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Shanghai: World Expo 2010 tells me I should not live in Shanghai

I refuse to live in a crowded city with people with no respect for space. Ever.

With all these fuzz surrounding Expo, it’s hard not to visit it. After all, the point of the trip was to go to Expo. Our long day went from 5:30 AM to 3 AM, almost 24 hours. We rushed to get in line at Expo at 7 in the morning, already standing behind some 10,000 people. When the first gate opened, Shanghai police, People’s Liberation Army, and the PLA Special Operation Forces all showed up for riot control. The opening of the second gate put the fall of Black Gate of Mordor to shame. Thousands of Shanghai commoners dashed along the railings toward the final obstacle separating them and the Expo park – the security check point, where more PLA soldiers held ground.

PLA in Action - Maintaining peaceful queues edit Delete caption

PLA in Action - Maintaining peaceful queues edit Delete caption

I prayed for ridiculously overpriced food, hoping the lines will be short enough and free of people. Even though food was expensive for China standards, it didn’t work. I had a guy stand literally an inch behind me, sometimes touching my shirt when he leans next to my head to read the menu. Resisting the temptation to elbow him in the face, I picked up my food and hurried away.

The day went on with a few more minor irritations here and there, but I sucked it up. Buildings in Expo were really beautiful, and each country gleamed in its own glory. Most exhibition halls were manned by people from the respective country, but they all speak mandarin! We didn’t want to waste time waiting in line for the larger halls, so none of us visited one except Mel, who has a UK passport that took her to the beginning of the UK pavilion line. Unfortunately, the USA guards turned us down with a bit of American arrogance and humor, “Yeah, we get way more visitors than the UK, so we can’t just let you guys in like this.”

No trip is complete without a little bit of celebration. As the day ended, we retreated back to our room with two boxes of booze… and the rest was history.

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