My Expo Experience - Special Report on Shanghai Expo
China Odyssey Tours had appointed a special commissioner, Ms. Mo, to record and present the grand Shanghai Expo for us from all angles. The following you are going to read is the Feature on Shanghai World Expo by Ms. Mo, as well as beautiful photos of the global festive gathering.
I arrived in Shanghai in the early morning of April 30th. Though a little tired, I could not wait to explore the metropolis which I was longing for and rushed into the flourishing streets after checking in at my hotel. April 30 was a big day for Shanghainese because Shanghai World Expo Opening Ceremony would kick off at 20:00 in the evening and tens of thousands of visitors were waiting for touring the Expo Park the next day. Shanghai people all wanted to present an unforgettable Expo for people on the earth.
I was thrilled with the Expo phenomenon in this "Oriental Paris". There was nowhere that you could not see or hear anything regarding the big event. Shanghai Expo emblems and the mascot Haibao mushroomed in all places in the city; directing boards guided visitors clearly to the Expo Park; various kinds of Expo banners and neon signs got the city in full dress, especially at night; Expo volunteers stood in the Info Booths, ready to help those who needed assistance; locals were also excited about the big moment and they acted like hosts welcoming visitors from home and abroad by hearty smiles and self-giving contribution. I would have been convinced that I was wandering in a huge Expo Park rather than in China's largest city Shanghai if I hadn't seen the world-famous landmarks of Shanghai.
When I came to the Park site following the directing boards, I found that there were some visitors taking photos leisurely outside the park. The park was evacuated in advance for the coming Opening Ceremony. A man from Hong Kong was taking pictures on his own by using automatic cameras. I went over to whether I could help him. He smiled, "No, thanks. I used to photograph in this way. Look, these pictures I took are wonderful." He was quite satisfied with his shootings and asked me where he could see the firework show best during the Opening Ceremony. I disappointed him by shaking my head, and informing him that I was a newcomer too. Then told me that it was too hard to get a Peak Day Admission Ticket in Hong Kong, so he could only enter the park three days later after the Peak Days. "However, it is also very nice to take a good tour of the city. Shanghai is an amazing city that I am dreaming of. And I will enter the Park. Just as the old saying goes, the best always comes the last." He continued. The pity was simply overtaken by his smile and humor.
The exquisite pavilions inside the park were really magnificent. From the unique appearances of each pavilion, I knew that this was not just an exposition but a chance for people from different countries to communicate and improve the civilization of human beings. Just shows as the Expo Theme: Better City, Better Life. I just took several pictures from the outside and headed back to my hotel, for the reason that I should get well rested for the visit the next day and there will be more stories and highlights inside the park.
May 1, Sunny
Today was the first day that the Expo Park opened to the public. The weather was nice; the Expo pavilions, waiting to be explored; I, was excited. I got up early in the morning, eager to take my expected exploration.
After a quick breakfast, I got to the 8th ExpoGate at a gallop and found that I was never the first person to arrive at the park. Cramming myself into the long crowd queue, I managed to get to the paradise I was longing for at last and immediately recollected what the tips for the shanghai Expo written in a newspaper: No. 1 visit the park with a nice mood and keep patient all the time. It was exactly true. Without a good mood, your expo expedition would probably be spoiled. Here everything you do, you would have to join a queue and wait, waited to enter the incredible pavilions, wait to the toilet, and wait to feed yourself. I was not the person that would be defeated by waiting. So I took a deep breath, calmed down and waited.
Soon I found a nice way to detract myself from the boring queuing. It was people-watching, which was really interesting to see people with different skin colors standing in lines. Maybe you would notice that a white man stood in front of you, with a black guy behind. Though their colors were different, there was one thing in common, smile. They likely could not understand each other, but the smile made them easy at the company. This could be a picture of human beings created by the mighty God, I wonder.
Due to the simple breakfast, I soon found that I was bothered by hunger. Being not to bear starvation, I decided to stuff my stomach. As always, long teams were already there and I waited again. There I came to a conclusion: one should avoid peak times to have meals. Fortunately, my long queuing paid off: I was given the most delicious food I could ever have.
I knew that the China pavilion and Saudi Arabic pavilion were the hottest pavilions in the park. So I chose to visit African Joint Pavilion, which fewer visitors were supposed to go to.
Africa Joint Pavilion was located in Zone C of the Expo Park. It might be a little smaller than others, but it is still the largest among all joint pavilions. And it is the first time that 44African countries came to World Expo together. It seemed that the World Expo united African nations.
I first came to the Algeria Display Area: it was like walking in a common street of Algeria, with various windows of traditional Arabic architecture. Through these windows, you would see several women weaving carefully in their traditional ways; an Algerian carpenter was carving some delicate designs; even dozens of pupils were taking their lessons in a temporary classroom. It was a panoramic view of peaceful Algeria's local lives, which were not real but strategically displayed through digital equipment.
In the 44 nations' displaying areas, there were 44 unique themes and layouts. Each showed its unique natural and cultural gems. For example, woods, stones, couch grass, mud and every single building material that you could imagine were used to build their native houses.
In the Ghana pavilion, soccer stars were painted on the outer wall and inside a huge picture of the Ghana National Soccer Team was hung in the center, which showed their enthusiastic soccer culture; in Eritrea Pavilion, the primitive instruments were ideologically placed, which might be the origin of music; in Kenya Pavilion, a family picture of BarackObama was hung in a visible place, telling you that the nation was home to the president; in Central Africa Pavilion, a picture of smiles of their people was really impressive.
Compared with the dazzling advanced technologies inside the modern pavilions of western countries, Africa seemed a little weak, but what I saw there were peace, pure happiness and hope for the future. (to be continued)