Posted by: naanofyourbusiness | July 22, 2010

The World Expo: It’s Like Disney World On Crack!!!

This year, the World Expo is in Shanghai and they, including eccentric expo mascot Haibo, won't let you forget it!

It’s like Disney World on Crack…except, it’s a Disney world where everyone speaks Chinese and you wait in three to ten hour lines just to get brain-washed by whatever country’s pavilion you just entered!  Take Venezuela for example.

Venezuelan Pride!!!

Its video features diverse populations, beautiful women, parades, and Chavez clips sandwiched between images of smiling, happy Venezuelan children.  But all is well, my brainwash came with a really tasty, cheesy arepa!

The Brazilian brainwash was similar, just replace Chavez with a ceiling of footballs (soccer balls for us non-conformist Americans)

Unfortunately, that’s not where my expo adventure began. It began several hours earlier in the pouring rain with miserable lines everywhere!!! I got there in the morning with my less than enthusiastic mom and three missions: 1) See the India Pavilion 2) Chinese pavilion 3) USA pavilion.  Outcome: fail, fail, succeeded, but the US of freaking A failed with their sorry excuse of a pavilion!

First, we walked more than a mile in the rain from one end of the pavilion to the other to make sure we got in line and saw India first. They wouldn’t even let us Indians into the Indian pavilion!!!! The only thing i could gather from the non-English speaking Chinese man working the line of the “Indian” pavilion was that they wouldn’t let us in…maybe they were at capacity or maybe they just didn’t like us…I’ll never know.

India Pavillion. i wonder what it's like inside...

By the way, there were almost no non-Chinese ppl. working in the pavilions of non-Chinese countries. The cute Canadian guy trying to sell fleece mittens in the 90 degree Shanghai afternoon as a replacement for oven mitts to a poor middle-age Chinese woman was a memorable exception.  Besides that, I loved seeing a Chinese woman surrounded by bags of Columbian coffee, wearing a sombrero and standing in front of a poster featuring Juan Valdez and his donkey!

I'm 97.89% sure that she's not Columbian.

Back to the mission. Next, we tried the China Pavilion.

That's crazy rain distorting this picture and the heinous line is on the other side...

The line was about half a mile long…i decided being in china was good enough.  I skipped the German pavilion for, if you know me, obvious reasons, and we finally made our way to the US pavilion.

U-S-A!

1) Apparently, you can show your U.S. passport to skip to the front of the line…I wish I had known that!! 2) the first impression embarrasses me on behalf of my fellow Americans, why you ask? They were blaring some awful music. I hate to think that a billion ppl. associate our country with Justin Beiber, Katy Perry, and the Jonas brothers (cringe)! 3) unlike the other pavilions which showcase different regions, culture, and valid reasons to visit, the US pavilion was nothing more than one Giant Ad:

The USA brought to you by big business!

Rumor has it (this article especially) that the US was planning a big to do with their pavilion, but, long story very short, the recession happened and they were planning on foregoing the expo all together.  However, that didn’t sit well with the Chinese because the USA pavilion would be a huge draw, so they loaned us the money.

So, I get it. Someone (insert sponsors here) had to pay the Chinese gov’t back for loaning money to our country just to show up!  But come on!!! There was no mention of indigenous wildlife, different cities or the south’s addiction to sweet tea and Chick-fil-a chicken biscuits (okay, maybe that last part is just me).  But guess what we are known for according to the pavilion gift shop?

According to the expo, the US is synonymous with Sheep, Buffalo, and Patriotism!!!

But don’t worry folks we showed the world some video featuring America’s own Barrack Obama and Kobe Bryant! Also, apparently American children are really into starting urban gardens…

After that disappointment, I decided to visit countries that actually care and that had lines short enough for me to wait in without wanting to hurt myself or the annoyingly aggressive Chinese line cutters. All in all, I only made it to 7 countries, and most of them were from South America in homage to my international friends!!!

Here are more Pictures:

My mother essentially described the Cuba Pavilion as a nice quickie! "You were in and out within minutes and it ended with a Cuban cigar!"

France went all out with their sensual name and actual Rodin sculpture.

Viva Columbia!

yes, Peru is home of the alpaca!

I was made in Canada!

I didn't go into Latvia, but it sure looked cool!

Finally, I have no idea what pavilion this is, but yay for bunnies!

Sorry other 190 something countries, but your lines were too long!

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