Anyway, after working for about a month for my uncle, my parents and I went to Shanghai to visit Expo 2010, and it was one of most miserable experiences of my (admittedly fairly short) life. Basically, it was humongous, which meant that my feet started hurting about halfway through, the lines were long and obnoxious, and the heat and humidity were painful. Oh, and it reminded me why I hate people.
But! I have pictures. So I will make this therapy-by-snark, and share them with you. Admittedly, there was some pretty epic architecture going on.
We had three day passes and only ended up going on two days. The first day was the worst, because it was incredibly muggy and disgusting. You'll notice the gray skies over these pictures. It started raining as we left. Unfun.
So for those of you who don't know what the World Expo is, it's basically a place for countries to pimp themselves out to other countries by setting up pavilions full of 'shit we want other people to know and care about.' Mostly, it was about asking for foreign investment and tourism. Specifically from the Chinese (unsurprising, considering the location and all).
Anyway, we wanted to hit the less-popular pavilions first. Somehow we ended up in the Axis of Evil section first.
Iran's pavilion was covered in creepy pictures of Ahmadinejad kissing the hand of Ayatollah Khamenei. I did not take any pictures of this to preserve my sanity.
Next up was North Korea.
It was kinda small and kinda bland. There was a tower and a fountain and, um, this sign:
Ahahahahahha. No comment.
We were in the 'Asia' section of the Expo at this point, and a lot of those pavilions were really popular, so I mostly took pictures of their outsides.
China's pavilion was the most epic of them all, and there was like a four-five hour wait to get in. Yeah, we didn't attempt it.
We did get into the Thailand pavilion, though. There was a giant robot there.
We also got into the Australia pavilion. I didn't take any pictures of it from the outside, but insides were pretty cool.
They had some adorable figurines illustrating the history of the country:
And a show that was there to talk about the future of the country featuring three racially diverse kids (picked very carefully, as you may notice to be white, Aboriginal, and Chinese):
Then we went to see Finland's pavilion, which seemed a lot like a minimalist art exhibit as designed by Ikea (you know, except not Swedish).
We also got in line for Germany's pavilion, which was just a bad idea all around, because the line was about three hours of wait time. But then we wised up and went back to the hotel.
We skipped a day, partially because my aunt got sick (and then got me and my mom sick, but that happened later), partially because we hated everything the day before.
The second day was a lot nicer, a lot drier, a lot cooler, a lot less crowded.
First, we went to the Netherlands pavilion, which was mostly outdoors, and was basically a bunch of awesomely colored ramps that went up pretty high so you could get a good view of the area.
Mostly, our visit was an excuse to get a good shot of the UK pavilion across the way.
Yeah, that is a giant ball of metal fuzz. I don't know what was up with that either.
After that, we swung by the Americas, and caught a snapshot of the US of A.
Really boring, huh? We didn't go in because the wait was like, epic, but apparently there was stuff involving Hollywood inside. IDK.
Of course, our stop after that was Canada:
They had a whole bunch of art installations and short films and such that were really cool, though it was a bit on the crowded side. (There was also a 'get your picture taken with a mountie' thing, but the racial issues involving that make me want to throw up a little in my mouth.)
We bummed around the park a little bit more. It's really impossible for me to get you guys to understand just how big it was. It was biiiiiiig. There was the Czech Republic (which we went into):
and Slovakia right next to it (which we didn't):
The Taiwanese exhibit was apparently so popular, you couldn't even line up without special tickets.
That ball in the center of it was really a screen, which is hard to get from a still. (Also, I don't even want to know what sort of politics went into getting Taiwan its own pavilion separate from China.)
Last, but not least, we ended up at the Israel pavilion, which was really pretty half-glass, half-stone.
They also had a bitching sign.
Inside, they had a whole bunch of glowing globe and a video talking about how Israel likes to make tiny electronic things.
Here are a bunch of other pictures taken during my trip, not related to the Expo. They amuse me.
This was view from my room while I was working on a rare sunny day.
In Shanghai, we visited this giant food market very close to July 4, and we found this stand, which was both awesome and surreal at the same time:
Besides the raisins and the cereal, they also had peanuts and frosting on the other side. I'd been away from home for about a month at this point, and it almost kind of made me homesick for a supermarket. Almost.
Also, while I was in China, I ended up eating some fruit I wasn't familiar with and didn't know the name for, and I tried to describe it to my dad for like, hours, until I found an example to show him. Then he insisted that I take a picture of it. And my mom told me the name. In Chinese, it's literally 'Fire Dragon Fruit,' but I'm pretty sure in English, it's just dragon fruit.
Anyway, now I must go fill out forms for my new job so that I can bring them in on the first day. Eep.
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