Monday, October 18, 2010
Ex-poo World's Fair
=P Beijing's hotel was better.
So we went to this thing called the Expo, or as I like to call it the Ex-poo. What a horrible experience. The day started with a 45 minute taxi ride there which isn't terrible but I'm sure I could think of something more exciting to do for 45 minutes. Still, I guess with Woody in tow, it wasn't like a wasted 45 minutes. We get to the gate and there is walking. Lots of walking. We have to walk all the way to gate 9 (far left) to get in and go to the info booth (far right) to go find a wheel chair which they loan out (I called ahead about this and was assured (this won't be the first false assurance I would receive this day) that I would have no problem getting a wheel chair. Of course they were out of them and there were 4 other people waiting for them to be returned.
So Woody and I thought we would go ride the tram around to see the expo through the power of electric vehicles! Make a loop and check again for wheel chairs. When we asked if we could keep riding the tram around for a loop, we were assured that this was not a problem.
Naturally we get to the center of the expo (1st stop mind you) and we are forced off the tram. This one man with a wicked half face covering birthmark comes across the street barking at us. And wouldn't you know it? There is a ONE HOUR long ride to get back on the tram. AND you have to pay the fare again. You know that Russel Peters bit about the Pacific Mall where he says Chinese people will never give you a deal? This was like that but times... how many people are there in China? Like times 8 billion? Chinese people will never give you a deal, and when they smell a chance to milk you for all you're worth, boy do they go for the milkage. If I didn't know any better, there was probably a fee imposed on coughing.
So we're in the middle of the expo and there is nothing except this big building in site. Well there are other buildings but the hell if I could tell where their entrances were and my post-needle hobbling wasn't too keen to find out. The hobbly nature and presence of a cane in hand did allow us to skip the giant line outside of what was the "China Pavilion"
where on the inside was madness. Part Vegas, part convention, part sardines. I did not even want to go look around.
Oh, and there were more lines. Woody walked around a bit and took some video and showed me. I'm sure if I was healthy, I would have been just as uninterested in submitting myself to these propaganda factories. The Tibet pavilion was particularly sad because you could tell they either didn't want to be there, or they were paid actors - bad ones. On our way out, we had the misfortune of running into the mother of all Chinese lack of decency. We were trying to go out the way we came in and a door hostess literally watched me for the 2-4 minutes it took me to walk over, waited till I was like 10 feet away from the door to say "sorry, this is an entrance only." Oh boy did I flip. I tried my best to cuss her out in Mandarin. I kinda wish I just went off in English so any tourists could hear me. I can understand if she was facing the entrance like you might think a door hostess would do but no, she was facing inwards and watching me struggle all the way up to her station. Man, I wish I knew all of Captain Haddock's insults. Heck, I wish I thought of that at that time. I could have amused myself calling her a Bashi-Bazouk and the ilk.
Because of the tram line wait, we ended up just hiking out to the subway to escape this horrible trap. I think there were 90-100k people there just 2 or 3 days prior. Madness.
Dinner at a Taiwanese restaurant? In Shanghai?
I like getting meat wrapped in lettuce cups.
Dinner was ok. Oh well.