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Old April 19th, 2012, 11:25 PM   #261
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Spain, part 2

The surprise was located in the third and last room. When entering we heard some childrens voices saying "ola", "ola"



This giant baby was a shocking sight.



It was slowly moving, smiling and looking into the crowd. Something very terrific, for some maybe even the most memorable thing about the Expo. When this baby turned its head to me I almost felt like it was looking into my eye.



Some guy finally explained to me that the pavillons story was divided into past, present and future and each part was shown in one room. The flamenco dancer represented the countrys past, the second room its present and the third its future -according to the Spanish Expo concept nothing is more important than preserving and securing the life of our children, in this case being embodied by an oversized 5 meter baby.



This was a cool way to finish a long and exciting Expo visit. A lot of entertainment and not too many facts - just right.
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Old April 20th, 2012, 11:25 PM   #262
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SriLanka



This place was located next to Pakistan and it also shared some similarities.



Like for Pakistan, it was an own pavillon and one of the weaker ones, quite simple appeal and cheaply decorated.



The layout was a bit unfortunate, mildly put. A huge and crowded hall with no partition.



Enough of the whining, lets talk about the more positive things.



Sri Lanka chose a "museum-like" approach with its exhibition rather focusing on culture, omitting spectacular lightshows or videos. The countrys history and cultural heritage was displayed on huge boards with a lot of photos and text. People had to take their time.



This is a model of the countrys ancient capital (and probably most beautiful city) Kandy. The elaborate models were the pavillons highlight.



This temple like building provided some shopping opportunities and was impossible to enter without queuing up again.

And then the people from Sri Lanka offered one real highlight most others exhibitors could not: delicious AND affordable food. Both combined was impossible to find at the Expo.
Some of the huge crowdpullers sold their food in combination with an "imaginary" entrance ticket: people who paid the ridicolous bills were allowed to enter without queuing. Other cheaper options provided a quality level comparable to fast food at best. Sri Lanka finally was a positive exception and convinced me to order a second menu.

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Old April 21st, 2012, 12:16 AM   #263
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St Kitts and Nevis

Its not a band - its a tiny island state in the Caribbean.



With just 260 sqkm the most tiny among a lot of other tiny island states in the Caribbean, to be exact.



In spite of its neighbours St. Lucia and St Vincent, they even managed to ramp up something to remember at Shanghais Expo. The booth was flanked by colourful facades of colonial buildings



And they have a enormous fort and a choochoo train too. Given the miniature expanse of the state the train is rather for carrying around tourists than locals or goods. This train was shown on a separate video screen.



For such obscure countries it is difficult to draw attention, especially when most visitors run on a tight time budget and have other priorities. But StKN was one of these places which warranted a second and closer look.
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Old April 21st, 2012, 12:21 AM   #264
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St Lucia, St Vincent and the Grenadines

As mentioned above, nothing memorable, dont even remember if they exhibited
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Old April 21st, 2012, 12:43 AM   #265
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Surinam

This was located not too far away in the Caribbean Joint Pavillon as well and was occupying a surprisingly big area.



The layout comprised a white wooden house reminding of the Dutch heritage and a bridge leading into the dense and untamed jungle. Unfortunately there was way too little information.



And that was a pity. Surinam is a quite unknown but very interesting nation if you take a closer look on it. Once one of the few Dutch colonies, it was not until 1975 this small and sparsely populated country gained independence. But things soon sobered up as Surinam slided into the abyss under the rule of dictator Desire Bouterse who incited a bloody and long civil war. Meanwhile the country has managed to stabilize again and survives mainly on the export of aluminium and bauxit. A bizarre place, with inaccessible jungle making up about 90% of the territory.
Its just 500,000 inhaitants split up in almost all existing races and religions the world has to offer: Europeans, Indians, Indonesians, Africans, local tribes who either believe in Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism or animist belief. The cultural diversity is a relicrt from the colonial past when the Dutch used Suriname as a "dumoing ground" or "waiting hall" for (re)settling people from their other colonies. But it is fair to say that despite its geographic location on the Northern tip of the South American continent it is rather a Caribbean state. You wont find a lot of Metsizes and Hispnaos here.

