Day 158: Shanghai Expo

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May 4th 2010
Published: June 28th 2010
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Day 158: Tuesday, May 4th, 2010
Shanghai, China

Expo! Damon, Steve and myself hop on the metro and go over to Expo. We get there first thing and the crowds aren't that bad... in the ticket line that is. We bought our tickets before hand so we're set either way. We get inside and the lines are all at the Pavilions. The China one has a loooong wait, and we decide to come back to it later. A fun addition to the day is poor Damon is suffering from allergies. So, before leaving the hotel, he took some Benedryl. He is now fighting off the Benedryl coma and is walking around stoned. A couple of favorite Stoned Damon moments are: when we were on an escalator and he was on the "walk" side. He said, in a very Eoyre voice, "Oh, I have to walk" and started dragging himself up the steps. And #2- he dropped a coin on the ground and went to stomp on it with his foot, and his foot landed nowhere near his target.

Anyway, so the Pavilion that is closest to us is Australia, so we decide to humor our Aussie friend Steve and go there first. We are in line for about 15 minutes and we get inside. They have nice little presentations that show which Aussies are changing the world and how- everyday people. Then we go into a theater and a giant spinning stage entertains us with magically changing sets for about 10 minutes. I actually teared up- they did a good job of representing their country if they were making a foreigner proud to have even visited it! I warned the boys that if I got teary for Australia, I was going to be a mess for the USA pavilion (and odds are Canada too!)

We head outside and go over to the America Square and head into the Canada pavilion. Head in- because there is no line whatsoever. Sorry Canadians! First up are various little exhibits that don't really make an impression on me. One of the workers comes over to us and I think he's happy to find a fellow countryman in Damon. Steve had wandered away at this point and I finally get his attention and get him to come back over- I wanted him to hear this guys accent! Someone had remarked at one point that Damon sounded just like me. We explained that Toronto Canadians sound like American- but there are other parts with accents. This guy was from another part- deeply from another party. He sounded like someone from Fargo (sorry, can only think of American references). So, Steve got a taste of a Canadian accent. Next in the Canada pavilion is a panorama screen that shows various scenes around Canada: Hairy cows standing in snow fields, raining streets at night, a woman waking up alone in bed with last nights make up smeared all over. We watch it go thru all the shots and I look at Damon and he says what I was thinking- that was depressing! Not really sure what we're supposed to take away from that. While Damon tries to convince Steve that Canadians really are happy people, we head outside and over to the USA Pavilion.

The Fargo Canadian guy had told Damon that if we wanted to come back later (you know, in case we started feeling too good about life) that Damon could show his passport and we wouldn't have to stand in line (hahaha- a line, good one Kanuck!) So, when we get to the USA pavilion and see the line (I'd say it's because people like us but that's not true), I decide to try showing my passport as well. We tease Steve that this will never work if they hear his accent so he decides he's going to be Texan and works on his "howdy". Like no Texan I have ever heard. We see one girl walking around outside with the USA Pavilion name tag and I ask her if we're allowed to go in the express line since we're American. She gives a look around and says she's not supposed to do that, but sure. She discreetly slips us into the VIP line and we head inside in a couple of minutes. We see various videos from various celebrities and CEO's telling us we should all recycle, not liter, blah blah blah. This pavilion was brought to you by Corporate America and was a wee bit sickening sweet. I give in to the merchandising, though, and pick up a USA pavillion- Shanghai World Expo t-shirt (and pick up a Disney, Shanghai Expo coffee mug for Dave- happy birthday buddy!)

We then go back over to the Canadian pavilion- not to stand in the non-existent soon-to-be-depressed lines but because they had a restaurant that served up hot dogs!! We get some dogs, fries and cokes and chow down. Not the best hot dog I've ever had. Don't think I finished even. I'm exhausted at this point and tell the boys I'm game with whatever pavilions they want to see at this point. Russia is nearby so for giggles we stand in line and 30 minutes later we're in. Whatever. I'm not getting this Expo thing. We walk some more, pass by the UK pavilion (which was AWESOME looking- hell of a line though) and go into the UN pavilion. Boring. Then a pavilion that is brought to you by China but with a theme, "The City of Being". Boring. Then Cisco pavilion. Less boring, but still boring. I pulled out a book and started reading while we stood in the Cisco line. The boys were plenty bored by that point too and since we had been there about 7 hours, we decided to call it quits. Supposedly there were cool pavilions that showed transportation in the future and what not but we didn't see those.

We hop on a ferry to go back to "main Shanghai" and all 3 of us nod off on the very short trip. We head back to the hotel, freshen up and then we meet with Amavalise and head across the river once more to find this German restaurant that Damon saw the other day. Looking online, I think it was Paulaner Munchen. Anyway, we get off at what i thought was the right metro stop and we overshot by 1, so we had to do some walking. Not a problem except for Amavalise was hurting from some serious walking he did yesterday so it became more and more painful for him. We get to the restaurant and have to wait a couple of minutes to be seated. It's a gorgeous night and it's by the river so you have to wait if you want to sit outside (and we did). We get a table and soon 2 other people sit at the other end of the table (kind of common in my travels I've found). She is from the area and he is from Germany but in town on business (she works at the Shanghai branch of the company). So, we chat with them for a bit, the boys get some beers that they're very happy with and we eat some great food. We're there for a couple of hours and, after some cigars for the boys, we decide to call it a night. Damon, Steve and myself have a plane to catch in the morning a does Amavalise (he'll be going to Beijing on his own for a week so we'll see him again when we get to Beijing.)

We stop at the road by the restaurant and look for a taxi. Amavalise flags down a van that is about to drive by and it stops. He asks how much to go back across the river to our hotel and is told 100 Yuan. Taxi rides shouldn't be more than 15-20 Yuan for the distance we wanted so as Steve, Damon and myself say "no", Amavalise hops in the van and they take off. I say the American line, "what a douche" but Damon says that it's actually the perfect goodbye for Amavalise. The man definitely dances to his own drummer so Damon is right- the perfect grand exit for him. We find a metro station and take that back to the hotel and I pack up Monstro once more.

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