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Old May 21st, 2011, 08:04 PM   #101
Rinchinlhumbe
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Eritrea



Inside the African joint pavillon. The usual collection of sculptures and other artefacts plus a camel and some traditional dwellings. Besides zillions of Chinese people.
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Old May 21st, 2011, 08:05 PM   #102
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Equatorial Guinea. Oil, construction and tyranny



A crazy place. Similar encompassing the size of Maryland or Slovenia with just some 500,000 inhabitants. The only former spanish colony in Africa and one of the best developed countries in Africa when resuming independence. Strange enough, its first president, a manic psychopath, had nothing better to do then killing/expulsing one third of the population in a amazingly short period of time, thus destroying the countrys human resources and bringing the economy to tatters. Although things have improved on the political side political oppression is still dominant in the country. Even worse, the current countrys leader (his oddness pictured below)

...and his stooges have turned the state into a total kleptocracy. Given the fact that they do not have so many people anymore to torture - they opted to waste another resource: money. Equatorial is now Subsaharan Africa third biggest oil exporter.

Given the countrys little population it might not be too surprising that its per capita income is on the level of the Czech Republic. But does the countrys population benefit from this fact?



The countrys government aims to become a wealthy state comparable to some Asian economies in 2020. This quite overambitious target was reflected in some pictures



I went twice to see this pavillon. During my first visit, the booth almost devoid of everything making this visit a dull affair. But I soon met a friendly Guinean man who spoke perfect English and was working at a major American finance company in Shanghai. He asked me to come back one month later. Then his friends from EG should have arrived and brought the other exhibits over to Shanghai.
All in all a quite nice performance. EG is one of the places in Africa I would like to see. But it is not a tourists destination. Most of foreign visitors are oil workers from the US.


Last edited by Rinchinlhumbe; May 22nd, 2011 at 06:48 PM.
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Old May 21st, 2011, 08:27 PM   #103
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Estonia

The last one for today
From the outside it looked rather *African* than Nordic.



It was one of the few performance which already tried to entertain the visitors while queuing up. At the pavillons walls, a signboard asked to collect some ideas how to improve urban life.



Inside, the visitors had the chance to write down their ideas and
post them into some coloured pigs.



These coloured pigs (but not their content!) became a main draw for most of the visitors.



Most of the Chinese countryside people do not know too much about enviromental concerns of Western urban residents (or had a limited time budget) and therefore as with other Nordic pavillons, an oringinally nice idea did not reach its target group.



Sad enough, this was also the case for its second attraction, although this idea might have been much more appreciated by the Chinese. The Estonians had designed their pavillon as a huge stage to let the people sing some karaoke which is very popular in China.



At least some of the visitors participated in singing famous Chinese songs next to the Estonian national anthem!



Estonia is a rather small country with a population base of just 1.5 million inhabitants. Despite being ruled by the Soviets for 50 years this country has miracolously managed to shed its historical burden in just one decade and is now rather associated with the Scandinavian states. It might also be the only place in the world where every citizen gets a free wifi connection by birth
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Old May 22nd, 2011, 12:12 AM   #104
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Your exhaustive coverage of the Expo is just amazing, makes me realised how much I've missed too! How many times did you go and how many hours have you spent queing?
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Old May 22nd, 2011, 01:01 PM   #105
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Awesome collection, thanks. I visited, as well, and missed the Chile and Denmark pavilions, which both received strong critical acclaim. The architect of Denmark's pavillion, BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group (Copenhagen) really made a name for himself. Wouldn't be surprised if this sort of minimalist architecture (also seen in Austria) will trickle down to the mainstream quite soon.

I can't wait for Japan, Saudi Arabia and Switzerland as the lines were among the longest at those pavilions. I did see Germany's (very export and business oriented), the UK's (stylized and artsy) or the USA's (highly political and culturally oriented), which showed the difference in focus.

