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Continuing with our tour of Expo 2015 in Milano …   part 1 is here

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One of the pavilion that we wanted to see (as we have heard much praise about it) was the Padiglione Giaponne (Japanese Pavilion). But it was so popular that when we found the tail of a long line coiled around the back of the pavilion – we were informed by a notice board that, according to our position in the queue, we were three and half hours from the entrance.

We gave up.

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Here is another sign which said that if the line is here, the wait is five hours – that kind of line must have occurred during the weekend. Who can wait that long ?  Crazy. But they are serious, it says – to make the last entrance at 8 pm, the last time to join the queue is at 3 pm !

If you look carefully at the sign, disabled visitors or people with infants have a shorter wait (50 minutes versus 300 minutes). My friends who brought a young child and a baby carriage confirmed the advantage. Only parents are allowed to go in with the child.

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The other pavilion where we actually spent some time inside was the South Korean pavilion. The wait was only 1 hour as announced but it was actually less than 1 hour.

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The Korean pavilion put on a more hi-tech and simultaneously artsy exhibition.

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Kimchi was artfully glorified as a traditional healthful food.

This little boy is not static, it looks like a hologram of some sort.

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This exhibit employed two industrial robot to move around the space (silently), turning  and spinning around two giant video screens while the graphics flows back and forth in unison. Nice.

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We had dinner at the pavilion, partly because it was about to open (so there was no line outside).

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But we wandered how authentic would the restaurant be, given the surroundings. Well, it was run by Bibigo, owned by a chaebol – CJ-Cheiljedang (CJ제일제당) – it was ok.

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More corporate speak – “Expo 2015 was also a great laboratory of ideas and insights, an opportunity to rediscover old traditions and to learn about cultures and distant lands, a window on the world of technology and innovation, which has allowed us to peek will be the future of agriculture and food production worldwide.”

Belgium – “a time corridor leading to food’s future”

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This is a system of hydroponics and aquaculture where the fish poop in water is directly used to fertilize the vegetables grown under artificial light.

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China – “a wheat field blowing in wind reminds us we are part of the planet” – the orange flowers were chrysantheums.

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Czech Republic – “nature, innovation, tourism and art … all in harmony beneath the same roof”

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Our overall impression is that the idea of the Expo was exciting but its contents were overrated. The actual experience of attending the event was downright exhausting due to the sheer number of visitors and long hours of waiting. Nothing in there was worth waiting for hours after hours standing behind a line of people.

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The next Expo will be held in Astana, Kazakhstan with the theme “Future Energy” and Dubai will host Expo 2020 having selected the theme “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future”.

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Kazakhstan in Milano

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Click this link to see all 52 pavilions built by the participating countries, and the 9 clusters which included exhibits by additional countries. One can explore further links to the specific exhibits inside each pavilion. There is really quite a lot to see at this site.

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