By the way the biggest failure of the Dutch was to trade in their North American colony New Amsterdam for Suriname with the British in the 17th century.
How did this end up? Well, the British first decided to change the name of their New colony New Asmterdam to let it sound more British and chose the name "New York"....
I guess, nowadays, Manhattan has become a slightly more popular place than Suriname

And the most bizarre thing: Desire Bouterse is president again in Suriname - through free and fair elections...
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Old April 21st, 2012, 01:07 AM   #266
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Sweden, part 1

One of my favourite countrys and of course one of the better pavillons

More colourful than its scandinavian neighbours, the rather nondescript exterieur was inspired by a Stockhol city map.

We went there very late but the staff let us in. So it went up a long escalator to the upper floor which marked the start of the exhibition.



The first part dealt mainly with enviromental topics and typical Swedish products. Sweden, a sparsely populated country (about the size of California but merely 9 million inhabitants) in the past was envied for its pristine nature and its stable social environment with little unemployment and a many social democratic elected governments which supported the weak part of the population.

Some of these achievements were displayed in a very creative way. Thesew billboards were in fact "Janus headed pictures" showing different pictures depending from which perspective you look at them.



From the left people saw a huge waste dump, walking to the right the picture turned to a renaturalized park area.



Same here: a formerly run-down industrial area was revitalized to a fashionate urban entertainment district. Another one showed a reforestation project



To the middle a huge textile pile with changing colours. This did not have a real meaning like a honest Swedish admitted.



The textiles reminded a bit of these huge and clumsy IKEA lamps which "decorated" my slleeping room during my childhood...



There were two ways to enter the basement: either the conventional way walking down the stairs or sliding down a giant chute.

Last edited by Rinchinlhumbe; April 21st, 2012 at 01:19 AM.
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Old April 21st, 2012, 01:15 AM   #267
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Sweden part 2

The basement was in fact a huge play ground with some swingers and an adjacent restaurant.



Pippi Langstrumpf would have loved it.



But there was still room left for more serious topics.



Like most other developed nations did, also the Swedish took the opportunity to advertise some future oriented innovation of their major companies.



A bit more thrilling: new design ideas.



Then, it was already time again to say goodbye to the Swedish pavillon. Inside quite compact, it managed to use it space very efficiently and the "two-sided" bill boards plus the giant chute were really innovative stuff. The table on the ceiling was also a nice idea but I had seen it before in the Chile pavillon - who copied from whom?
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Old April 21st, 2012, 09:08 PM   #268
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Syria

Same as with Libya, it is worth mentioning that I visited this pavillon in Summer 2010 roughly half a year before the civil uprisings in the Middle Eaast broke off. So I entered this booth in the Middle East joint pavillon without any prior assumption

Syria had the best setting and atmosphere besides Bahrain in the Middle East joint pavillon.



In spite sticking to a modern flashy design like Bahrain, Syria chose rather the Islamist-traditional archtiecture for its booth (like most others did in this joint). The colourful arches really looked good.



It had also invented a motto: looking for sustainability (albeit with no indication to have found some).



And the open question is: how with this president?

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Old April 21st, 2012, 09:21 PM   #269
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Taiwan

We didnt make it to get inside. Our original plan was to first check out the China pavillon and later switch over to the adjacent Taiwanese. But queuing was too tough.



Its a pity because at least from the outside it looks quite intriguing. As with the Taipeh urban pavillon, people from the Mainland seem to be quite interested to see whats going on in Taiwan. The island isstill regarded as a separist province which belongs to the PRC but tensions have eased a bit as trade seems to expand and getting there is not so difficult anymore for the ordinary Mainland Chinese. Anyway, as I could tell by the queue not a lot have made it that far and if they will, they will soon discover that Taiwan has developed very differently since Jiang Kai Check was expulsed from the Mainland in 1949. Ive been to Taiwan last year and can confirm that nobody in Taipeh or Kaoshiung is fond of a reunion with the Mainland...



Quite interesting, Taiwan was allowed to have its own pavillon next to the Mainland Chinese (like HongKong or Macao had in the urban area). An indice that either the Beijing government does acknowledge Taiwns as something different than the other 31 Minland provinces or that it wants to please the international community with this sign of tolerance (rather unrealistic).
That said I did not meet anybody who went inside and could tell me if it was worth seeing.
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Old April 21st, 2012, 09:44 PM   #270
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Switzerland



My Swiss friends have deserved a reward as well like the Germans, Italians, Mauritanians or Chileans had. An award for being the most arrogant staff on this Expo. We tried to enter several times and actually it would not have been impossible to succeed like it was at other hotspots.
But during our first attempt the cableway was broken , the second time the Swiss decided to close the pavillon during the afternoon for no particular reason than being lazy and finally I tried to enter by convincing the staff by waving with my passport (which is not Swiss but doies look like that from 2 meters away) and talked Swiss German accent.
My sister, which visited me in Shanghai went one step further and ordered a chocolate fondue in the restaurant which was equiavalent to an entrance ticket in other popular locations. But not here. Entering was tied to the demand to consume food worth 30 Euro per person. Even better, she was "kindly" aksed to leave the restaurant as also others would like to take her seat.



