The World Comes To Shanghai

More and more this is a city with a spring in its step. That happens when the world looks your way.

Indeed the world has literally come to Shanghai, as the city hosts the World Expo 2010.

The Expo is a sprawling, and I mean sprawling, amalgam of over 200 countries exhibition pavilions. Here the very intriguing British Pavilion.

The lines were crazy, with 2-3 hour waits for the popular countries, like China, the USA and Britain – no I did not wait.

The African countries were more accessible. I got to play an African drum, drawing a crowd of curious Chinese.

And some of the Arabic countries were easier to get into, like Tunisia, Algeria, and Palestine.

The theme for the Expo was: Better City Better Life, and they seem to mean it, as I found Shanghai cleaner than I expected.

They have this cute mascot, named Haibao, who was ubiquitous all around Shanghai. I must say I was sick of seeing him by the time I left – at least I think its a him.

And what is this? A game of go being played in Haibao’s presence.

And even my humble hometown of Buffalo got a nod for its Pan American Exposition of 1901, on the floor of a giant mall 10 stories high.

All across China, but especially in Shanghai, it’s all construction, all the time. It’s like the country is a big erector set. Apparently, there is more square feet of construction in Shanghai now, than all of the built space in Manhattan. Shanghai is already home to the third tallest building in the world, but that is not good enough, so they are building an even taller one here.

The Chinese are so fixated on the future of their star city they have even built a model of almost the whole city in the Urban Planning Museum.

This is a proud city with a colonial past and what looks like a bright Chinese future (unless of course the housing market bubble pops).

Oh yea, lest you forget, there are always reminders, this is China!

2 Responses to “The World Comes To Shanghai”

  1. 1 Caroline Musselwhite May 24, 2010 at 5:28 pm

    As always, awesome! Looking forward to seeing you tomorrow!

  2. 2 jeff G. May 24, 2010 at 7:54 pm

    Quite a city. Wish I could be there with you. Oh by the way, Jaime got his first duty station. ALASKA!!!!! I say Road trip!!!!

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