Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Scoop: Shanghai World Expo


Here's the scoop:
My fascinating Shanghai-residing Chinese Uncle William told me about this and convinced me to go. A little hesitant I went and was totally impressed! I didn't want to leave...

What is it
:
From May 1st until October 31st Shanghai, China is hosting an utterly grand and magnificent event, the World Expo. (http://en.expo2010.cn/) Titled "Better City Better Life", this is a chance for each country to showcase itself: it's history and what it has to offer now and going into the future. It is astonishing and overwhelming and I have to say, if you can get there its well worth seeing. There was no way to do it all in one day but I did some planning and it helped that it was overcast!

Who it's for:
A. Anyone who likes to travel
B. Anyone interested in history
C. Anyone interested in the future of the world
If you picked any of these, this is for you!

Don't miss:
-Italy: The one-of-a-kind Ferrari 599 HY http://www.wired.com/autopia/2010/02/sneak-peek-ferrari-hybrid/, what a dream(not sure about the green color) and a reason to see this pavilion in itself, very sexy. I want one. Also I saw gigantic 10ft. tall Avatar-sized pieces from Versace, Zegna and Dolce and Gabbana. Italy has such fabulous designers! There was also yummy wine and pasta installations and an architecture exhibit. (FYI these pics don't do justice)


-Japan: The highlights: Toyota's single-person concept car, Canon's new camera that takes 3-Dimensional photos http://usa.canon.com/industrial_bctv/pressrelease_20100408_3D.html and robots playing violins. Crazy. End of Story.


-Canada:
The acrobatic theatre troupe, Cirque Du Soleil http://www.cirquedusoleil.com/ was in charge of this pavilion. Enough said.


-Turkey: My favorite. There was a 360 view theatre playing birds-eye and POV footage of present day Istanbul from sunrise to well after sunset. The bustling city life and the Hagia Sophia (http://english.istanbul.gov.tr/Default.aspx?pid=343) , street vendors, waterfront, cafes and more. There are no words to describe this. I felt like I was really in Istanbul....Splendidly SURREAL! (Oh, and they don't trap you in a theater where you have to wait like other pavilions)

-Belgium: Best food! In this order: I got the Belgian fries from the outside kiosk. (no mayo, they go a bit crazy with it) Then I headed straight to their cafe and ordered the Chicken Stew. Seriously, the meat is so tender it was falling off the bone and it's served in the most divine broth. Finally, I went back outside to indulge with the Belgian waffle and ice cream for dessert. I told myself I needed the calories from all the walking.


Can pass on:
-France: Really? This is all you could come up with! The highlight was a glowing tree with a Louis Vuitton trunk beneath it. Not impressed.
-USA: Call me unpatriotic but I've heard enough rhetoric from Hillary Clinton and Barak Obama that a few hours break isn't too much to ask for. The video of them was boring. This pavilion's short comings are probably the reason why they don't promote the World Expo in the US.
-Thailand: Lived there and know that this was one long advertisement from their tourism board. They tried to trap me in a series of rooms with bad videos. I ran for the emergency exit after the second one. The exterior is beautiful though.
-Australia: Again, trapped. Just when I started to enjoy and appreciate the Auzzie's efforts they pulled some concentration camp-like action. Again, I made a run for it.


My feet really hurt after this day but it was so fun! I need some reflexology please. Look out for more with To Do and See Shanghai.