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Old March 11th, 2012, 12:24 AM   #181
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Macedonia



I do not remember too much of this but it was a quite nicely designed performance.



At the Expos end it was awarded as being one of the most attractively designed pavillons



It was these black and white rhombi which drew attention.



Space was wisely used, people could enjoy this interesting exhibition on two floors.



I visited this paviullon on one of the most crowded days at the Expos end. Outside rain was heavily pouring down.



But even for this pavillon which was not on top of list of most visitors, queuing was about 20 minutes on that day. Btw, the bizarrely designed building in the pic above is located in the cpaital of Skopje.



Macedonia is a small country in southeastern Europe. It has no beaches to offer to its visitors but is characterized by its rugged mountainous terrain with dramatic scenery. Being a relic of faded Yugoslavia, the countrys name is still not accepted by Greece which declares the country to be an integral, histroical part of Northern Greece. In international competitons, the country presents itself as FYROM: Fomer Yugoslavian Republic of Mazedonia. Urgh. To settle this dispute several alternative names have been proposed to rename the country: South Slavia, Central Balcanian Republic, Republic of Skopje, Macedonoslavia.
My proposal: negotiate a lucrative deal with the Cocoa Cola company, rename it to Coke Republic and earn a lot of money. But maybe this aint necessary since the country has overcome its economic hardships and is negotiating with the EU about joining. Still, unemployement is extremely high at around 20 percent.
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Old March 11th, 2012, 12:40 AM   #182
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Madagascar

A rather disappointing performance in the labyrinthic maze of the African joint pavillon.



The entrance of this booth was inspired by the architecture of Antanananananarivos ancient city district.

The rest was the usual combination of photos and artefacts.



Its so called "unique selling proposition" was this gigantic ship model.



There was no real explanation behind it. Maybe a ship of the Chinese invaders who reached African shores in the 15th century but then were called home by their emperor? China was a confucian country then, not aiming to discover other tribes, in order to colonize and later send them to slavery like the Europeans did some decades later with ships wich resembled nutshells when being compared to the Chinese masterpieces from the Ming dynasty. But this is all not about Madagascar although this country surely has its attractions. But not on Shanghais Expo in 2010.
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Old March 11th, 2012, 12:49 AM   #183
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Malawi

Same location, similar concept.



A round hut and a typical Baobab tree in the centre, the walls containing a lot of information about the countries cities. Not much about sustainablity and enviromental issues. But poverty stricken albeit beautiful Malawi, the country located on Eastern Africas rift valley with its numerous lakes and dense Mimbo forests, is probably not the place to look for future oriented technology. The people being patient enough to go through the whole exhibition were rewarded with a very interesting insight in Malawis urban life.

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Old March 11th, 2012, 11:45 PM   #184
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Malaysia

Normally one potential crowdpuller. Like Thailand, this southeast Asian country is quite wellknown to the Chinese since also a siginificant number of Chinese live in this otherwise Muslim dominated state.
Outside appeal was rather traditional as you can tell by looking on the people below.



And inside, most visitors agreed, that this was a rather disappointing pavillon. So lets quickly get over it.

Two floors, and some natural ingredients in the center. But these palms you can see in every 4star hotel lobby in Shanghai. No need to head to the Expo.



Colourful floors and walls cladded with posters. A lot about tourism and even a travel agency to lure Chinese tourists to Malaysia. In my opinion the Expo is not the right place to do business....

The picture below was the most memorable thing. Never been to MY but this hotel complex is said to be a major tourist attractions for both Chinese and Western visitors.



All in all, nothing to write home about and not worth queuing up for. We luckily went during the evening and so waiting time was reduced to a few minutes.
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Old March 12th, 2012, 12:02 AM   #185
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Mali

One of Western Africas more known nations and, despite some Tuareg uprisings in the north, one of the more stable ones and quite acessible for tourists. International experts praise the countries stance to introduce democracy and freedom of speech, however the population is mostly dead poor like in the neighbouring countries.
Mali once was center of a sophisticated culture long before the Europeans arrived. Timbuctu was a major commercial centre linked to the North-African cities and had caught Europe's eye in the Mali empire period in the 14th century. But it wasnt until 1853 when a European managed to enter the legendary city. Parts of the city including the claim mosques were added to the UNESCO world heritage list. This architecture also represented the frame of Malis appearance at the Expo.



