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Old March 16th, 2012, 12:31 AM   #201
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Montenegro



Without too much effort, Montenegro achieved something very unique to remember: becoming the Expos first and only black hole.



Everybody been to this pavillon just shrug his shoulders when being asked about its content. The Montenegrians chose a very special approach to brainwash their visitors: black colour, no lights, just a few luminous sources coming from video screens



The stuff shown was much more ordinary: the usual information about the worlds third youngest country which became independent in 2006 when it chose to separate from Serbia. It is a stunning country with rocky cliffs falling into the deep blue Adriatic Sea and a rugged, mountanious hinterland with steep canyons and gigantic waterfalls. I think there is also a quite representative thread on this boards "General Photographs" section.



Not a easy decision for the Serbs to let them go...

Maybe the pavillons darkness was a reference to the countries name, meaning "Black Mountain" in English. Locals call it consequently "Crna Gorna". But with no visible structures, it apparently also was a quite forgettable place...

The only concrete detail I remember was a very helpful and polite Montenegrian who attempted to overload me with travel brochures. According to his information I was the first foreigner visiting this pavillon since ages and therefore also the first guy being able to have a chat with him. But I do not remember what we talked about...

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Old March 26th, 2012, 10:01 PM   #202
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Morocco

We went inside it on our first visit and really liked it. A friend had recommended it as one of the few pavillons which combines an attractive interior and not too much queuing. We only had to wait for 15 minutes outside



Outside a traditional building with Islamistic architecture.



Inside, a bazaar like other countries from this region showcased, but by far the most attractive of Shanghais Expo.



very atmospheric, with good illumination. The layout reminded of a hotel we had stayed in a few years ago in Marrakechs old city district. A building with two floors, and a courtyard surrounded by a gallery.



This gallery was designed like a kasbah, small alleys with painted clay buildings, an architecture which is quite common in ancient Morrocan cities.



There were a lot of "shops" but nothing to buy, just to look at. This was a very positive feature - no shoppoing and no hassles. The artefacts showcased were far too precious anyway.

Of course also some illumination was shown, highlighting the countries natural attractions, like beaches, the 4300 meter high Atlas mountains and the gourgeous desert landscapes you find in the countrys south.

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Old March 26th, 2012, 10:04 PM   #203
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Myanmar

One highlight, one downlight about this one

the highlight: it was the first country pavillon I stepped in. Before I had only visited some urban pavillons.

The downlight: I did not find it too attractive and never considered to post it later on SSC then, therefore...


...I took no picture from it.
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Old March 26th, 2012, 10:23 PM   #204
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Namibia



A quite attractive performance hidden in a remote corner of the African joint pavillon.



A lot of information was its plus and differentiating characteristic to other joint pavillon.



Namibia is one of the worlds driest and most sparsely populated countries. Although it also has to struggle with AIDS epidemia like its neighbours it is quite well off which is also due to its tourism revnues and mineral resources:



One of the few African pavillons showing some technical solutions namely a sewage treatment plant.



Other topics included hydro power stations and urban housing projects

Plus some gourgeous scenery and the ubiquitous handicrafts.

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Old March 26th, 2012, 10:47 PM   #205
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Nauru

Nauru found its haven in the Pacific joint pavillon. Some decades ago it might have chosen a big own next to the Chinese, I assume. But lets start at the beginning.

the booth was empty during our first visit, but at least some exhibits could be found at our second.



Whereas the exhibition was nothing to write home about, the country is much more interesting. Being 21 square kilometres big, it is the smallest state in the world after the Vatican and Monaco with just 10000 inhaibtants.



Not too long ago, it also broke another record namely being the worlds most wealthy country - thanks to birdshit. Its no joke. Birds making a stopover on the islands left their traces behind which turned into precious phosphate by cehmical reaction. This phosphate was exported to Australia and made millionaires out of the islands inhaibtants.



In the 1970s and 80s most Nauru people (I do not even know how to call them properly) owned several cars resulting into a constant traffic gridlock (as the country only had one paved ring road), or went to Melbourne or Sydney for
weekkend shopping trips. When they got bored from this they invited some few poor mates from the not-so-wealthy surrounding states for some singing and dancing or watched some TV. It was truly a bizarre state: in 1992 Nauru was responsible for funding the worlds most absurd and stupifying musical in London which was stopped after 2 weeks.

But this was no problem at all as nobody had to work in Nauru ....at least
until the phospate reserves were mined out in the 1990s and the people suddenly realized they had nothin left they could sell to the world. Meanwhile the country relies on accomodating criminals and refugees the Australians want
to get rid off. Infrastructure has collapsed completely and some guys reported to me, that there was not even a functioning hotel on the island. Tourism has no big potential as the island is remote, has no superb beaches and the islands interior resembles a lunar landscape a memorial of the mining activities
The government is bankrupt and there are constant rumours that this state might soon lose its independency - this would be a quite unique procedure.

