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Old February 2nd, 2012, 04:57 PM   #141
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Holland/ The Netherlands, part2

What about this one? A typical Dutch housing after a giant marital quarrel?



Okay this is something I have seen numerous times in Holland. Seems to be a quite popular attraction on funfairs. But why can visitors only stare at it?



All in all, the Happy Street was a slight disappointment as it was one of the few pavillons from which I did not really got the meaning out of it despite a motto and innovative layout.
Maybe with all these colurs they wanted to appeal to kids, but following the Expo`s serious motto our Dutch friends could have done better.



Neighbouring Holland is a distant exotic country where ocean is turned into hyperfuturistic cities erected on newly claimed land, and floodings are regulated by automated electronic dykes. Where the compact disc was invented and liberalist ideas are promoted first to later spread all over Europe.
Only when it goes about some football clubs I really hate our neigbours

So once more, a glimpse on the structure which was surely one of the Top5 landmarks on Shanghais Expo
.
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Old February 2nd, 2012, 05:17 PM   #142
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Honduras

One temple and one million Chinese.



The Western tip of Honduras bordering touches the cultural hemisphere of the Maya. The temple shown above is a replica of Copan which is one of the most spectacular ruins the Mayas have left.
Although neighbouring Guatemala has more of these attractions of to offer, Honduras is definitely worth a visit: natural variety including the biggest virgin rainforest in Central America, decent beaches and the worldwide most important coral reef besides Australias Great Barrier reef.
Compared to its neighbours, Honduras looks back on a relatively peaceful history with no bloody Guerilla revolts, no civil wars, no rebel uprisings. Economically speaking though this heavily indebted country remains dependent on the US and so far could only offer bananas to escape from this vicious circle.
Capital Tegucicalpa, which I visited in 2004 was the most chaotic city I ever saw and one of the few places where slums and shantytowns do not hide from visitors view but slowly crawl from the city center up to the steep surrounding slopes.
The hurrican "Mitch" in 1998 did not abate this situation either.



Chinese visitors wiating to get their stamp for their Expo passport.
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Old February 2nd, 2012, 05:30 PM   #143
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Hungary

One of the most bizarre pavillons which can also be seen as a record. Nothing in this pavillon reminded of the country itself: no glulasch, no KuK architecture, no Puszta grasslands, no Balaton Ballermann parties, just wooden slabs moving up and down, with either green or red lighting.
As strange as Hungarian language.



Like the UK, it was only pavillon with no direct link to the countrys culture. Some may call it art, others regarded it a waste of time. Most of local Chinese did not really understand it.



Would it have been it a better idea to introduce Hungary with its people to the "ordinary" Chinese visitors who do not know much about this small but interesting country in the heart of Europe?



A brave idea and a typical love it or leave it thing. I quite enjoyed it. No queuing, no crowds, something interesting to see, but enough time saved to see some other pavillons.
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Old February 2nd, 2012, 05:41 PM   #144
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nice photo and explanation...thanks Rinchinlhumbe...really love your updates...please give us more.....it worth to see...thanks again
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Old February 3rd, 2012, 02:10 PM   #145
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no worries, guyversa, still a long way to go to Zimbabwe
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Old February 3rd, 2012, 02:44 PM   #146
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Iceland

The term "island made of fire and ice" might sound stereotyped but it describes this fascinating and remote country quite well. Its maigcal appeal is not only restricted to geysers and volcanoes but also to modern popular culture, which actually is regarded as avantgarde in other countries: Bjoerk, Gus Gus, Sigur Ros are names which come into my mind spontaneously. Plus some of the worlds most famous chess players, a worldwide renowned literary tradition, one of the first democratic parliaments and a bizarre sounding language which has not undergone any recognisable changes since the Vikings populated the island in the 9th century.
A lot of Chinese were also intereseted and therefore queuing was pretty tough up to one hour. I manged to cut it down to 20 minutes by visting it very late



The pavillon was best described by the term "cost saving pleasure". Obviously the financial crisis had impacted the Icelandic Expo plans. Therefore it was not one of the fancy ones but very minimalistic.



The whole performance was reduced to a 3D movie in an otherwise blank pavillon. The movie was magnificient and focused on natural highlights. The picture above shows one of Icelands many waterfalls, I think its the Gullfoss, which translates into Golden Fall.



Beaches with sand made of lava are located on Icelands southern coast.