Plus some nice carpets, numerous pictures and even some place to sit around. Many visitors took the opportunity to have a break.

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Old March 12th, 2012, 12:17 AM   #186
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Malta

One of this small but beautiful European pavillons located in the European rowhouse pavillon just next to Cyprus and San Marino.



Often overlooked, but very interesting although some requisites already looked a bit worn at the Expos end
Not too much text and information but a lot of pictures and TV screens.




The main feature was also a movie illustrtating the countrys 7000 year hisiory and its cultural diversity. Arabians, Italians, Africans and British have left their traces on the three islands which comprise this small state.



Tiny Malta is just 370 sq kilometers big but is populated by 400,000
inhaibtants making it one of the most densely populated places on earth.



There was still place left for a tiny restaurant offering a mixture of Italian, Arabian and British cuisine. But as with most restaurants at the Expo the price level was unaffordable for most visitors.

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Old March 12th, 2012, 12:29 AM   #187
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Maldives

"Roma est divisa in tres partes"...these are the first words of Julius Caesars book "de bello gallico".
Same division can be done for the Islamic Republic of the Maldives which consists of some 2000 islands near the equator in the Indian Ocean. While most islands are inaccessible for tourists and entirely inhabitated by locals, foreigner have about 60 "hotel" islands to themselves. The third part consists of just one islands, namely the crowded Male island where the capital city is located.
One thing all three parts have in common is a dramatic lack of altitude. Consisting just of coral reefs the Maldives are the state with the lowest maximumt altitude in the world: the highest point is just 3 meters high. The islands highest structures are some buildings in Male and can bee seen here:



Tourism brought somehow ecenomic development but no real freedom to the 300,000 Maldivians. But not very surprising tourism was the pavillons main theme. The floor resembled a shallow trocial ocean, some sand plus a bamboo hut with palms. And not very much information, not even some video screens. At least I had the chance to talk to one Maldivian for the first time in my life.

Last edited by Rinchinlhumbe; March 15th, 2012 at 11:24 PM.
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Old March 12th, 2012, 12:33 AM   #188
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This is a fantastic thread, especially for those of us who couldn't be there - thanks
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Old March 12th, 2012, 12:36 AM   #189
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Marshall Islands

One of the smallest and most obscure states in the world. Just 180 sqkm in size, they still managed to ramp up a booth in the Pacific joint pavillon.



I do not know very much about this country except that it consists of lagoon islands, its capital has the funny name of Dalap Uliga Darrit and, on a more negative side, it was target of numerous nuclear tests in the 1950s.

This friendly guy in the picture below is one of the chosen few Marshallians

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Old March 14th, 2012, 11:47 PM   #190
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SYDNEY View Post
This is a fantastic thread, especially for those of us who couldn't be there - thanks
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Old March 15th, 2012, 12:14 AM   #191
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time to celebrate the first react since weeks with the best African performance.

Mauretania



It was not South Africa or Egypt which won the price for the best African pavillon at the Expos end. It was sandy and dead poor Mauretania, a huge but sparsely populated landmass near the Atlantic Ocean, flat and arid, almost entirely covered by sand with only a few trees at its southern border where the countrys only river, the Senegal, is bordering with the epitonymous country. A certain fascination arounds this country: empty deserts, anicent ruins, endless horizons, enormous "Lawrence in Arbai"-like dune field, bleak cliffs, mysterous desert oasis towns and the worlds oldest Islamic library can be visited here.
You can see a very old Koran below.



Mauritania marks the crossraods between the Islam dominated "white" Northern Africa and the "black" subsaharan Africa. In the recent years, it has taken various attempts to implement democracy but has constantly failed in succeeding so.

The country somehow managed to transport its message as Mauritania not only focused on exhibiting what is typical for the country, like food products, masks, photographs and carpets, but also connected these exhibitis and told a story how it all came to this. Numerous models of traditional architecture documented the cultural diversity and also its tensions between the different ehtnics. I wonder why Mauretania was the only country in the entire African pavillon being able to show different styles of architecture to the audience.



As Mauritania is obviously lacking in urban best practice examples it could at least present how an African city developed in tis post colonial period. Like many African capitals, Nouackchott was a small village when the country became independent in 1960. The cities population has risen from just 400 souls to about 1 million people within the last 5 decades creating a lot of problems. A lot of photos, especially those from the cities early ages gave an interest insight.



