More from the Expo

8 06 2010

I just can’t get too excited about a long blog detailing every minute detail of the Expo. Instead, I will talk a little more about it and include some pictures.

Spain (Even with the giant animatronic baby), Denmark (Cool
architecture, plus the little mermaid), Mexico (Mmmm…Mexican food. Fun interactive site), Canada (The bikes are neat), Vietnam (Best small pavilion we saw)

Africa (Lots of Chinese people getting stamps without seeing the sites. Very strange), The Philippines (Good food, music playing all the time), Venezuela (Which is in the South America combined pavilion), Czech Republic (Not much about the country, but interesting art)

Myanmar (Surprise surprise), Iraq (Not open for business), India (Open from 3-8. What?), New Zealand (No stamps unless you have a passport? Boo! Besides that, it was OK)

USA, China, France, Italy, South Korea, the UAE, about 200 others … Sorry, the three-hour wait time is just too long.

A word on the stamps: They had this deal where you could buy a passport-looking thing from the gift shops and get it stamped at all the sites. Chinese people would go around ONLY getting the stamps and not looking at actual sites. Nothing like seeing people scurrying from Mali to Burundi and fighting off fellow Chinese to get all seven of their passports stamped. We felt for the people working as stampers.

All in all the site was great. It was pretty hot during the day, however, and some of the waits were super super long (as detailed above). Here are some more pictures:

1. Riding the bike in the Canada pavilion
2. Spain pavilion
3. Denmark pavilion
4. A line waiting for their passport stamps in front of Zambia



The World’s Fair!

5 06 2010

Also known as World Expo: Shanghai 2010. Yes, we went last weekend. Yes, we need to add another blog about it. But, until that happens, take a glancy glance at the group of photos on the flicker blog.

Here are photos of the creepy, 20ft tall, animatronic baby in Spain’s pavilion to wet your whistle.

Happy-ish face.

Chinese people love white babies. The bigger the better.

Those are pretty accurate feet wrinkles which adds to the creepiness. Notice how it’s head is in a different angle in each photo. It moved slowly, back and forth, scanning the crowd in preparation for a murderous rampage.

love, Missy

Shanghai Expo 2010, Part 1

3 06 2010

So the Expo is huge – 5.28 square kilometers, which is what, 3.5 square miles, roughly? According to the Expo 2010 site, not exactly a wealth of knowledge, 246 countries participated in the Expo. I made a rough estimate of how many countries’ pavilions we saw, according to how many stamps we got at said pavilions, and how many I can remember that we didn’t get stamps at. And that number is … hang on, counting … 38 countries. So we saw roughly 15 percent of the countries’ pavilions, at least if the number provided by the Expo is accurate. In 12 hours. Like I said, big place.

The Expo site is situated on a stretch of the Huangpu River in South-Central Shanghai. No doubt lots of poor Chinese and La Mien shops were cleared out to make room for the Expo, so our thanks go out to those who were there before. Mmm…la mien. There were several metro stops near the site, but we chose the one on the north side, which actually ended up being a mistake, since we had to walk through the north side of the Expo, which consisted solely of business pavilions like Coca-Cola and China Mobile. When we got to the river, we found a dock where you could be ferried across the river to either the Asia Pavilion or the Europe Pavilion. I chose the Asia Pavilion, so Missy can blame me for us seeing lots of tiny Asian countries like the Kyrgyz Republic on our visit. It was chaotic getting on the ferry, with the Chinese tourists exhibiting their worst traits of pushing, shoving and running to get to the ferry which wasn’t going anywhere anyway. Missy ended up getting in a scrap with some old Chinese woman who apparently thought the world would end if she didn’t get on the ferry IMMEDIATELY. Here is a picture of me in the crowd on the ferry with the Huangpu behind us.

That’s right, an Albuquerque shirt, albeit one with sahuaros on it, which don’t actually grow in New Mexico.

After disembarking, we walked to the edge of the Asia side of the pavilion, hoping to work our way across the world – I guess. I’m not sure there was a plan, really. The first pavilion we went into was the Tajikistan one. Yes, there is a country called Tajikistan. Unfortunately, it, like many of the small countries’ pavilions, it was underwhelming. More like a small chamber of commerce office or science fair project than anything else. We quickly knocked out Kyrgystan, Bangladesh, Maldives, Laos, Myanmar, Mongolia and Uzbekistan. We also tried to see the Iraq pavilion, but it was still under construction. I guess they have other stuff going on right now. In this picture, Missy expresses disappointment about Iraq.

Iraq being closed rendered me unable to use the tagline “Visit Iraq: It’s a gas.” Maybe next time. The first truly impressive pavilion we visited was the Vietnam one, which was quite beautiful and interesting, belying the reputation that the country seems to have among a lot of Westerners who travel there. The entire exterior was covered with bamboo, and the inside, which had instruments set up for musicians to play, looked like a cathedral. This is the interior of the Vietnam pavilion

Next up, Missy with more!

In the news: China expo

6 01 2010

Here is an interesting article Missy found about the U.S. participation in the Shanghai Expo 2010.
Apparently under the Bush Administration, the U.S. was considering not participating, which would have made it one of only two countries (the other being burgeoning world power Andorra) to decline to have a pavilion at the Expo.
Enter the not-embarrassing half of the Clinton couple to save the day, and to save face for Americans in China. (If you live in China, you’d totally get that.)