Wo Shi Laowai – Wo Pa Shui

This Blog was Invented in Xi'an 5,000 Years Ago

An Expo Special Report

Posted by MyLaowai on Wednesday, April 7, 2010

After being alerted by the MyLaowai management team to the well-hidden presence of a major international event in Shanghai, I dutifully climbed off my KTV girl, kicked aside the empty bottles of baijiu and scattered mah-jongg tiles, crawled into my best tracksuit and hit the road to investigate. Just another of the small sacrifices we here at the MyLaowai investigative team make on a daily basis to help satisfy our readers and local support teams. Sunday it may be, a day off for a small fraction of the workforce, but we can put aside our small vicarious pleasures and martinis at a moment’s notice to document the continuing development and growth of the Harmonica Society.

Once on the site, I immediately discovered something amazing: the first pavilion was open on a trial basis already! Well, that wasn’t the amazing part, it being open already, but rather – which pavilion it was. In complete defiance of their usual nature, the Shandong pavilion was leading the way. Shandong province can best be described as traditional, conservative and replete with historical and natural treasures. At worst, it can be described as an intellectual backwater that is 200 years behind the rest of the country, whose greatest claims to fame are a tall mountain, Mount MaiTai, a small fishing village retrofitted for the Olympic sailing event in order to provide some impetus for cleaning up the algae blooms caused by over-fertilization of the delicious kelp farms to the south, and an ancient philosopher called Kong Fu Zing.

Completely unsurprisingly, these are indeed major features of the pavilion. A larger than life, and completely inaccurate, statue of Kong Fu Zing dominates the display space, looking down on all visitors in the traditional Shandongese manner. Also dominating the area are two large view screens. One is continuously depicting the scene from the top of Mount MaiTai, which stands so high it is actually above most of the pollution in China – excepting the trash left behind by the Chinese tourists – and enables anybody to look down on most of the rest of China, in true Shandongese fashion.

Obviously, these first two displays have nothing to do whatsoever with the theme of the Expo, “Better Cities, Better Life”, but Shandong, as usual, doesn’t have to take any notice of what everybody is doing, or with what they are supposed to be doing. However, with the barest of nods towards this theme, the second display screen shows scenes from city life in Shandong. In typical Shandongese manner, very little, if anything is showing initiatives or developments to improve city life, just documenting how glorious happy the people are living in perfect harmony with the pollution. The final display piece is an abstract work depicting the curling ocean waves that are completely non-existent in Qingdao, but did provide a means of disposing of some of the algae by compressing it into a sculpture.

The next day, Easter Monday, I couldn’t work as it was Tomb Sweeping Day, and verily the Chinese were busy sweeping one of the biggest tombs in China, a coal mine in Shanxi, a riveting event that even I couldn’t take my eyes off.

– DaBizarre

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8 Responses to “An Expo Special Report”

  1. Chinese Netizen said

    Eh?? “Expo”??

  2. justrecently said

    That’s the Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Continents. Mathew Brady was awarded a medal for his daguerreotypes back then. Another notable invention since has been the Comfort 2000 bottle.

  3. justrecently said

    P.S. A trustworthy commenter shouldn’t need to await moderation.

  4. justrecently said

    A sidebar is this.

    • MyLaowai said

      Yup. That part doesn’t pose much of a challenge. It’s the part about making it appear next to each post that had me confused.

      However, I see that in your blog they disappear. Perhaps you could try using a different theme?

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