Shanghai Expo

something to amuse myself ...Two days, it took me two days in this modern times to reach Asia: left 10:40pm on Wednesday Sept 8th and did not arrive Hong Kong till 6:55am on Sept 10th Friday. I decided to take this indirect flight – stop over in Vancouver – due to the fact that it beats out 10am flight from New York’s JFK that gets me in 2pm the next day in HKG en route to PVG Shanghai 5pm. Friday would have been a waste.
Good that my family wasn’t around so I could take pictures whenever and whatever I please.
Few snowflakes …
Very misleading because it’s hot in China wherever I went, including JiNan in Shandong province.

they don't like my scissorThe NY – Vancouver leg was stressful: I sat next to a young couple with a crying baby on their laps. Gosh my kids didn’t cry that much for their entire life!! Fortunately I was able to change to a different seat at YVR. It made room for the baby to sleep better too.
Changing flight in HK could be cumbersome: making connection without exiting, I still needed to going the security screening. And apparently the tiny scissor was ok at JFK wasn’t ok at HKG. They confiscated it. Having lost one in Beijing in 2003, I wasn’t going to lose this one that has been with me for nearly 30 years; more of a sentimental value than anything. Don’t we all hate to part with things or friends? So I demanded it back. So this Sir was writing up a receipt for me to pick it up within 14 days.
Someone ought to bomb those terrorists out of existence once for all!

DSCN0659Both Hong Kong and PuDong airports are new, to me. I was disappointed for not seeing all the tall concretes that lined the Kai Tak Airport’s runways: upon landing and taking off one could see what’s going on inside those apartments. Had Angela Lansbury ever wrote a murder mystery through those peeping holes?

Doreen’s driver Mr. Mao came to fetch me and drove me over to the Expo directly. It was an overcast sky. My last trip to Shanghai was last century, :). Actually exactly quarter of century ago, in 1985: attending a industrial exhibition. JinJiang was the best hotel in town.

taking a break barb wire high heels the vacant entrance
Mr. Mao had to drop me off at Yaohua Road by the Expo Avenue since no unofficial cars could get to the gate -without the VIP arrangement anyway. As I was walking down (or up) the empty Expo Avenue in a daze and jet-lagged, I saw two street cleaners were taking a break; barb wire on the wall; a pretty woman on a white high heels (I felt tired just by looking at them) and the vacant No. 8 Gate under an mostly overcast sky. Shanghai is pretty shanghai even under a cloudy sky.

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The National Pavilion Day and the provincial way: Province Culture Week

Upon entrance, my eyes darted toward the big red bold letters: USA, the one that Secretary of States Hillary Clinton got an earful lecture from the Chinese early this year. On that Friday, the USA Pavilion had an hour wait while Germany 4 and France 3. Passing by the USA, I asked if I could shot in with my passport since few friends had done so (it even worked at UK Pavilion). But the guard politely told me no such policy exist. Whatever. Expo has VIP arrangement that no queuing is required. If I were to go with a friend who offered VIP it would have to be another day which I didn’t really have time for.
I didn’t ask how long to get into the Chinese pavilion .. since well, I’m in China. Makes sense?

USA: The American pavilion the red hot China

Yishi said that one will regret 1 lifetime for not going to the Expo but 8 if had gone – 不去一辈子后悔, 去了八辈子后悔. Although theme park is never my cup of tea, and between one and eight lifetimes I chose to go, because I could fill the gap between arrival in the AM and dinner. Plus moving around could keep myself up and at the same time tiring myself out. Good way to beat jet-lag.
I heard that Saudi pavilion has an staggering 8 or 9 hours of wait. Hmmmm ,, why not actually go to Saudi instead? Flying time might have been shorter? No? Oh heck, go watch Sex and the City 2 ..
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There were many pavilions that had no queues, which was good enough for me: 走马看花 zouma kanhua – gain a superficial understanding through cursory observation.

Inside the pavilions – the empty ones anyway – there were more people waiting on line to get their souvenir passports stamped by the country than anything else. Many counters (countries) put up the sign indicating each customer could only stamp maximum of 3 souvenir passports. Will there soon be a market for trading the Expo passport? I am wondering which stamp (country) valued most? Oh and by the way, don’t take picture of the staff .. don’t trample 踩踏 .. be civil. One of the African ladies dressed like a peacock who’s well built passed by breezily, my fellows visibly tilted and parted to give way, and turned to look at her as if looking at a giraffe. Pretty provincial but entertaining.
At dinner my gangs grilled me as which pavilion did I visit and pointed out why I didn’t have to wait on line: because I was going home, making fun of my tan.

DSCN0694 Libya DSCN0700 very slipery

The Libya hall was small, like someone’s living room and there was no guests. Where was Colonel Qaddafi?
And there were food, of all kinds. Let’s just stop it here. After feeding myself to death, feeling heavy and sleepy, I rode buses around. The mini bus needed ticket and the large ones were free. Many riders were coworkers. Did their company pay for them to go, or provided the tickets at discount? Keeping the Expo artificially crowded? The last bus I was on I asked the driver if I could just stay on. At the final stop he shoot everyone off then looked at me,
“So … where are you from? .. where are you going?” Geee … guest I didn’t look local.

Shanghai had outspent Beijing for this coming out party. The site perhaps will be better used afterward. I left at about 4pm, heading to a good massage and shower before dinner with the gangs.

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