Skipping this landmark (it looks quite interesting from the outside, doesnt it?) was nevertheless bearable as its main attraction was a cableway carrying visitors over a lush alpine pasture. Otherwise there was little else to see.
Maybe its popularity was mainly because most Chinese never went skiiing and were quite curious to see how a ride in a cableway is like.
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Old April 21st, 2012, 09:56 PM   #271
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Tajikistan

There lies a certain magic in this country. Tajikistan. Even the name sounds intriguing. I would call it the most mountainous country on earth. With its almost 8000 meter high Pamir mountains, its spectacular gorges, the rugged Pamir plateau there is no space left for fertile lowlands.
Tajikistan was the least developed part of the Soviet Union and it was so remote that even information about a civil war led by a separist Islamist army did not surface in any media around the world until the country became indpendent in 1991.



This "I-have-to-go-there-" place might be a fascinating country nestled in the high Pamir mountains but far away in flat Shanghai it offered an uninspiring performance.
I heard that despite some improvements it is still one of the poorest countries in Asia and that its president is not ruled by free elections. But the whole pavillon gave the much more extreme impression of visiting a totalitarian and backwards, Stalinist place.



The National Flag, some proud reservoirs shown on various wallpapaers and the Dear Leader portrayed in a huge painting was all it had to offer. Not to forget the North Koreish fountain.

As i walked out I had to assure myself if I had not accidentally stumbled into the Turkmenistan pavillon.

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Old April 21st, 2012, 10:18 PM   #272
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Tansania




A country in Africa most people have heard of. Thanks to its political stability its a place Western tourists can go on safaris or relax at the beaches of Sansibar, this unique island whith its distinct "oriental" appeal.



Also most Chinese know Tansania quite well because...back in the 1970s they were friends with China when Mao was still at rule. Tanzania was one of the examples of socialism being implemented in Africa and it was the most consequent country to do so. The charismatic leader Julius Nyerere introduced the Ujaama model to all villages in Tanzania, abolishing private ownership and forcing the farmers to share their cattle with others. He was an intellectual and by far not as violent as other communist leaders but his Ujaama concept failed and remained Utopia.



Today Tanzania focus on sustainability and displays another uptight giraffe like also the Central African Republic did.



Quite interesting to see, besides Namibia and at a pinch, Zambia, Tansania was the sole country in the African joint to introduce sustainable projects to the audience.


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Old April 21st, 2012, 10:32 PM   #273
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Thailand

This place was quite popular among the Chinese as Thailand has become a tourist destination also for them. the exhibits were located in an old temple next to the Phillipines.



Waiting time was still acceptable (about 20 minutes) and the ones who got bored got some entertainment from this small witty guy who introduced the country and the pavillon to the crowd.



Inside there was a huge hall wwith some exhibits and two rooms with some animation and entertainment for all visitors. Overall not much information about sustainability. A quite Asian approach.

The first show was done in Chinese and provided nothing memorable.



but the 4D movie in the third and last romm was a real highlight - at least for the Chinese crowds. People were wearing crowns or were bitten by nasty little fish during this event - great entertainment for the people!



btw, the small blond Western guy to the left staring into the camera isnt me...but a freind of mine

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Old April 22nd, 2012, 05:01 PM   #274
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Timor Leste

Timor Lestes pavillon was hidden in the extreme southeastern corner at Shanghais Expo and was often overlooked. Quite unusual about half of the pavillon was used for banks and seats to sit on. This created a "cinema-like" atmosphere.



Indeed, the movie was the pavillons main theme. People visting this place had the rare chance to listen to the exotic traditional music from Timor Leste.