So one find it amazing that they might it to Shanghais Expo albeit not really showing what is currently going on in this tiny republic. Maybe they felt ashamed about it and this makes this fairy tale with no happy ending even more depressing.



A strange country
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Old March 28th, 2012, 09:56 PM   #206
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Thanks for this avalanche of reacts. I do not even know to start with whom to reply to.

Lets carry on more swiftly to get to the end.

Nepal



A rather small country and one of the poorest in Asia. But they had their own pavillon.



It was conveniently located next to the Chinese pavillon and therefore we visited it afterwards to come down and relax fomr the Chinese gigantomania.



The whole show consisted of a traditional temple.



As many Chinese never make it to Nepal and not even Tibet they could have a look how a typical Nepalese temple looks like.



A souvenir shop and a defunct restaurant was also integrated



Given the countrys economical power, a very good contribution



Only problem: there was no roof and it got quite wet on rainy days. On the upside, queuing was reduced to a couple of minutes then.

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Old March 28th, 2012, 10:04 PM   #207
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New Zealand

Expectation were quite high and they were fulfilled. Surely one of the better places to spend your time on.



This was the entrance. The pavillon consisted of two parts. First a huge hall with a zigzag walkway guiding the visitors upstairs through a labyrinth and secondly, something very unique: a botanical garden on the top showing typical plants from New Zealand and even some fake geysirs and springs.



The first part portrayed the Kiwis everyday urban life from morning to midnight with a lot of pictures and movies plus some flashy back Maori background music.



This is the top: a real highlight with endemic plants and geysirs. Unfortunately not as attractive when dark.

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Old March 28th, 2012, 10:09 PM   #208
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Netherlands ---: check for H like Holland
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Old March 28th, 2012, 10:13 PM   #209
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Nicaragua

Not too many memories from this



Quite conventional layout with brown plastic walls covered with greenery symbolizing the countrys jungle landscape and some movies.



Biggest attraction shoould have been the huge white hammock but as a million Chinese wanted to lie on it it was closed to the public. The Chinese therefore moved on to the souvenir stand.

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Old March 28th, 2012, 10:23 PM   #210
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Niger

One of the lesser known African countries. A huge stretch of sand, with enormous dunes, vast and empty spaces plus some spectacular desert ranges and the worlds biggest reserves of uranium. Only the southern part receives enough rain to support animal husbandry and some farming. Thats what most Nigreans live on, the uranium export is controlled by the French who also got their plutonium for the nuclear testing in Mururoa from here



Quite minimalistic design. This was surely not the pavillon the visitors were looking for but like some of these lesser visited it contained a real surprise: I was impressed by a man from Niger (you see him standing at the left) speaking fluently Chinese after only one year learning. He was studying at the Tongji university in Shanghai, he said.
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Old March 28th, 2012, 10:32 PM   #211
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Nigeria

The Subsharan African most poulous country was the the only country from this region except South Africa and Angola having an own pavillon.



But very disappointing with no clear message. Most parts of it resembled a supermarket with artefacts, paintings and photos. But there was no motto or topic defined although there was enough space to do so.



In the end Nigeria was not better than most African countries in the joint pavillon, even rather worse.
Nigeria is a country you hear a lot from these days. Islamist terror in the north, rebel activities in the South, corruption, chaos, criminality. But in the past also some positive news has surfaced: democracy is now implemented, and although still instable, the government slowly manages to direct the economy on a growth path. Apart from portraying some investment opportunities, none of all this was reflected in the Shanghai appearance, though.
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Old March 29th, 2012, 07:07 AM   #212
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rinchinlhumbe View Post
Micronesia
ascasc swq f ewAS SCXSSXS SDS SRY FOR THIS
LOL yes some people do read, you should write more if you can! It's interesting to know what actually goes on at the expo and what impression each country gives.

Thanks for sharing, can't wait to see the rest of them
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Old March 29th, 2012, 10:19 PM   #213
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Thx, quality of the photos is soso, its just for information. It is quite difficult to make good photos when everybody is running, pushing and jostling around. Just read the text, it contains a lot of information.
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Old March 29th, 2012, 10:36 PM   #214
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Niue



What and where on hel is Niue? Well, its not exactly an independent state although the guy at the booth was trying to convince me so.
Niue is a small pacific island and forms an oversea territory of New Zealand. The Kiwis have granted inner autonomy to this remote and small coral island but certain functions like defence and foreign affairs are still controlled by the politicians from Wellington. They still have their own flag and this flashy yellow colour looks much better than the dull dark blue of the Kiwis flag.



