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Old March 30th, 2012, 11:31 PM   #221
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Palau

A small island state in the Pacific south of the Phillipines and north of Indonesia with just 20,000 inhabitants.



More than one half of the population live in the city of Koror. Palau has the worlds smallest capital: its name is Melekoek and it accomodates a mere 250 souls! You can rate its skyline here at SSC!



Palau was an US American colony before it was released into independence not before 1994. You see some more information below revealing you that the people in Palau still use $ to pay their bills.



The exhibition was nothing special like most booths in the Pacific joint pavillon. Too bad there was no local around but only a Chinese woman telling us Palau is nice for diving.

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Old April 5th, 2012, 10:41 PM   #222
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Palestine



Quite surprising, China seems to recongize as an independent country.


It was located in the Middle East Joint Pavillon, well off the Israeli snail.



There was a model of Jerusalem, some photos from Arafat, a bit about the Sino-Palestine friendship (mighty China can chose its friends as it likes)....all in all politics could not be avoided. Thanks for joining, Palestine.

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Old April 5th, 2012, 10:48 PM   #223
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Panama

Located in the Central American Joint Pavillon, it was a slight disappointment.

No real atmosphere, a huge sort of "gangway" leading visitors around the narrow and "bumpy Panama channel.



The skyline of Panama city was the most memorable thing.



And some paintings. Done.

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Old April 5th, 2012, 11:05 PM   #224
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Papua New Guinea

It was easliy the biggest and most interesting pavillon in the Pacific Joint Pavillon (which does not mean too much).



Often overlooked due to its adverse location in the corner of this hall, it also had some exhibition area beyond the standardized design



Not very surprising, PNG took on a special position in the Pacific Joint - the countrys expanse is more than Germany and California and slightly smaller than Spain respectively. The other countries exhibiting were all tiny island states.
PNG is rich in mineral resources and was regarded as Australasias "next big thing" when mining operations started to take off 20 years ago but with mismanagement and internal conflicts like the separist war with Bougainvillea island, things soon sobered up again. Anyway, this country seems to be one of the worlds most intriguing adventure destination with deep jungles,intact wildlife,5000 meter high mountain ranges and tribes living on the developmental ago of the stone age.



It was quite surprising that PNG turned up as they were not always good friends with the Peoples Republic. For instance back in 2000, the country had chosen Taiwan as a preferred partner to do business.

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Old April 5th, 2012, 11:20 PM   #225
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Paraguay



This is besides Bolivia the only landlocked state in Latin America and one of the more obscure countries. To Paraguays east there are is some forest, mountains, some waterfalls and PEOPLE, to the east youll find - nothing. Just flat and dead scrubland with only an occasional hacienda interrupting this startingly emptiness.



A bizarre country where some ultra conservative German Mennonites have settled down. they had to flee from their previous location in Canada, as the Canadians forced children to attend school lessons. No education, no joy, no love, no feelings, no luxury, no technology - a life just in the service of God. A German traveller once said: Ive been travelling all over Latin America, but never felt so lonely as when I met the depressed German Chrisitians in the Paraguyan Chaco.

Also some Nazi criminals managed to lay down in this region after WW2.



Ps Expo appearance was not as spectacular but quite nice imo. Stars on the wall (for what reason?) and a flood of pictures. Plus quite impressive photos of ancient Jesuite ruins. And the hydrodam shonw below was labeled as "enviromentally friendly technology". Actually, this dam was constructed ages ago and cannot really be advertised as future oriented technology.

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Old April 5th, 2012, 11:23 PM   #226
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Peru

Peru, WHATS UPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP_???????????????
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Old April 5th, 2012, 11:38 PM   #227
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Phillipines



Asia only Christian-dominated country, a maze of 7107 jungle-clad islands, had its own pavillon on the huge South East Asian square next to Brunei and Thailand.



The flashy interior with these white shapes was all about music. They seem to like guitars or have at least some guitar manufacturing industry their own. The hall was a bit empty but every few minutes, some music sounded from all four corners to the visitors



They also had a decent restaurant offering the rare opportunity to taste Filipino food. Everybody around the world knows Thai, Vietnamese, Japanese, and other Asian food, but restaurants serving Filipino fare seem to be as common as flying bears. I really liked it, alhough it was a bit meaty: chicken with vinegar-lemon sauce, served with rice.

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Old April 10th, 2012, 10:41 PM   #228
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Poland

Polands pavillon was located in the heart of Europe next to the German and Russian pavillon just as you will also find it on maps. Its architecture was one of the first designs to be developed and was exhibited on many billboards across Shanghai two years before the Expo started.



The design, an illuminated mosaique was one of the most thrilling sights although it got a bit lame after having seen it. Like most others, this pavillon got torn down after the event was over and during the last few weeks the outside already looked a bot worn and dingy.

