Well, finally, I’m getting back to posting. I’m really sorry about the length of time between posts; I was under the weather for a few days, the new teaching session started recently, and . . . ummmm, well, I’m afraid I get a bit lazy sometimes. Hopefully, I’ll be adding entries to the blog much more frequently.
Expo attendance has really been picking up recently, and the two main reasons are that school is out, so families are taking vacations, and daily ticket prices have been reduced, which I mentioned in the previous post.
For the first time since I’ve been back from Thailand and Laos, I ventured out to the site this past Saturday. Typically for Yeosu in the summer, it was raining cats and dogs. That didn’t stop people from attending, so the place was packed. And where do people go when it’s raining? Inside, of course. It seemed like everyone was under cover at the International Pavilion. There were very long lines at most of the national pavilions.
However, four pavilions didn’t have long lines, and they never do. These four very interesting areas are the joint group pavilions. Many smaller countries just can’t afford to foot the bill for the floor space that countries like France and Russia, for example, are paying. So, many of them share a pavilion, setting up in spaces that are, more or less, the size of small street stalls or vendors. There might be as many as 20 countries sharing a pavilion, and most of these small areas are very well done, with beautiful designs, cultural assets, gift shops, and friendly native-country folks who are very eager, usually, to talk to English-speaking visitors.
The four joint group pavilions are the Pacific Joint Group, the Indian Ocean, and two joint group pavilions devoted to the Atlantic Ocean, East and West. You can spend a lot of time in each of these pavilions (recommended) or zoom right through them in several minutes. The Atlantic Pavilion (East and West) have performance areas, as does the Pacific Ocean (outside the pavilion), so you can catch some artists in short concerts. These pavilions are a great place to hang out and make some new friends if the major pavillions are too busy. Since there are so many countries packed into such a small area, I’ll sprinkle photos and comments about them throughout my future Expo posts.
Like I mentioned in another post, my friend Nai from Laos came to visit for about a week, and, despite the trauma of getting through Incheon airport immigration, he really enjoyed the Expo and was quite, uhhhh, impressed with German beer, a beverage he’d never enjoyed before.
His first day here, I took him to the Laos booth, which is located in the Pacific Ocean Joint Group Pavilion. Go figure; Laos doesn’t border an ocean. Neither does Mongolia, which is also in the same pavilion. Still, it’s nice to see that they made the effort to be here, unlike oil-rich Saudi Arabia, which reneged on their obligation to be a presence at the Expo (read post that debacle here).
After he talked with his fellow countryman for about 20 minutes, we walked a few paces over to the Mongolian Pavilion. Here, he’s posing with a couple of Mongolian reindeer. Oh, by the way, the reindeer have been stuffed. I could say the same about Nai, what with the German beer and German food, which he also loved. But, no, I won’t say that.
Nai and reindeer friends
The Mongolian Gift Shop
Mongolia Gift Shop
At the risk of extreme embarrassment and ridicule, here’s a shot of me in the Laos Pavilion. No, I hadn’t been drinking and going around wearing a lampshade on my head–that’s traditional Laos head wear.
One too many, MontanaRon?
After you finish laughing, you can check out these other photos of some of the countries at the Pacific Ocean Joint Group Pavilion.
First, Papua New Guinea.
Papua New Guinea Pavilion
Vanuatu. Hmmm, where have I seen that design before?
Some beautiful cultural assets from Vanuatu.
Vanuatu Pavilion Wood Carvings
Solomon Islands Pavilion
Solomon Islands Pavilion Cultural Assets
Last, but certainly not least, Palau.
I’ll have more of these as we go to the end of the Expo. Cripes! That’s less than a month away! It seems like it just began. Oh, well, stay tuned for more later.