Last edited by Golden Age; May 22nd, 2011 at 02:53 PM. Reason: Grammar and content
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Old May 22nd, 2011, 01:56 PM   #106
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thanks for photo..update more
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Old May 23rd, 2011, 03:37 PM   #107
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NCT View Post
Your exhaustive coverage of the Expo is just amazing, makes me realised how much I've missed too! How many times did you go and how many hours have you spent queing?
As you might know it was not everyones kind.
Actually I wanted to go there once or twice to see the German pavillon and some other crowdpullers and call it a day. But I somehow got addicted to it and ended up visting it twelve times!!! Totally crazy!!!
Queuing wasnt a too big problem, if you had a nice chat with the staff and showed some interest in their country. Another trick was to visit the top pavillons in the late evening. In other cases dining in the adjacent restaurant was equal to buying the entrance tickets. In some rare cases like Italy or South Korea I invented some weird stories.
I waited one an half a hour at UAE and Singapore pavillon, which still was acceptable for me. All the other queuing was less than half an hour.
Only Switzerland and Saudi Arabia proved to be an impassable hurdle.

Last edited by Rinchinlhumbe; May 23rd, 2011 at 03:54 PM.
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Old May 23rd, 2011, 03:52 PM   #108
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Golden Age View Post
Awesome collection, thanks. I visited, as well, and missed the Chile and Denmark pavilions, which both received strong critical acclaim. The architect of Denmark's pavillion, BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group (Copenhagen) really made a name for himself. Wouldn't be surprised if this sort of minimalist architecture (also seen in Austria) will trickle down to the mainstream quite soon.

I can't wait for Japan, Saudi Arabia and Switzerland as the lines were among the longest at those pavilions. I did see Germany's (very export and business oriented), the UK's (stylized and artsy) or the USA's (highly political and culturally oriented), which showed the difference in focus.
Interesting background information didnt know about that.

Well, regarding Switzerland and Saudia Arabia you really got me these are actually the only ones I could not make.

Main attraction for Saudi Arabia was its huge 3D cinema inside, a real crowdpuller for the Chinese. Some foreigners told me that there was precious little else inside, definitely not worth queuing up.
Queuing times at the Saudi Arabian pavillon was around 4 to 5 hours - sometimes the loudspeakers announced BLOODY 9 (N I N E ! ! !) waiting time but this was rather tactically intended to keep the crowds away.

The Swiss were quite arrogant, not because they are our neighbours. Even the sweetest smile and best arguments did not help to let me in. I even tried to imitate the German Swiss dialect and showed a passport (which was not Swiss but this was difficult to recognize from 3 meters away) but no hance. My sister chose the ambush strategy and went eating in the restaurant, but when receiving the bill she was told that the minimum consumption per person enabling to enter is 280 RMB, which equals 35 Euro!
Nevertheless, Switzerland got even worse reviews than Saudi Arabia, at least from foreign visitors, as its sole attraction was a cable car gliding over an alpine pasture. Most Chinese never went skiiing and loved it.

Japan will be a real highlight you can look forward to.

How did you manage to see all these big pavillons?
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Old May 23rd, 2011, 04:08 PM   #109
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Back to work:

Fiji Islands



Put up inside the Pacific joint pavillon, it was one of the less memorable experiences. Maybe because it was one of the last we visited. Like all the others in this hall, the booths design was standardized (for details check Cook Islands).



One attraction were textiles, either displayed as clothing or hung as carpets on the wall.
The most dominant feature however was a huge Katamaran boat, a replica of what Polynese people already had invented over 1000 years ago. In 1947, the Norwegian Thor Heyerdal rebuilt such a boat to successfully prove that the Polynese people managed to navigate such boats from South America to New Zealand one millenium ago.



A feature I personally liked very much at this Expo were exhibting some locally manufactured consumer goods.
In the place(s) I am/was living I hardly ever managed to spot some cookies or instant dishes *Made in the Fiji Islands* (well actually as an irgnorant guy I never paid a lot attention to this *What is manufactured in the Fiji Islands?* - topic throughout my whole life).
The Expo finally enilightened me and offered me an insight into this topic.

Last edited by Rinchinlhumbe; May 23rd, 2011 at 04:39 PM.
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Old May 23rd, 2011, 04:37 PM   #110
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Finland, part 1



And now take a deep breath and relax.
















You certainly have seen a lot in your lifetime. You been to many distant places many others could only dream of.
But you have not seen anything of value, when you did not see the Finnish pavillo at Shanghais Expo.
Okay it might be exaggerating but for me this was one of Top 5 highlights of the ~250 pavillons visited up to par with Chile and some others which will follow later.



It certainly was a love or hate thing. As you can already tell by these pics from the exterior the Finnish certainly played their trump card and opted for minimalist Nordic design.