This island 2400km north of NZ is too small to survive on its own as its only export products are coconuts and handicrafts. There are neither mineral resources nor oil, not even a harbour for ships to land and airlines normally skip this island. This is why most people have left the island in order to emigrate to New Zealand. About 1500 people still live on Niue whereas roughly 20,000 live abroad.



A local from Niue explained us his countrys history and how to become independent from New Zealand. His idea was to introduce ecotourism to his island and I was chosen to become one of his first investors. That sounded very intriguing and interesting but unfortunately there was no business angel around providing me some couple of million dollars in order to get things going.
If you have the right idea to bring investment and independence to this island and lure the Niue people back on their island then please contact that guy pictured below:



sometimes small pavillons provide more interesting facts and surprises when you take your time.
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Old March 29th, 2012, 11:24 PM   #215
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North Korea, part 1



Finally a country a lot of people were waiting for. First and foremost, this was the only pavillon were foreigners comprised the majority of visitors. The reason for this was clear: Shanghai provided the most convenient and maybe only opportunity to visit this hermit kingdom without a guide observing you. BIG Kim was watching you as well but nobody had to worship or at least care about him.



The Chinese did not pay too much attention on this although some also reported to visit because of being curious to get into touch with a place which does not want to communicate with the outside world. For other Chinese, North Korea is the stubborn old fashioned neighbour which does not want to learn from its past. "Everything there is like it was in China in the 1970s" most Chinese will say when being asked. If you ask me I think even in 1975 the live of an ordinary Chinese was better than that of a North Korean today.



The pavillons motto: "Paradise for people". Not very surprising. Compared to its southern neighbour it was a quite humble appreance from an objective point of view. South Korea will follow later but I can already say that it was a spectacular pavillon. But from a subjectoive point of view, interesting nevertheless, as this pavillon was also a test area for North Korea to the outisde world
.


People visiting this pavillon were allowed to do what they wanted. In North Korea people are sent to prison for dropping a book with the DEAR LEADERS face on it to the ground. It is a crime to say: "are you North Korean?", as North Koreans are always Koreans what in turn implies that there is no South Korea, just a tiny unimportant "puppet regime" controlled by the "US American bastards" at best.
Two North Koreans were selling souvenirs behind a desk. The usual stuff: stamps, flags and books about the Juche ideology and of course the DEAR LEADER. I tried to get into contact with both lady and man but it was difficult to do so, as they exactly found the balance between being not too inpolite but not talking too much to the people behind the desk. I was trying to act friendly but a bit naive by asking questions like

"Hello, are you from North Korea?"
"I really like your president but I have forgotten his name. Btw, what do you think about him?"
"I would really like to visit your country but I dont know how. Can you help me? I am from Germany. Would you like to visit Germany as well?"
"Will North Korea win the world football championship? Do you watch the games? What is your favourite football team? Real? Barca? Chelsea?"

None of this compromising questions was answered, maybe it is too dangerous to talk to foreigers because some spies from Pyongyang were standing just next to me.

But as I changed the first question to "Are you Korean?" the man gently smiled and said yes. I bought some souvenirs as the football world championship in South Africa had just started and as a violent Juche Ultra Hooligan I wanted to buy some flags to support the North Korean football team. The woman was impressed and addedsome souvenirs for free on top.
Then I recognized some two girls around 20 standing next to me speaking very good English which is quite unusual for Chinese. As things unfolded they were from South Korea and wanted to talk to the North Koreans as well but were completely ignored. One girl got anxious and wanted to leave the pavillon while the other was very sad. When I compare this situation to the Cold War period in Germany where even visiting relatives in the East and writing letters was possible it is quite easy to see how things got wrong in Korea.

But lets get back to topic.


Last edited by Rinchinlhumbe; March 29th, 2012 at 11:44 PM.
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Old March 29th, 2012, 11:42 PM   #216
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North Korea, part 2



The exhibition consisted of a fountain, a rock garden, of course the notorious Juche movement and some movies showing that everything is alright in Kims hermit kingdom. Lets have a closer look.



These apartment blocks are the nations pride.



the country does not lie about its past like other Stalinist regimes did. This fact is demonstrated by the buildings architecture in the inner city of Pyongyang.



Paradise for children.



Two worlds in one country. On the top a neat looking city silhouette with a park, on the bottom hard labour for the people.



The Ariyang festival must be an amazing event and actually it has become a sort of tourist attractions in the last few years.





In the children palace of Pyongyang, small children are able (or obliged) to learn playing on some instruments.



This picture shall portray the ordinary live of North Korean people. They spend their evening at home with the family and switch on the television (but not the internet...). But I think this is propaganda, only some privileged people in the capital live like that.



Finally a modern supermarket as you find thousands in Berlin, Brussels or Boston. Even better, there is always friendly service staff around to help, but look at this...



