After traveling a total of 25 hours and sleeping 1 hour yesterday, I woke up today at 7 am Beijing time, 7 hours of sleep. My grandpa and great-uncle came over to the hotel (my great-uncle lives in Shanghai), and along with my dad, we had breakfast at the hotel buffet.
By the way, I’m living on Bu Xing Street, one of the busiest and most famous shopping streets in Shanghai. I’ll be exploring the surrounding shops soon.
My dad headed back to Hefei after breakfast, so I took the subway with my grandpa and great-uncle to the World Expo. We waited in line at the entrance for an hour because there were so many people going through security check. The scene reminded me of cattle being packed in lines – it wasn’t very pleasant.
But we finally got through and entered the expo. The place was huge – several city blocks. We decided to start at none other than China Pavilion. But lo and behold, so many people were there that they no longer let people in. So we went to the China Province Exhibitions instead.
In that building, all the provinces of China had there own exhibit, complete with fancy structures and buildings representing something unique from that province. We stopped at the Anhui province one first, since that’s were most of my family is from.
Very nice exhibit, with high-tech projections 360 degrees and even on the ceilings and floors. The projections showed animations of famous historical figures, Chinese calligraphy, and the like. Soon, we had visited the exhibitions for Hunan, Beijing, Tibet, Yunnan, Ningxia, Hainan, and Inner Mongolia.
Each exhibit was unique, yet all of them were very high-tech. I was impressed. Flowing waterfalls, panoramic views, and other decorations were projected. A lot of the exhibits were mini-buildings, and some had very interesting architecture, such as the swooping design of Hunan.
After a couple hours, I was ready for a break. We had a quick lunch and were soon outside, visiting the individual buildings of other countries. We decided to check out the countries with smaller pavilions first, since some of the bigger ones had wait times up to 8 hours.
We visited Qatar, Maldives, and North Korea. North Korea had an amazingly funny exhibit. Talk about false advertisement. The exhibit was paradise-themed, with gardens, brooks, and a fountain with children reaching for a dove to top it off. Oh, can’t forget about the rainbow.
Afterward, we went to the United States Pavilion. Seemed kind of redundant to visit, but my grandpa and great-uncle wanted to check it out. It didn’t disappoint; three very entertaining videos, all sponsored by corporations such as Shell and General Electric. The exhibit at the end was basically a corporate expo – all the big companies had a space to display their “commitment to sustainability, education, [insert positive image booster here].”
At this point, we skipped the lines for a bunch of exhibits, because my grandpa is a senior and they let two people in with the senior. We visited the Brasil and Egypt Pavilions, and checked out huge buildings that displayed a bunch of South American and African countries.
Our final visit was to the Great Britain Pavilion. The building looked like a metallic hedgehog. Very interesting design, and I found out that each of the spikes contained a seed from a famous seed bank. The exhibit showed the ends of the spikes, where the seeds were placed, producing a shimmering, awe-inspiring effect.
I was utterly exhausted heading back to my hotel. Tomorrow will be another big day exploring the World Expo. We’ve only scratched the surface, and I’m excited at what the next few days will bring.
Quick note: So China blocked all the proxy sites. A VPN is out of the question (complicated set-up and I’m not that great with computers), so I’m looking for a solution involving a TOR program. For now, I won’t be on Facebook, but my blogs will still update in my Notes section…comments are welcome!
More countries at randomtidbitsofthought.wordpress.com.