One of Icelands still "functioning" volcanoes erupting, Hekla, Snojjaerformussreykjahoefblaerkjaesturejoekull, Bjoerk, I do not remmeber exactly

There was also a bit about culture, some views of Reykyavik, where almost half of the countrys population is living. And above the skyline nordic lights shimmering! The Chinese crowd cheered up at this uncommon sight.

A very simple idea but worht every minute watching.
Reduce to the max could have been the motto.
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Old February 3rd, 2012, 03:42 PM   #147
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India

On it goes with not only another BRIC in the wall, but Chinas biggest competitor when it goes about economic growth in Asia. Indeed, the Expo, ironically based in China, was one big chance for India to showcase its achievements and recent success to the world. At least most people would have thought that. But to put it first, this Indian pavillon did not really corespond to what most people expected from it.



In terms of area expanse, it was surely one of the greatest pavillons as it not only featured a huge main building but also a vast area for eating, shopping and even doing business.

The food and friendly Indians serving it added a nice touch.
Although the Expos motto has shifted from doing business to pure recreation (with a little education) the Indians (as aforementioned )also gave the opportunity to establish business links for the Expos visitors. I suppose most of the time this room looked as empty as on this picture.



The main building was huge as well and would have been a nice landmark but due to its adverse location many people did not really notice it.



As interesting as it looked from the outisde, the interior was rather dull. A huge hall and a lot of exhibits located along the walls, thats it. Despite the height, people could only walk along the ground floor.



The cultural exhibits were shown in loose order and were nice to watch in the beginning. The town below is one of the first human settlments in India and was set up during the first ancient cilization about 2000 or 3000 BC.
But as there was no real theme and logic behind it soon got boring



The main attraction was a holographic movie shown in the buildings centre. As it was in Chinese and I was setting at the very end I did not understand so much. India, the new world power? Well, at least not here in Shanghai in 2010...

btw, queuing was tolerable at about only 20 minutes waiting time.
Like China also India has to handle a huge population size of over 1 billion people and therefore India was probably the only country knowing what really to expect from Shanghais Expo. The big area was therefore probably not based on megalomania but was an attempt to manage to accodomate up to 1 milllion daily visitors. It was perhaps the only place within the Expo area with no people pushing, showing, jostling, cutting queues, etc.
This is a very, very , very, very, very positive thing worth mentioning and gives an unexpected happy ending to this story.
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Old February 3rd, 2012, 04:07 PM   #148
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Indonesia

Indonesia was something like an insider tip Shanghais Expo, a decent mixture of not too long waiting time and interesting sights.
The folks from Djakarta had done a lot of effort and erected an unique building on the southern edge of the so called "South East Asia Square"



Indonesia is a dizzying mosaique of thousands of jungle covered islands, accommodating hundreds of different ethniques with different habits and religious belief, from the archaic mountain tribes if Irian Jaya island to the smart dressed Chinese businessmen in Jakarta. It is a miracle that this country has remained relatively stable since dictator Suhartos demise in 1998

Like most developing nations enviromental topics and urban life were not in focus. Indonesia has a lot of different plants and species to offer, although deforestation has become a very serious issue, putting Orang utans and other animals on the brink of extinction.



But these problems were only superficially mentioned. Anyway, Indonesia managed to attract us with its intelligent layout. Long illuminated spiral stairs led the way to the top floor. On the ceiling you can see fish swimming over the visitors heads.



The top floor accomated some restaurants and as far as I remember also a cinema., But the queue was far too long (or, given the short queuing time its seating capacity was too small).

The pavillons second part featured everything which has to do with people: costumes showing ehtnic diversity, these rikshas



...and finally also some projects about upgrading Jakartas infrastructure.
In front of the building, delicious sate was served.
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Old February 3rd, 2012, 04:21 PM   #149
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Iran

The Iran hid in the extreme south easterncorner of Shanghais Expo, in a remarkable location just next to Syria and North Korea and far away from the American pavillon. It was a single pavillon and quite large.


Iran is fascinating country with gourgeous landscapes, friendly people and an impressive culture. The pavillon however, did not manage to transport this message to this event. The whole show did not differ too much from other autocratic states like Turkmenistan or Tajikistan. The interior design was quite nice but there was not much too see.
Some proud pictures of dam projects, some products on display, a bit of souvenir shopping at a bazaar and of course one picture of the Dear Almighty shown below.



