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Day 2: World Expo

View Visiting the Orient on giffords's travel map.

Today we went and saw: Angola, Australia, China, Croatia, Germany, Iceland, Libya, Russia, Slovania, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United States. The best today was China as it was a hugely impressive (and I think the largest) pavilion in the entire Expo. They only gave reserved tickets to enter this display every morning to the first 50,000 visitors, and if you don't have a reservation ticket you couldn't get inside. So we arrived about 7:45 in the morning and waited until 9:00. It had so many really interesting displays, some showing how China has changed since the seventies (showing furniture and electronics, clothes) and future plans for an ecologically responsible China with a big focus on sustainable living, living quarters, fuel. The United States came an easy second place and we think that they really planned it well allowing 500 persons in at a time which people were ushered through three huge theatres to sit down and watch some videos. In one of them, the seats rumbled and water sprayed down when it was a thunderstorm on the screen and that made everyone shout out in surprise which was pretty funny. But Ben said that it was to be expected that the US would be very entertainment focused. It was the only pavilion that we saw the actual leader of the country greet and give a very warm wish to those who were watching. Go Obama!

We waited 3 hours in line to go to the Swiss pavilion, which to be honest wasn't that impressive and the only cool thing was that there was ski lifts which took you up for about a 20 second ride at the top of the pavilion to look around (which was pretty darn neat and more important was that we could give our tired feet a rest and let them dangle!!). Turkey was very interesting and probably our third choice today. We could hear Ireland playing bagpipes at their pavilion, although Ben thought that was more a Scottish instrument and that the Irish were probably just too inebriated to realise that. The United Kingdom's pavilion was very odd looking with huge silver spikes, and in talking with friendly people in the Expo it was quite well known that it was as boring on the inside as it was on the outside and not worth visiting. That was a huge shame. The biggest disappointment at the Expo was the Australian pavilion. Recently, there has been a very huge international issue between Australia and China in the area of iron exports; even going as far as Australian citizens being arrested and placed in prison for bribing Chinese officials. In a nutshell, Australia wants to increase the price of our largest export item (and China is the largest importer of our iron), and China wants to keep the price level. So having the entire pavilion made out of iron sheets with raw iron ore material all around the bottom was a bit rude we thought. The inside of the Australian pavilion was odd with lots of caricatures made trying to explain in about 2 minutes what Australia's history was. There wasn't any interesting imagery of how diverse the country was nor how Australia is leading in many eco areas such as photovoltaic technology (that's probably because the University of Sydney was a sponsor and not the University of New South Wales), as well as algae fuel. Oh well. In the theatre there were no seats, just something you could lean back against and watch an interesting movie on three screens that swivelled in a circle. The largest complaint we had was that everything was entirely in mandarin and there weren't even english sub-titles unlike the other pavilions we were at. It was discussed by a person next to me that while Chinese people enjoy Australian people, that the government is untrustworthy with our prime minister trying so hard to be Chinese. Ben thought that was pretty interesting.

Thomas and Alexis found some very funny statues outside of the Angola pavilion and we had to stop and take some photos while they played with them. Today was the biggest day that we have had at the Expo and as soon as we arrived back at our hotel, we crashed asleep!

We had dinner at a very interesting restaraunt called the Jade Garden.

Interesting Thing Eaten: Donkey hamburger

Posted by giffords 17:30 Archived in China Tagged family_travel

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