October 2010 Volume 7

Fortis at Shanghai World’s Fair, Expo 2010

Glendon Thompson
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Sleep walking on an airplane for 16 to 20 hours is no stroll on the beach. Trust me; I have done it many times on my trips to Asia. The beauty of it is, when this rite of passage is over a wonderfully fantastic culture awaits you.

China can be a perplexing dream, exhilarating and frightening at the same time. On this trip to Expo 2010 Shanghai China I experienced both emotions. This gathering of the world’s cultures presents exhilarating architecture and exhibits. The frightening size of the mainly Chinese crowd, 600,000 on a rainy day, in one section, of one city, stunned this island boy.  Have you ever felt claustrophobic in the open?

This Expo has the largest number of countries participating and is the most expensive Expo in the history of the world's fairs. The Shanghai World Expo is also the largest World's Fair site ever at 5.28 square km.   It is impossible to see the entire Expo in one day. Visiting the more popular exhibits requires a torturous open air 6 hour wait at the mercy of the elements. The flyover walkways assist in viewing the magnificent architecture. And no, being an American citizen does not get you into the American pavilion any faster, maybe try Australia.

Of the exhibitions that were also selling merchandise or food, Chinese entrepreneurs dominated. This is to be expected in a nation of 1.3 billion. These entrepreneurs even donned the Trinidad flag to sell something akin to jerk chicken. This added to the ambiance of the Expo for the foreign visitors. 

One secret between us, I travelled as a Chinese “mainlander” not a foreigner. If I told you how this was achieved would violate a trust. Travelling this way allowed me to get into the Expo at a fraction of the cost. Nothing like travelling with Chinese as a Chinese, the hidden mysterious side of Chinese interaction with each other is revealed and this trip to Expo 2010 Shanghai China was one of those gems. Please enjoy the pictures.

Retrieved October 22, 2010 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Expo_2010

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