May 6, 2010

Pièce de Résistance

The World Expo, still crowded as ever, is pretty much China's way to show off whatever bigass pavillion they have, because after the Expo ends on October, all the other expo buildings- even the more architecturally interesting ones- are to be demolished, leaving only the Chinese Pavillion for maintenance. Trust me, it may as well eternally have long lines well after the expo.

And for good reason.

Shanghai's latest piece de resistance, the Chinese Pavillion is pretty much the most impressive pavillion in the expo. No cheap 3D gimmicks, but there are moving stages, slow moving roller coasters, several panoramic theatres, and an exhibition of China's plans for the future.

Apparently, China wants to make a fusion of culture and green living; reliance on alternative energy sources, electric cars and a more orderly concept of a typical road. The thing about the roads is that, people and bicycles are assigned their own overpass, while motor vehicles occupy the actual road. Surprisingly enough, this is something that would actually befit our country more than theirs, so I hope Noli de Castro attended that pavillion during his trip to inaugurate the Philippine exhibit 2 days ago and get some ideas.

We tried to get into other countries but miserably failed. Japan, Korea, India, United Kingdom, Germany, et al were all crowded, and this left us no choice but to eat KFC and wait till 4pm.

Like any tour group, there is the occasional latecomer who won't give a damn about any sort of assigned assembly time, and our group was no different. Instead of leaving for the hotel for a little rest by 4pm, we had no choice but to wait for a few latecomers till 5pm, which left us no time to rest in the hotel. Well, no choice but to go directly to the restaurant.

Golden Bay was its name and this time, 'guilt' was nearly non-existent as the food was significantly less than last night. Also, their idea of 'dessert' is quite appropriate. The last few nights had desserts that consisted of delicious looking exteriors, but salty and somewhat savory pork in the inside, which really isn't my idea of dessert (and more like 'appetizer'). This time, the dessert at least consists of red bean-based dishes and ice cream.

Now it's time for the last destination of the night: a stage. Not just any stage, it's the stage for Shanghai's acrobats. The show? ERA.

Billed as Shanghai's multi-million dollar circus extravaganza, there's a lot of entertainment to be had when watching something like this live. Unfortunately, by show's end, fatigue started creeping in, becokining me to sleep. I fought it to the bitter end, and lost.

Much of the show was quite impressive, showing off much flexibility, balance, grace and skill with every act. I have no doubt that you might find footage on YouTube, but quite a few acts were suspensefully awe-inspiring.

Just one last question though: how do you fit four girls inside a jar?

Footnote: Channel-surfing in the hotel we found CCTV airing i.Robot. In Chinese voiceovers. Will Smith and Shia Lebeouf will never sound the same again.

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