to be an interesting topic and experience. There are a few areas, or regions rather that have taken it upon themselves to feed all 50 ravenous dormitory dwellers at International Evenings showcasing the local delicacies (well as local as you can make them while grocery shopping in Austria) and cultural significance of their homes. The Hungarian guys hosted an evening which even included a cake making workshop. The Spanish students organized a tapas competition for all countries to participate, and most recently the Asian students organized an international dinner this past Saturday.
Jennifer, Magda (Czech Republic), and I spent the day helping Insuk, our South Korean fried, make “kim pa”. Which by the was is NOT fake sushi, although it may appear to be. After a few hours of seaweed, rice, and rolling like champions Insuk approved our efforts, and I can now officially add “professional kim pa
maker” to my repertoire. Be jealous… Among the other things served at dinner were eggs boiled in soy sauce, chicken marinated in coke and soy sauce and cooked, sweet potato rice, and Korean pasta. I have to admit that normally I am that annoying skeptic about trying various international foods especially those from Asia, but this meal was a life changer! The food was superb, and nights like those really do embody the essence of a study abroad experience. I spent the night chowing down on new foods while at the same time sharing this experience from new friends from around the world! Boy did I mention I was lucky?
Oh and just in case you were wondering, us Americans are indeed hosting an international evening complete with hamburgers and hotdogs and even a visit from the US-Switzerland ambassador! Details to come of course.
Yet another “life changing study abroad” experience occurred this Sunday when eight of us may or may not have thrown ourselves off of a 106 meter (347 ft) bridge in Austria. Spoiler alert- We did! Yep that is right bungy jumping in Europe has officially been crossed off of my bucket list. And let me tell you while the experience was more than worth it, I can’t exactly promise that I will EVER do that again.
Since it was my idea to bungy jump in the first place, I of course was the genius who volunteered to jump first, and at that point fear hadn’t exactly entered my
mind. While Roope (Finnish guy) had done his best to persuade us that we “had to be ready to die”, and that our backs would first break, followed by our necks when we hit the bridge, I still somehow found myself on the platform ready to jump. It wasn’t until the countdown reached 2, 1…that I stopped and thought “What the heck am I doing?!” , and on the way down the fear amplified by about 1,000%. At that point the bungy hasn’t pulled tight yet so you are literally free-falling off of a bridge with a rock bed river hundreds of feet below and your stomach is pretty much at the top of your head by now. Sounds like fun right??
I don’t think I would describe the experience as “fun” per se, BUT the adrenaline
and feeling of accomplishment after the jump and when you are safely back on the bridge are unsurpassable. To each person the jump symbolized a different thing or beginning, or at least for me it did.
While in Roope’s words, I wasn’t exactly “ready to die”, I WAS ready to put my study abroad experiences to use and officially become the grown, mature, inspirational woman who I have grown to be. These past four months have already taught me so much, but that jump started something. It started my adventures as a worldly, educated, passionate woman who is blessed to be the person that I am and that I will become!
I know, I know, enough sappyness…to lighten the mood I will now provide you with five interesting facts of the week:
1. While “Asian food” in America may all seem similar, there is a HUGE difference between the cuisines in the different Asian countries. I mean the amazement Insuk (Korean) of the food Tiffany (Tawain) was cooking was so interesting to me. I guess know I see that they don’t all in fact eat General Csao chicken…they eat much better stuff!
2. You won’t in fact break your back, neck, ankles, or have your eyes pop out of their sockets while bungy jumping.
3. Class presentations here are at a much different level than at home. I mean for a ten minute presentation people put slides to give the agenda! Really? Is that necessary?
4. Alexander Hamilton founded what is today known as Bank of New York Mellon.
5. Apparently while studying abroad you do in fact have to take final exams. Let the non stop studying and preparations commence since they are only in 2.5 weeks!