Inside, a long floor guided the visitors to a cinema. Along the walls, some small monitors and photos were narrating the countrys history to the people walking by. History continued inside the cinema where the countrys difficult past was in focus. As you know, Germans (but also Russians) did not treat their neighbours very well in history and I was very surprised when an English speaking, educated Chinese was approaching me and asking if I felt annoyed about the movies content. No I did not.



But things soon got worse when I met a Chinese speaking dragon projected on the wall. This dragon was talking to the audience which was sitting opposite on some stairs in order to have a rest. The dragon was able to communicate interactively by pointing at him, but nobody paid attention and so the dragon kept talking talking talking. Some pictures from ancient Polish cities were a welcome diversion.



The last but one feature a documentary about Chinese living in Poland (and vice versa). Poland does not seem to be yet on the agenda of Chinese students planning to go abroad and so the movie was also showcasing the growing economy and life quality (not the price level...) besides the cultural and natural attractions in this Central/Mid European country.

Last not least there was a restaurant with friendly staff offering superb food. My girlfriend could not withstand and so we went there 3 times ignoring the ridicolous price level. But I have to say that during our third visit the food quality had decreased dramatically and did not warrant 20 dollar expense for each person. But I dont want to be picky. We learned that this was the only opportunity in the Peoples Republic of China to eat Polish Food and the goose, the Plini pancakes or the Bigos were really worth a splurge, at least during our first two visits.

The last two photos were taken just before closing time: empty floors, a are sight at Shanghais Expo.



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Old April 10th, 2012, 10:58 PM   #229
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Portugal, part 1



This was a quite memorable performance.



The exterior used the standard, boxy design like most other smaller own pavillons did. But they wrapped the grey concrete square up in some cork framed with flashy red hot lines, a reference to one of Portugals famous export products: red wine



Portugal plays a very special role for Chinese as it was the first nation to arrive in East Asia and trade with the Chinese in the 16th century.



Then being a world power, Portugal soon lost influence but it was the most "persistent" nation when it comes to handing back colonies to their native people.



Angola or Mozambique celebrated independence not before 1975 and Macao returned back to China in 1999, two years after Hongkong joined the Peoples Republic.



Besides "animated" ceramic paintings...





...one inked treaty from the 16th century was a highlight.

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Old April 10th, 2012, 11:13 PM   #230
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Portugal, part 2



Nowadays, the small country on the Western edge of Europe is rather known for Nelly Furtado and its famous football players in China.



Well, the rest was homework with flashy videos, wind mills and energy powered cars.


I never learned that Portugal has an automoitve industry, and as far as I remeber it was a rather obscure project from an university.

Portugal wanted to present itself as modern and future-oriented and presented surprisingly many enviromentally sound ideas.



...and I think, compared to countries of similar size and economic power they did a pretty good job.



Although not everything was meaningful


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Old April 10th, 2012, 11:40 PM   #231
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Qatar

Yes they surely had an own pavillon but it was not better than Bahrains which only needed a booth inside a joint pavillon.



...and by far it was not up to par with UAEs posh performance.



You hear a lot about Qatar these days: the worlds highest per capita income, the worlds fastest growing economy, a skyline like Dubai, and the country is proud of being host of the World Football Championships in 2022. The last highlight surely is one of the most stupid decisions ever done - sorry. But back to topic.



Maybe the Qatar people (Qataris?) are more humble than their counterparts from the UAE as they chose to erect a humble clay fort in order to accomodate their sights, whereas the UAE impressed with ultraprogressive design



The layout reminded a bit of the Oman idea but in spite of them, Qatar did not manage to get its message through.



So there were some nice illuminations, some anicent artefacts and some sustainable projects and innovations shown, but everything in loose order and with no real story behind. All in all it was not a shame to come here but maybe our expectations were too high.
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Old April 11th, 2012, 10:34 PM   #232
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Steadily approaching the end...
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Old April 11th, 2012, 11:01 PM   #233
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Romania



Romania, a rather obscure Southeast European state for most Chinese had its own pavillon, and it surely was a landmark. A gigantic green apple in the Expos centre which could not be overlooked.



This sight also caught my eye and at our fifth visit we finally managed to enter. I had heard that there was a performance been done every 30 minutes but I did not know who was doing what.
Although the queue was not very long it took longer than expected to enter. After entering, we soon knew why: it was a theatre and its capacity was limited.



The Romanains were also hit harsh by the financial crisis but they chose a very clever approach to save money: they just invited some (talented) musicians and let them play traditional Romanian folk music on a stage with some animated pcitures of Romanian cities and landscape behind. That made up 90% of the whole show.



There is a lot of interesting stuff to know about Romania but except some few exhibits and billboards about medieval Romanian towns in the dark and gloomy basement there was little else to see. Maybe there had been plans for more, as the Green Apple was named "Greenopolis", implying that there might be some information about eniromental stuff but there wasnt.



At least it was soemthing different. This "one sight only"-approach was as brave as the Icelandic, British or Hungarian. The music was interesting to listen to (including the reaction of the Chinese) and was a welcome diversion from all this posh stuff been shown in the neighbouring pavillons. We enjoyed it.