Urban development documented by photos, multicutltural diversity documented in a nutshell and precious ancient artefacts - Mauretania was the face in a crowd.
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Old March 15th, 2012, 12:16 AM   #192
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Mauritius

didnt show up
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Old March 15th, 2012, 12:33 AM   #193
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Mexico, part 1



A country going underground. The Mexicans did not try to impress by monumental architecture but hid beneath the soil. Yes, it was the only subterranean pavillon, a reference to some very anicent tribes (I dont know much about Mexicos precolumbian history, it wasnt the Mayas...) which inhabited the country some thousands years ago.



The only visible structure was a green hill with some parasols on it.



This part was accessible to everyone, also to the people not wanting to go inside. On the downside, queuing to get inside was quite nerve-wrecking as nobody could really anticipate what was waiting underneath the soil and even the queue was hiding behind a steep flight of steps. Weird.

After around 40-45 minutes of queuing we finally entered and this was our first impression:



Mexico surely wanted to play with the very big boys. Its layout could compete with the real crowdpullers UK, Japan, South Korea or Germany. Compared to the lame perfomance of Brazil and Argentinia it was easily the most spectacular contribution from Latin America.



Somehow bizzare, the whole thing started with a 10 minute movie. In most of the other big pavillose visitors first had the chance to look around independently and the movie was somehow kept as a "Joker" until the end but here this was not the case.



There were no words but a lot of pictures to see. One of the few moments where no language barrier spoiled the party for either the Chinese or the foreigners.

After the movie was over, some visual effects projected on the wall guided us into the next room. One of the very few moments with nobody standing in the way.

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Old March 15th, 2012, 12:47 AM   #194
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Mexico, part 2

The aforementioned next room focused on introducing the country with a lot of photographs and text. There were also some examples of sustainable projects exhibited. Surely, Mexico wanted to appear as a modern, future oriented country.
The following pictures were taken in the third room and show the pavillons best kept secret.



Most visitors just had a brief look at these masks before rushing on to the next queue. "Fine, some nice, masks, but nothing special" was my first thought as well but actually each of these masks also had a story to tell. Just take a look through the eyes of a Mexican and learn something about the everyday life of various Mexican people, portrayed through a short movie.



It took some time until also the Chinese visitors realized the real attraction behind these masks. It was not very long until all these masks were blocked with curious people queuing up to gain a look what is behind the masks



Then it was time to say goodbye and try to resist the temptation of the food being offered in the restaurant near the exit



We went outside and meanwhile it had gotten dark. This is our last impression as Mexico desigend and exhibited in China.



to get rid of this leftover, also a daytime pic:

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Old March 15th, 2012, 12:54 AM   #195
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Micronesia

Another one from the Pacific joint pavillon



I dont remember too much ,sry



The usual collection of handicrafts, pictures, etc. Just enjoy the photos.
ascasc swq f ewAS SCXSSXS SDS SRY FOR THIS, just wanted to know if somebody is acutally reading what I am writing in this thread.

By the way, this used to be the islands currency until 60 years ago


Last edited by Rinchinlhumbe; March 15th, 2012 at 01:16 AM.
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Old March 15th, 2012, 01:13 AM   #196
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Moldova

Moldavia, Europes poorest country, neglected in the far eastern corner of Europe. It measures only the size of Belgium but acutally consists of 3 parts. The separatist Gagausian Repuclic and especially the adamant state of Transnistria fighting for independence pose a great challenge to Moldavians integrity and hamper the countrys economic development. The difficult relationship to its huge neighbour Romania does not make things better either. But lets talk about the EXPO

Located in the European "rowhouse" next to Armenia and Macedonia, it was the only European pavillon with a certain "developing country appeal".
There was not much to read about urban future life or future oriented technology. Not even tourism was a topic worth mentioing. The countrys only usp seemed to be wine. Indeed I had heard about Moldavian wine before, but never tasted or spotted any in the supermarket. This pavillon was the best chance to do so, but the pavillons staff was one of the most rude I encountered during the Expo. Given the outside 35C temperature, I could do without the whine and enjoyed the Soviet service mentality instead. This is one of the things slowly disappearing in Eastern Europe. But nevertheless, Moldavia not only managed to preserve this abrasiveness but also carried it to Shanghais EXPO.
Otherwise there was not much to look at. A huge upside down pyramid was the pavillons main feature, somehow killing a lot of space which Moldavians neighbour Macedonia used for adding a second floor.



