Sunday, October 24, 2010

Oct 24 2010 | Shanghai: EXPOsed

Olga arrived last night and didn't seem to mind sleeping on the couch at the office while several of us worked through the night. Now she's adjusted immediately to Shanghai time, but I no longer am after so many late nights working ;)

Today (Sunday) I took the afternoon off and we visited the World Expo. In case you don't know, the World's Fair organization has continued and it's now called World Expo. Today is the last day it's open to the public and our office had a couple of extra tickets. The first pavilion we visited was Sri Lanka. We saw it had a modestly long line, but one that moved very briskly. Once we got in, we could see that it's an informative educational experience (I learned the official country name is the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka -- can't they just select one form of government and stick with it??), souvenir-buying opportunity, and cafe-going experience if you're in the mood for some Sri Lankan food.

PHOTO ON LEFT: World Map according to the Uzbekistan pavilion. United States of New York?
The last pavilion we visited was almost by accident. We were looking for the Belgian pavilion because I expected good beer and fries there. What I didn't expect was that if you buy food/drink in the pavilion restaurant, you can skip the massive line and enter the pavilion without waiting. Let me get this straight. Drink Belgian ale and I get to skip a huge line? Sign me up!! Belgium, which I once visited for 24 hours, is "distilled" down to an exercise in fine chocolate, beer, fries, solar-powered vehicles, Antarctica science station, EU HQ, and the Magritte Museum.

PHOTO ON RIGHT: Living Roof at the India Pavilion.
The Chinese have perfected the art of line-cutting. As the queue snakes around a bend, they sneak in front of you. As you check your watch, somebody sneaks in front. Look at your cell phone? An entire family you don't recognize is now in front of you. They will climb on railings and walk in gutters to cut around people in line. They use every trick in the book. No, they WROTE the book. They have it down to so much of a science that, from what we observe, Olga says they put even Russians to shame.
Please see Olga's blog for more details about the pavilions and Expo experience

PHOTO ON LEFT: Smurf Smurf Smurf Smurf Dave Smurf Smurf Smurf Smurf at the Belgian Pavilion.
On the way back to the hotel, we explored the new metro station underneath the Expo area. The shuttle metro (only has a couple of stops) is free as you have to be in the paid area of the Expo to get into it. This presents a challenge as I count on the computerized ticket machine to determine my route back. No ticket, no route. Of course everybody is super friendly and there are only so many possible permutations anyway :)


kg said...

Glad to see you had some fun, finally! Dave did you get that shirt there at the living roof?

Wander Woman said...

Great post. Love the map! All that matters is New York and Los Angeles, who cares what's in between? Looking forward to reading more adventures.

Wander Woman said...

Oh, I didn't see Chicago in there!

Dave said...

@mom ha funny, no -- i didn't realize the shirt and the roof match :)

@lisa apparently the Uzbekis are cued into the concept of "flyover country" :)

Dave said...

just found out that the Chinese name for Smurf translates back to English as "Blue Fairy". Cute!!