Timor Leste is Asias youngest country and occupies the Eastern part of the Timor island (the Western half belongs to Indonesia). Until 1975 this small teriitory was a Portuguese colony but when Portugal released its colonies into independence, the Indonesians reacted quickly and annected East Timor. As long as dictator Suharto was in power, the country remained a part of Indonesia. Rebel uprisings ended in bloodbath. After Suharto had resigned, a referendum for indpendence was conducted in 1999 and in 2002 East Timor finally declared independency. After 25 years of war it then was among Asias poorest with not even a functioning hotel in the capital of Dili. Meanwhile, offshore oil reserves are being exploited raising hopes that this country could develop also economically in the near future.
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Old April 22nd, 2012, 05:07 PM   #275
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Togo

They were located in the African joint pavillon.



There was not much to see, except: photos



But the photos were gourgeous photos, and transferred the countrys spirit to China.



So, no need for more comments, just enjoy the pictures





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Old April 22nd, 2012, 05:20 PM   #276
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Tonga



Another small country and like Togo it has been a German colony as well



The exhibition displayed the usual stuff but unlike in other joint pacific pavillons, there was a friendly local ready to talk and answer questions, making this pavillon a highlight of its own.



What else is there left to say? Togo is a bunch of islands with an expanse of 700 sgkm and some 100,000 inhabitants. It is located not far from the international dateline therefore its people are the first to welcome the new date. In 2000, the country managed to make some money out of its special location and invited tourists to celebrate the new millenium on Tonga.

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Old April 22nd, 2012, 05:29 PM   #277
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Trinidad and Tobago

RED. One word says it all



This model of TTs capital Port of Spain stood quite out from the rest from what was shown in the joint pavillon, showing that the capital has become a commercial hub for the Caribbean.



But also the rest of the pavillon was quite different from other boothes in the same section which was not only due to the red colour. They occupied a considerably larger are and had even ramped up a small cinema.



Of course there was also space for the usual artefacts.

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Old April 22nd, 2012, 06:03 PM   #278
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Turkey, part 1



After all these small countries, its time for something big again. Turkey somehow managed to keep its "insider tip" image until the Expos end which translated into an attractive combination of short queuing and attractive sights in the interior.



Less glorious was the news about a Turkish staff being fired during the Expo because of hitting an impatient visitor.



It was quite easy for Turkey to invent an attractive motto as the worlds first city were located in an area we now call Iraq or Turkey. This was 10,000 years ago. The picture above shows a mural from the town of Catahoyuk, its about 9,000 years old. And this is how the city might have looked like.



So while most countries tried to look ahead to develop the city of the future, Turkey looked back to where it all began.



Corresponding to its motto *The Cradle of Civilization*, the exhibition included spectacular attractions such as a model of the worlds first city or the worlds first ceramics or insriptions.



These sights were displayed in a very dark place with chilly ambient music.



Even the notoriously high noise level decreased.

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Old April 22nd, 2012, 06:21 PM   #279
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Turkey, part 2



This is a model of the city of Byzanz. It was renamed to Constantinopel in 297 BC and later in 1453AD to Istanbul when Turkey was already long time islamized and conquered by the Sejuks.



Another important artefact was this peace treaty, the oldest existing which was signed in the 13th BC between the Hetits and the Egyptians



As walked on, time was slowly moving on through the centuries. The ceramics shown below are from the 15. th century.



People spend most of their time visiting the basement but there was also a top floor.



The movie about an ordinary 24 hour day in Istanbul was a bonus and beamed people right into the 21st century.



At the exit we finally found what we had been looking for in Shanghai for almost two years: a restaurant serving tasty (and REAL, no fake!) Doner Kebap!
But obvioulsy also the Chinese had learned about this delicious food through a lot of "tingshuo" therefore the queue was even longer than the one to get inside the pavillon. So we just left it at some turkish ice cream.
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Old April 22nd, 2012, 11:34 PM   #280
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Tunesia



Tunesia could afford an own pavillon which was consequently placed between Libyas and Algerias. As with both neighbouring countries, the exterior was nothing special as it used the standardized boxy design and some blue colour and photographs was put on it



Inside it was one of the better Afican pavillons, although nothing really spectacular.



The whole performance consited of attraction and ideas which were also shown in other places but it was quite pleasant to watch.



Some nice movies and pictures set in Islamic architecture.



A place to relax - and thats what most Chinese visitors did.



I do not quite remember what this man was doing. Unfortuntely my Chinese is too weak to understand whats written on the boards



We visited this pavillon about half a year before the revolution in Arabia started to evolve in Tunisia.
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