If you wanna get in touch with the real Iran you need to take the next plane to Teheran, I assume.
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Old February 5th, 2012, 02:04 PM   #150
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Irag

The Good, the Bad, the Ugly. Iraqs history can be described best by these words. It all started very well with the first ancient civilization ever established on planet earth some 5000 years ago. Cities, money, trade, law, all what we today consider to be self evident was invented by some guys called the Sumerians.
The two stream region of River Tigris and River Euphrates later was a battleground between the British forces and Arabs, creating instable political divisions with no clear link to its tribes, history and culture like the Iraq. The ugly part of the recent three decades is wellknown to all of us and need not be mentioned here.
I was quite curious about how Irag will present itself after all this negative media coverage. 1001 nights was the pavillons motto. They obviously wanted to forget about their recent past and commermorate the times when Bagdad was a imporant trading port bewtween East and West.



The only backdraw: it was obviously closed when I wanted to enter. It was not really late and other people confirmed that it is usually open until the Expo closes. Maybe some problems with broken exhibitis, lighting, electricity? Anyway, the only thing I can present you by now are the pavillons walls. Sry for that.

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Old February 7th, 2012, 04:00 PM   #151
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Ireland, part 1



Queuing for an audience with the nowadays slightly weary Celtic Tiger was very tough but my girlfriend knew a guy working there so entering was possible without any waiting time.



The pavillon impressed with a cool and post modern design albeit having a not very distinctive and not typical Irish appeal. Glass, metal and right angles were the main ingredients.



Although not one of the big ones, its spaced was used very clever with floor levels gently descending.

The first part was about the Irish history starting with the Celts and finishing in the 21th century. Also the battle against the British usurpators and the Great Famine in 1847 was mentioned. Some nice animations with typical Irish landscapes guided the visitor through 2000 years of Irish history.

Green hills, sunny weather a rather rare sight in Ireland


and some fenced meadows with a castle


Some exhbitis showed interieur architecture from different eras.This is how a typical Irish family lived 100 years ago.



Living standards improved throughout the 20th century. This shall protray the Irish way of life around 1960





And this is today


The other pavillon showing something similar was the Chinese. But in contrast to the hosts the Irish remained humble and honest. A normal Irish family has not become multimillionaires, at least this picture reveals this fact.

But no need to be humble for the Irish. As far as I can tell they are very progressive and innovative people. This picture proves that Dublin is one of the most future oriented cities in Europe with Range Rover and Hyundai cars driving on the road in the 18th century!



So life in the 18th century was obviously not as bad as it seems from todays perspective. Commuting to work by car on paved roads and listenting to Mozart (who was very famous then), it does not sounds worse than todays life!

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Old February 7th, 2012, 04:26 PM   #152
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Ireland part 2



When the history lesson was finished we slowly descended downwards again along a colourful wall with many screens.



The things shown rather focused on the present or the future but it was way too much to follow, therefore just nice to watch.



The music playing in the background was U2. After all these words and information a very relaxing sight. Finally I had found what I was looking for.



The famous band U2 (but rather unknown to most Chinese visitors) and other popular Irish were introduced through some pictures



The pavillon also featured a very special attraction namely a joint art gallery of Chinese and Irish artists



If I remember correctly, Irish students studying in China had the task to portray China...



...whereas Chinese students living in Ireland were asked to paint soemthing about Ireland



Dont remember anymore...



anyway, just enjoy the drawing, they are the last taken inside the Irish pavillon

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Old February 7th, 2012, 04:45 PM   #153
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Israel



The exterior architecture alone was worth visiting the Expo. The snail like concrete - glass structure was indeed one of the most beautiful and innovative designs on Shanghais expo. No nondescript showebox, no megalomaniac brutalism, just pure art



The Israelis motto was somehow related to this layout as it had not much to do with urban development but rather with innovation and intelligent ideas.

Waiting to get inside didnt become too boring as some pictures provided some information about the Jewish past in Shanghai...



..as well as drawings of some major attractions the country has to offer like bathing on (instead of "in") the Dead Sea



So, Israel was the only pavillon which offered some welcome diversion during queuing.

Finally inside, a 3D movie introduced important Israeli people and their innovations to the crowd


These monitors look nice but had no real function except lightening up the pavillon


The movie was in Chinese with a few English undertitles shown. A lot of innovations from Israel obviously were achieved in the medical/healthcare sector but genius mathematician Albert Einstein was also mentioned



This is the final impression from this very intelligent pavillon.

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Old February 8th, 2012, 11:03 AM   #154
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Fantastic thread !
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Old February 8th, 2012, 04:39 PM   #155
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thx for commenting and pushing
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Old February 8th, 2012, 05:19 PM   #156
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Italy

For many Chinese, Italy was the true Expos highlight and it was also awarded as being one of the most creative pavillons.

