The famous first line of Tang dynasty poet Bai Juyi’s poem on the Jiangnan region goes like this: 江南忆，最忆是杭州 (I recall fondly Jiangnan, and most of all Hangzhou). Well, Hangzhou’s been getting its fair share of media buzz lately. For example, Taiwan’s Lien Chan, who of late has become the Kuomintang (Chinese Nationalist) Party’s ambassador of good will to China, was mugging it up there yesterday with his surgically enhanced wife. We hear that a
f*ckload lot of people are going to be around during the World Expo in 2010, and the 27 minute Maglev train will make trips between Shanghai and Hangzhou a breeze. In fact, it could be even faster than that, but they have to slow down the trains:
The trains will be capable of traveling at 450 km per hour, but will be limited to under 200 km per hour in downtown areas.
Of course, once you get to Hangzhou or Shanghai, you’re going to spend half an hour trying to get a cab, and then half an hour in the cab trying to get some place that it might have been half an hour to walk to. And last but not least, watch out — the World Leisure Expo is coming to Hangzhou! If you’re like us, you have no idea what this means, so read on:
The Ninth World Leisure Congress and the First World Leisure Summit will be held during the expo.
Many other activities, including the World Leisure Products Expo, Leisure Education and Training Programs, the West Lake International Fireworks Show, the World Leisure Expo Garden Exhibition and West Lake Carnival, will also add variety to the event.
Variety? Just seems like a shitload of “leisure” to us.
And here’s some more official gobbledy-gook from the website:
The World Leisure EXPO is first of three mega-events to be hosted by China in this decade. The other two: The Beijing Olympics in 2008 and the Shanghai World Exposition in 2010. EXPO 2006 will be comprised of a series of exhibitions, special events, conferences, trade shows, festivals and training programs. The overall purpose of the event is to examine and show how leisure can serve as a means for improving the quality of life for all … socially, culturally, and economically. More particularly, EXPO 2006 is designed to exchange and disseminate ideas from all parts of the world, and to showcase the latest and best examples of innovative design, public policy, programming, facilities and equipment. At the same time, the EXPO will share with the world the rapidly growing stature and prestige of Hangzhou as an exemplar of an international leisure city … reflecting the new China of the 21st century.
You can leisurely hop on over to Hangzhou, because the event runs from April 22 until October 22. Unfortunately, what they failed to realize is that you can’t really be an “international leisure city” until people start wearing leisure suits (see above).
Photo from “jotyco” on Flickr.com