And as a reference to this aforementioned "developing country" appeal just look on the building below. A huge villa for the countrys corrupt elite showcased as the countrys pride. I heard very interesting things about the countrys capital Chisinau. Some day I need to go there

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Old March 15th, 2012, 12:07 PM   #197
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nice, thanks for the updates on the Shanghai Expo....
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Old March 15th, 2012, 11:27 PM   #198
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thx.
My talent of making photos is mediocre, but just read the text in each post, that might be even more entertaining.

We continue with a true highlight
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Old March 15th, 2012, 11:46 PM   #199
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Monaco



The worlds second smallest state, just spread 3km wide across Southern Frances coastline and some 500 meters wide, it was the smallest state exhibiting at the Expo.



A place where the naked and famous live. Owning a BMW is regarded as a poor mans choice, so if you want to play the game it should at least be a Ferrari, if not a Bugatti, to impress people. Not a very sympathetic place and often crowded with tourists. But to be fair, many visitors often overlook sights like the tiny but nice old town district where the price level in pizzerias is still acceptable and also the mindblowing oceanographic museum plus the dukes palace is located. Monaco has emerged from this location, and grown across the adjacent bay where the harbour, the famous casino and most parts of the car racing tracks are located.

Despite its tiny size, the country regarded it as necessary to show up with its own pavillon, just next to Serbia and Spain.

And it was one of the best. Not the best pavillon of Southern European countrys, of the small country or of the small own pavillons. It was one of the Expos best. Full stop.



Small and excrentic, the pavillon followed the countrys philosophy. Major feature was a movie, for me and my girlfriend the best by far shown in any pavillon.



It covered Monacos complete history, starting the story in the Palaeolithicum and ending 1000 years later from now - in 3000 AD. This is how the world will look then:



All this was done in a very attractive way. There were no jumps as the time proceeded and people could witness how the city expanded, the architecture changed, people dressed up differently and invented different means of trasnportations as time moved on.

Plus a very comprehensive exhibition which covered everything a tiny but wealthy country can offer: general information, urban developments, sustainable projects



..or just exhibting the countrys trademarks like the famous Rallye Monte Carlo



Great job! We went there twice.
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Old March 16th, 2012, 12:11 AM   #200
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Mongolia

This rough, remote and rugged country accomodating the worlds coldest capital Ulaanbaatar was located in a bizarre location, squeazed between tropical Bangladesh and the paradise like Maldives Islands.



It was one of the rowhouse pavillons also paying some attention to the outside design. The Mogolians added nice colours to the facade and invented the motto "Gobi and City" for their motto.
But what does that mean??? Going inside, the pavillons motto soon became clear to see.



A mysterious neon green dinosaur egg, hiding the countries (mineral) treasures was the main feature.



Besides movies about the countrys mineral wealth, the egg also contained the main attraction: several original dinosaur skeletons, including a giant dinosaur egg with an embryo. Archaeoglogists have disccovered a lot of these prehistoric animals underneath the barren Gobi soil.

The pavillon was surrounded with huge wall paintings showing mining activities, nomad caravans and Ulaanbaatars emerging skyline. The country wants to build a huge 200,000 metropolis in the Gobi desert to uncover Mongolias vast coal and copper reserves. The Gobi will help to develop the city of Ulaanbaatar as the motto suggests.



Some food products and ancient costumes were exhibitied in cabinets along the wall. Quite funny to see horse milk cheese crisps being advertised as a fast food snack!



Here something no to be eaten



A gigantic screen introduced the countrys natural beauty to the visitors.



Quite impressive also the staff: none had such terrific language skills as the Mongolians had: English, German, Chinese, Cantonese...wow!



A short note at the end: this is the often overlooked welcome message of the Mongolian president greeting the Expo visitors and thanking the Shanghainese for their invitation. This very small piece of paper on the small contrasted with the huge statues and wallpapers you could spot in other Asian pavillon across the Expo: Turkmenistan, North Korea, Iran and Tajikistan took their chance to introduce their GREAT Leader to the outisde world, whereas peaceful and democratic Mongolia left at a small nondescript letter.

All in all, one "above-average" rowhouse perfomance, giving Chinese visitors an interesting insight to their otherwise obscure Northern neighbour. Most Chinese learn at school, that the Inner Mongolians were rescued from their hardship by the Chinese, where as independent Outer Mongolia remains a poverty-stricken, sinister and depressing place until today....
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