A Chinese women queuing up next to me commented on this with: *Wo tingshuo zhege difang feichang meiyisi* (I heard that this is a very dull place)

A huge igloo (or the corpus of a polar bear? a huge closet?) covered with some white tiles resembling the scales of a fish. Surrounded by a moat.



After all these frantic information overload my first reaction to this was: .



Even better, there was no huge signboard in order to lure the masses into the building. The only evidence was a small stone with *Finnland* wroten in ancient Chinese letters. As some Chinese neither know the Latin alphabet nor the old letters queuing was no big problem at this pavillon



We rushed inside in this was the first we saw:



Nothing.




Well, a wooden rondell with a stone. Above only sky.



No protection from the rain.

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Old May 24th, 2011, 12:47 PM   #111
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rinchinlhumbe View Post
As you might know it was not everyones kind.
Actually I wanted to go there once or twice to see the German pavillon and some other crowdpullers and call it a day. But I somehow got addicted to it and ended up visting it twelve times!!! Totally crazy!!!
Queuing wasnt a too big problem, if you had a nice chat with the staff and showed some interest in their country. Another trick was to visit the top pavillons in the late evening. In other cases dining in the adjacent restaurant was equal to buying the entrance tickets. In some rare cases like Italy or South Korea I invented some weird stories.
I waited one an half a hour at UAE and Singapore pavillon, which still was acceptable for me. All the other queuing was less than half an hour.
Only Switzerland and Saudi Arabia proved to be an impassable hurdle.
12 times bloomin' 'eck! I queued for 4 hours to get into the German one, and that was in the evening, with a broken arm in a plaster too!
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Old May 24th, 2011, 05:26 PM   #112
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Quote:
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12 times bloomin' 'eck! I queued for 4 hours to get into the German one, and that was in the evening, with a broken arm in a plaster too!
doesnt sound so nice...was it at least worth waiting for?
actually Germany was one of the pavillons where you could enter with a little luck and patience without queuing (at least as a Westerner)
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Old May 24th, 2011, 05:54 PM   #113
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Finland

Lets finish with the Finnish (sry...)

We went on through long white corridors, stabbing further into the unknown..



Finally, blueish northern lights began to appear



We reached the pavillons center. A huge video animation projected against the wall.



Wind power and cyclists. This is how Helsinki might look in the future



It was really quite. The crowds calmed down and fell to silence.



Atmospheric ambient music created a surreal atmosphere.



People could take a photograph of themselves at the booth located on the opposite side. Later some of these faces reappeared on the screen being transformed to floating bubbles



This is the place where you could take the photographs. Before you start ask: none of the faces shown is mine



The pavillon could not get by without some advertising. But the following pics were just simply advertised as *Made in Finnland*





We visited this strange but somehow very beautiful and atmospheric place twice. The second time we spare some more and remained for 20 minutes gazing at the screen..

The ground floor was a bit more down to earth. Here you could find some shops where you could also buy some decent reindeer soup and lingonberry jam. Helsinki advertised itself as Europeans fashion capital



Finally it was time to say goodbye - to the pavillon and also Santa Claus who resides in the Northern Finnish town Rovaniemi just a few kilometers from the Arctic circle. It was June and the outside temperature was about 35 degrees C.

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Old May 24th, 2011, 06:22 PM   #114
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France part 1

Every Chinese child learns it school that French are famous for their taste in style, fashion and good food. So it was no wonder that this pavillon was quite difficult to enter.

Even some French words spoken (oh lala cest incroyable... ) and a bordeaux-red Reisepass disguised as a passport could not convince the English speaking Chinese staff in my first attempt.
The second time was more lucky. An apocalyptic thunderstorm send the crowds away and pathed my way enabling me to gloriously overcome and prevail.

This one of my first impressions. A long escalator.



The pavillons layout was sort of a atrium. A long gallery winding down around a courtyard. With its greenery this looked very nice although the rain spoiled it. But this was the price to enter.



In the patio the French showed some examples of future mobility. This Citroen limousine is 5.30 meters long and therefore tailormade for Chinese managers.
By the: Citroen - creative technologie! Buy one!



After we had reached the top it was time to descend. This was the first thing we saw: snow in Paris!





Sino-French friendship. The French have a huge district in Shanghai, set up in the 19th century. This cat was the official mascot of the French pavillon.



