|From Jamie's Philippines Pics|
We have also had the opportunity to travel to some amazing places in China, Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Bali. We have archived all of our travels and living experiences abroad; and if you wish, you can read about our adventures by finding the archives on the right of this page and by checking our Photo Album.
We appreciate all of our family and friends who have stayed in touch and emailed us with encouraging words throughout the year. We hope you will continue to keep us in your thoughts as we continue our adventure of living abroad teaching at an international school. For those who have stumbled upon our site, check out the "About Eric and Jamie" section on the right for more information.
Thanks for checking us out!
- Mark Twain
- Maya Angelou
Sunday, May 2, 2010
May Holiday - Day 10 - Shanghai EXPO
Another early morning as we wanted to try and be at the gates of the EXPO just as they opened at 9:00. We arrived at the Metro Station that leads directly to the center of the EXPO at 8:50, plenty of time. Apparently, the entire city had the same idea as thousands of people waited at the metro station gate that also served as an entrance into the EXPO.
We had planned to try and see as many of the country pavilions as possible in two ways: just seeing the outside and the ones we really liked, go inside and view. We first went to the center of the EXPO and the China pavilion, an enormous upside down pyramid. We didn’t go into this one because we figured that half of the Chinese visitors would be there. So we headed to the Asia area and toward the pavilion of our future home, Saudi Arabia.
IT WAS PACKED. Probably the longest line of the entire EXPO, and we have no idea why. Perhaps they were giving away free gasoline, but we found out later that it was the 2nd largest pavilion behind China, had a desert and sea in it, and the largest cinema screen (1600 square feet) in the world. Hundreds of people had lined up there and we were told it would be more than 2 hours. Instead of waiting (we only had 6 hours total), we decided to walk around the other pavilions and try to find shorter lines. There weren’t any. All of the lines were at least a 45 minute wait. We finally made our way to the Africa combined pavilion where you could just walk in without a line. It was pretty cool and brought about some interesting discussion about certain countries and continents’ wealth.
We walked around Europe and the Americas. We were very unimpressed at the US pavilion. As you can tell from the pictures, some countries went all out on the outside of their pavilions to make them look appealing. The most boring person in the world must have designed the US pavilion. Again, the lines for these amazing country pavilions were so long that we didn’t take the time to go in them. We didn’t want to waste time in lines. We did hungry, so the first place we thought of to go eat (except the US) was… you guessed it – MEXICO. Apparently, many of the Chinese had the same idea the Mexico pavilion was also pretty crowded. We waited in line mainly just to get in to the restaurant inside. We were vastly disappointed and they must have been taking tips from Disney World on what to charge for crappy food.
We then walked to a close up view of the China pavilion and around some of the others, tried again at Saudi Arabia, and decided to try one of the theme pavilions across the river. The EXPO was divided into 5 zones: A, B, C, D, and E. We ended up going through all of them in a whirl, but we figured it would take someone 3 straight weeks going 8 hours per day actually see all of the pavilions. Our last stop was the “Future” pavilion, which was very cool as it discussed the various new technologies that were going into future city planning.
We are very glad that we went to the EXPO even though we didn’t really get to see much of it. Just being there was a great experience and something we won’t forget. We only wish we had more time to spend there in order to truly enjoy it. We envy our friends who live in Shanghai as they will have 185 more days to experience it.
As this vacation comes to close, it will be our last one of our adventures in China. Our plan is to visit Hong Kong at least one more time and Macau again. We might make a trip to Guangzhou too. We are running out of time. I have written a list of all of the places we have visited and seen in the last 2 years. I’ll be posting it along with some cool statistics in a few weeks. We actually get a lot of people who read this blog who are searching QSI and Shekou. Nice to know someone reads it.
Be sure to check out the pictures of the EXPO and remember that this was only a small fraction of it.