The only visible items are apples in squeezed in a multideck cabinet where they acutally dont belong. Sorry, but this is staged. I heard about a karaoke bar, and even a pizzeria and fasat food restaurant opening inPyongyang, so there might be also a supermarket. But they could have chosen a more professional camouflage for this....other visitors also smiled at when viewing this sight.

Last picture from North Korea is an aerial of Pyongyang
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Old March 30th, 2012, 08:39 PM   #217
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Norway

sorry, but I do not have any photos from this. Dont ask me why....I rember taking some...dangerous and mysterious Norway....
It was a wooden building with a fair share of glass and the whole tpoci was about Norewegian nature. People could wander along the whole pavillon while temperature and vegetation was changing from chilly Svalbard to sunny Oslo. I really liked that as it was something unique beyond patriotic ostentation you could see in a lot of other pavillon. One feature I remember: The building produced and regenerated its own water with drinking quality. Sounds nice...but: no photos!
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Old March 30th, 2012, 09:01 PM   #218
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Oman, part 1



Yes, that was a good one. Oman is something like an insider tip for travellers: it is wealthy and stable but it does not show its riches so ostentative like the Emirates or Qatar for example. People from Oman are very conservative about religion as they are neither of Sunnit and Shiit belief but confess to the very traditional Wahabit Islam like their neighbours in Saudi Arbia do as well. The kingdom was hermit and isloated until Sultan Qabus putsched a coup against his father who forbid people to wear glasses and carry umbrellas as these things were considered to be too modernistic. Almost the entire population was analphabet then and there was only 10km of paved road in the country.



Starting at zero, Sultan Qabus managed very clever to utilize his petrol reserves and succeded in developing the country by staying out of the regional conflicts in the same time. Although quite obscure, the country has everything to offer what you normally associate with Arabia - gigantic mosques, exccentric palaces, old clay made houses, enormous deserts, rocky mountains, colourful bazaars and modern infrastructure. And all of this was shown in Shanghais Oman pavillon. Plus two surprises.



This was the entrance: a map of the country plus one of these typical Dhau ships which once controlled the trade across the Indian Ocean.



It went up alog a glass fornt. The interior was a clear symbiosis of tradition and modernism as well.



Upstairs, people were welcomed and the aforementioned countrys achievements in the last 40 years were highlighted.



The top floor covered everything what is to know about Oman. A focus lay on the countrys nautral environment and agriculture. Despite being made up almost entirely of desert people somehow mananged to survive through clever irrigation techniques.



Even more extreme - and that is the first surprise - a tiny little bit of southern Oman receives monsoon rain for three months, enough to support some green scrub vegetation. I never thought about Arabia could look so green.



some traditional architecture. Omans highest mountains exceed 3000 meters, and it is the only Arabian country with fjords. They are located in the country northwest, next to the emirates.
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Old March 30th, 2012, 09:11 PM   #219
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Oman, part 2



but the story would be incomplete without presenting sustainable projects. One highlight is the reintroduction of Oryx antelopes which were almost extinct in nature. Outside of Oman, these animals only survive in Zoos.



This is a look downstairs where we are heading to.



Myrrh and frankincense orignally comes from this region. The tree shown above is of course fake but the whole pavillon somehow smelled of these substances.



A traditional nomad tent. They were some women selling souvenirs and knitting cloth. Everything had to be very authentic. As I am male they did not dare to talk to me. My girlfriend was more lucky.



As mentioned before, this was really a fine piece of Islam architecture.



Finally, a very unique feature I did not spot elsewhere. A hologram showing Muscat, the capital from different ages depending from which position you look at it. So people were able to compare Muscat from the 1970s with todays modern metropolis
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Old March 30th, 2012, 11:21 PM   #220
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Pakistan



Regarding the size, Pakistans appearance could easily compete with the big crowdpullers. A huge fortress unfortunately looking a bit worn at the Expos end though.



This building was erected to be in operation for just a few months and also most of the exterior looked cheap.



It lacked the real spectacular attractions other huge pavillons offered. No noise sensitive mirrorballs, no spectacular illumination, no interactive 3D flights. Pakistan chose a "museum-like" approach with a lot of artefacts and a lot of text. People had to take their time, but most did not.
The Pakistanis did not only chose some examples but tried to cover everything which is to know about the country: all provinces, all mountains, all prominent people.

Thus, a big section was attributed to famous Pakistani people,



Another part illustrated the sino/pakistani relationship in the past.



The client is African, the doctor is Pakistani and the medical equipment is from China



Pakistani has some of the most spectacular landscpaes of this world. This photo was taken in the Northern Regions.



A major feature in this part was a huge model of the gigantic K2 mountain which was slowly crumbling down to sealevel size due to ultra highspeed manmade erosion.



In the end, Pakistani at least offered some things to remember as I walked out of the pavillon again. There had at least been worse contributions to Shanghais Expo.

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