As in the Belgian pavillon you could watch some chefs preparing the noveau delicatessen de la cuisine. But these guys were a bit tired at the end of the day



It went on and on...


Last edited by Rinchinlhumbe; May 24th, 2011 at 07:06 PM.
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Old May 24th, 2011, 06:37 PM   #115
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Some things did not have any deeper meaning and just looked nice.



Despite being titled as *The Sensual City* there was no real theme or at least an idea behind this pavillon. It combined a lot of advertisement with enviromental topics so as to say: French companies care about nature. The pavillons architecture was quite enjoyable. The downside however was being annoyed by a lot of commercial rubbish.

More relaxing were these video animations. Some ivy growing over the Eiffel Tower



Quite fascinating. A banlieue...



...with some huge buildings popping up in the backgound





no real meaning, just faboulous to watch...



Some more birds view perspectives





...and then some advertisement again. By the way: Michelin tires - buy some!



Also this had a commercial background. Anyway just enjoy these 1960s like drawings.





dogs eye view of Paris



birds eye view of Toulouse


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Old May 24th, 2011, 06:38 PM   #116
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rinchinlhumbe View Post
doesnt sound so nice...was it at least worth waiting for?
actually Germany was one of the pavillons where you could enter with a little luck and patience without queuing
(at least as a Westerner)
Hmm, that'd be a snag for me.

I found the German pavilion certainly worth queing for - there was a lot of actual substance, industrial displays and detailed urban case studies, unlike some of the pavilions with just a film and some random swinging stuff.
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Old May 24th, 2011, 07:03 PM   #117
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France part 3

The pavillons highlight surely were these paintings borrowed from the Musee dOrsay: Among them were...

lAngelus from Millet
le Balcon from Manet
la Salle de danse à Arles from Van Gogh
Femme à la cafetière of Cézanne
la Loge done by Bonnard
le Repas painted by Gauguin
some others
and a sculpture I do not remember

after all this complaining this was a true highlight. And worth waiting for:



Originals, no copies or fakes !



Very brave people these Frenchmen to exhibit this pieces of art at such an event like the Expo about 9000km away from their home. Thanks for the organizer for exhibiting them.
Ironically (or perhaps for good reason?) these pictures were not really advertised. They just hung along the corridor between some nondescript video animation and advertising. So some people did not even take notice.


Then things got serious again.



Some advertisement for Louis Vuitton. B(u)y the way: Louis Vuitton clothes - buy them!



These were the last pictures I have taken in the pavillon.





Near the exit, back down in the basement, they had some very nice aerials of French cities. This is one of them (Nice? Maybe some French user can help?)



Another one from Toulouse was shown before.

Despite its quite commercial approach it was overall a great pavillon and a perfect way to finish off an exhausting but great (and quite wet) day at the Expo.
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Old May 24th, 2011, 07:27 PM   #118
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Quote:
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France part 3
Near the exit, back down in the basement, they had some very nice aerials of French cities. This is one of them (Nice? Maybe some French user can help?)
This is definitely Nice.

You're making a great work showing all the countries. Since P is still a long way to go I'd like to ask how did you like the pavillon of Poland?
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Old May 31st, 2011, 04:02 PM   #119
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thx / thx

Poland was quite cool. But the best thing by far was the gourgeous restaurant. We went there three times (actually no other diing place at the Expo was worth visiting twice). Since then, I started cooking bigos regularly!
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Old May 31st, 2011, 04:16 PM   #120
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Gabun

Just one picture.



It was one of the more elaborate places in the African joint pavillon consisting not just of a booth with some tables and exhibits on it.

Since the entire country is almost completely covered with dense jungle it was not wonder that they chose a *tropical rain forest* as the theme. The biggest attraction was a small hanging bridge which in real bridges wild cataracts in the African country. The rest were the usual collections of masks, sculptures and some photos documenting the modern life in Gabun.

Nowadays the country is known for three reasons.

They had one of the longest presidents in reign, Omar Bongo who remained in power from 1967 until his death in 2009 making him the longest reigning president ever. He was no democrat for sure but at least he managed to keep the country stable as its neighbours again and again were sucked in by the black hole of civil war.
This stability was supported by its oil wealth but the petrodollars were not invested in schools in hospitals but very efficiently in palaces and the presidents pockets. Nowadays the living standard is not much higher than in Cameroon or the Congo countries. The third important fact: Albert Schweitzer had its famous hospital here.
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