Oh, I almost forgot, there was a restaurant as well and it was quite interesting to discover what Romanian food stands for. The prices however where as brave as the show and - without sounding too inpolite - Italian, Chinese or French food is a bit more sophisticated than the Romanian "cabbage and meat" staple.

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Old April 11th, 2012, 11:32 PM   #234
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Russia, part 1



A typical love it or hate it pavillon. Some said it was a too childish affair and that there was not much too see behind all these effects and illuminations. Others loved it and a private website even nominated it as the best pavillon. I wouldnt go that far as it had its weaknesses but overall we liked it.



Russia wanted it all. A Chinese working colleague of mine descrbied Russia as "this gigantic and bittercold dangerous country to the North", another one wondered why there will be a football world championship in 2018 as "it is always cold and dark there" and finally a not very intelligent added that "Chinese fear Russians because Russians are usually cruel and alcohol addicted".

Maybe the quarrel back in 1960 is a reason for these prejudices when Mao Zedong said farewell to Khrustchev and decided to go its own ways. Chinese learn at school that K. was a violent mass murderer while Stalin was a nice guy. Maybe it is just the cultural barrier of two bordering nations.

So it was time for the Russians to enter the stage and do away with these prejudices.

The outside was one of the most attractive Expo appearances: a shiny white castle with 4 illuminated towers

Inside there were two floors.
The basement a serious affair showing Moscows history and some technology.
We went very late in order to avoid the crowds but unfortunately the hasty staff did not leave us alone and urged and forced us to hurry up.
My question: Why if the gates are already shut and there are still 20 minutes left to watch?
I cant tell you. So we only got a very short impression on what was showcased here and that was a pity. Some typical Russian innovations like spacecraft but also solar cells were to be seen. Just no weapons, no Kalashnikows, although the Chinese would not have felt annoyed about this...
Most memorable attractions was the aforementioned animated model of Moscow which showed the citys development from its foundation in the 15th century to now



For most visistors (especially the kids) the upper floor was the real attraction.



A fairy tale dreamland, worlds apart with gigantomanic flowers, waterfalls and 3 lil pig houses.



So this is how future cities will look like? Peaceful and ruled by chiildren say?



In fact it were children which took over the command.



Children explaining enviromentally sound innovations - a nice idea, I hope it also helps the Russian manufacturing sector. I never heard about solar ovens being produced in Russia but rather weapons, watches and some simple, robust cars.

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Old April 11th, 2012, 11:34 PM   #235
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Russia, part 2

Unfortunately cancelled. I have just accidentally swallowed a cloth hanger. Sry for any inconvenience caused.
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Old April 11th, 2012, 11:44 PM   #236
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Russia, part 3



So we slowly walked on constantly being pushed by the staff and looked to the left and right in order to spot the next inventions.



The decoration was really interesting but the whole concept "solar powered oven to the right" - "nuclear powered toilet flush to the left" soon turned out to be a bit lame.



So it rather were the colours and the whole setting which drew attention.



This is how it looks when lights are turned on



People soon were down to earth again when they entered the shop selling typical Russian souvenirs like Babushkas and Vodka at ridicolous prices. The restaurant was overpriced as well but enabled visitors access to the pavillon without queuing - in case they wanted to pay 50 euros for this.



But because everybody loves a happy ending: it surely was a memorable and unique experience and it might has changed the Chinese mindset about Russia as well.
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Old April 11th, 2012, 11:58 PM   #237
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Rwanda



Until 1994, this small landlocked country was one of the more obscure states in Africa. The genocide killing off 1 million people put the country on the map promptly - in the most negative way anybody can think of. But meanwhile things have changed as they have did in a lot of African countries after a bloody civil war.
President Kagame does not value democracy too high but has managed to maneouvre the country on the growth track and wants to implement the "Singaproe model" in Central Africa: Rwanda a flourishing, modern nation with no ethnic prejudices but IT firms and logistic services. Best time to present this idea to the Chinese who invest several billion dollars in Africa each millenium, sry: year.

The result reminded a bit of the Ghana performance. Africas digitalocrazy hosted an average no fuzz perfomance with the obligatory mountain gorillas.



The video about futuramic Kigali 2050 thus was the main draw.



This is how Rwandas capital shall look like in 40 years from now.



Quite interesting too see and hopefully also realistic.



Well thats it, the rest was the usual "African joint pavillon fare" with a lot of pictures and masks.

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Old April 12th, 2012, 12:00 AM   #238
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Samoa

The last and shortest one for today.



It must be a wonderful place to visit. The impression in the Pacific joint pavillon only gave a vague impression of its natural beauty.
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Old April 12th, 2012, 12:30 AM   #239
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Thanks. Great thread
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Old April 13th, 2012, 11:08 PM   #240
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thx, DonPacho, we continue with "S"
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