Day 2 of the World Expo was about taking it easy; instead of trying to cram some crazy 9 pavilions like we did they day before, we went to about 3. Slowly walked through the World Expo arena, picking out what caught our eye. Switzerland’s pavilion was interesting: a rabbit. Not quite sure what they were going for, but it catches the eye!
Italy got pretty artsy with scattered orchestra chairs glued onto the sides of the wall, giant shoes off another, and a Scooby-Doo-esque van as another showpiece. A spiraling exhibit made Holland’s pavilion unique. Of course, the one pavilion that could not be ignored was the UK’s pavilion of needles. Known as the “Seed Cathedral”, it housed 250,000 plant seeds at the end of 60,000 acrylic rods. Seeds collected from around the world. While it may have looked cool from the outside, it wasn’t tempting enough for us to spend 5 hours waiting in a line.
For such a big event, the World Expo had a surprisingly tasty array of bites for the hungry traveler. Pickled persian cucumbers thinly sliced and rolled up like sushi. Tofu with fried, crispy skins and stuffed with woodear and shiitake mushrooms. A drizzle of sesame oil on top. And my Shanghainese mistress: glazed red dates stuffed with 糯米 ‘luo mi’, or glutinous rice/sticky rice. Our last venture was through the Middle Eastern pavilions, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.
Much like the rest of the pavilions at the expo, they were beautiful on the outside without much content on the inside. I had no idea what was going on for the 5-10 minutes we sat in the dark with glowing discs before us. I honestly can’t recall a tidbit of what transpired in any of the exhibits we visited, other than the few visual images provided by my photos.
Still, it was fun. A long day. Upon entering the cafeteria, I saw tables packed with weary tourists, slouched over and snoring peacefully. Children slept on their mother’s laps. We concluded our time in Shanghai with a boat cruise down 黄浦江, or the Huangpu River. A different perspective than what I had seen from the docks. To sail past the iconic buildings of Pudong in their glittering lights, a la Vegas, was beautiful to behold.