Photos by Christine Tan
We’ve already walked you through parts of Zone A and Zone B: here’s our final photo series, covering Zone C. It’s our favorite section of the Expo, containing the largest number of national pavilions and some of the event’s most stunning architecture. Some gems: check out the pavilions from the UK, the Netherlands, Spain, Russia, and Switzerland. And if you’ve been keeping up with the “sorry spectacle” that is the USA Pavilion, we know you’re going to visit it anyway, despite its drabness.
They weren’t kidding when they said Shanghai’s 5.28-square-kilometer Expo grounds are the largest in history. After six hours walking from one zone to another, my companion and I were suffering from blistered feet that were ready to give out. Yesterday was also a rare sunny day, and we were shocked to find ourselves sunburned. I don’t even want to think about what wandering around the Expo is going to be like when it’s bustling in the high heat of summer.
Despite the eventual heat and crowds, this visit to the Expo grounds has increased our anticipation for the actual event – if the site covered in construction dust and grime feels magnificent, the spanking new cleaned-up pavilions should be spectacular sights. However, our friend who works on a prominent pavilion did not share our enthusiasm.
“I really wish I could look forward to it like you, but right now this is just a big mess,” he said, referring to the specific pavilion he’s currently working on. “There are constant disagreements; the foreign side keeps asking for things that are just not possible at this late date. I really doubt we can finish on time.”
“Of course you will! Do it for Chinese pride and glory!” I chirped, trying to be funny. “Just work a bit harder, no biggie right?” When my friend sent me a text message at 10 pm, I wanted to take back my words: “I am still on the Expo grounds… exhausted. This project really is a big mess.” With 25 days to go, we’ll find out soon enough. For now, enjoy the photos.