Entering it was quite easy though, as some days earlier I had met an Italian guy in a pub still wearing his badge with his name written on it, revealing that he was a Expovolunteer. I remembered his name, saved it on my mobile, went to the Expo next Saturday and claimed to be one of his best friends.
during our 2 minute conversation, the Italian had told me that he will be off on the weekend so I was on the safe side. Though he was not there, we were allowed to enter because also because we reacted very disappointed and surprised to his absence.



But to be enabled to visit the attractions inside, one huge challenge lay ahehad. We were obliged to enter from the side entrance and eat something at the restaurant. well, being forced to eat Italian food does not really sound like a punishment, but believe me in this special case it was. The Lasagna I ordered cost me some 10 Euro. At least it was served very quickly, because the chief obviously took it fomr the fridge and forgot to put into the microwave for some minutes. Nevermind. Even without that, it tasted like it was originally prepared for the inauguration of an antique Romes buildings 200 year ago.

But lets rush on to the real attractions. The architecture a glass/marble Scala vs. Forum Romanum experiment merging Old Roma Aeterna with cool Armani Haute Couture.



The layout quite nice, three floors with a gallery to look down.



A lot of products and innovations and also some advertisement could not be avoided. But it was not as obvious and annoying as e.g. in the French pavillon.



So for what is Italy in China known for? Excellent food (when served outside Shanghai), football, sporty cars, history with antique monuments, fashion. From this perspective, the pavillons content was quite representative.



A lot of fashion, people could dress up and view themselves in a mirror.



Some models of ancient monuments from the Roman era.



A bit more modern but just as interesting a model of some alternaitve housing projects designed by some architecture students. Unfortunately I didnt take any photos from this.
Another interesting feature a room showing information about one specific Italian province before switching to another every two weeks.

Finally also some R&D and product innovations. A roboter marching up and down and reacting to peoples voices (totally impossible to take a photo because of the crowds) plus, hiding in a small corner a flashy bicycle. Electric bicycles have become a common means of transportation for urban Chinese totally eradicating motorcycles and conventional bikes. Obviously the Italians wanted to encourage Chinese to do stick some more sportive activities again.



All in a all it was a quite nice event, especially given the short waiting time. But in total there was not much information about what was to see, and way too much adverstising with a bit too many "dont touch" stickers and consequently not many opportunities for the visitors to actively become part of the show. Therefore we spend most of the time just walking around, watching and taking some photos.

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Old February 9th, 2012, 04:00 PM   #157
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Ivory Coast

Not much to report on this. The booth was of course located in the African joint pavillon. I visited it in the late afternoon after an exhausting rollercoaster ride through thr African continent. Not much to memorize, just the usual collection of artefacts, some information and some nice photos one shown below.



This is the worlds 2nd biggest church located in the countrys newly built capital Yamoussoukro.
The Ivory Coast is one of Africas tragedies. Under the rule of pro-west president Houphouet Boigny once a stable and flourishing nation and always put forward by the West as an African "look-it-works" best practice example, the country is now war stricken and disintegrated into two parts. In the HDI it ransk in the 170th position out of 187 countrys. As non descript was its appearance at the Expo.

But it might be an interesting place to visit again in the future as it used to be until the 1990s. Who knows.

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Old February 9th, 2012, 04:11 PM   #158
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Jamaica

Another quicky. Located in the Caribbean joint pavillon its most interesting feature was the picture below. Its national symbol, Bob Marley was shown ion various pictures.



No, let me think, the most interesting thing I remember was the clash of the cultures displayed in a conversation between some noveaux riche urban Shanghainese and the Jamaican volunteer who tried to explain the beneifts of smoking Marihuana. Chinese learn at school, that all drugs immediately kill the one who takes them, regardless what substance. There is no education and certainly no differentiation between soft and hard drugs.
On the other side, the Jamaican could not understand why most Chinese are not able to relax and have a chat with him instead of having a short look on his pavillon and then pushing and jostling to get a stamp to prove they visited his pavillon before hastily rushing off again. His proposal of smoking weed in order to calm down was politely rejected by the locals.

After all this talktalktalk I wll show the Expos true highlight and best pavillon. Stay tuned.
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Old February 9th, 2012, 04:18 PM   #159
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commercial break

scheiss Tastatur
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Old February 9th, 2012, 04:20 PM   #160
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and now Ladies and Gentlemen...
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