The Australian Pavilion at the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai, China.
My long absence can be attributed to my trip to China over the past several weeks. Internet access was sporadic, and I spent most of my downtime feeling tired from being constantly on the go.
I attended the World Expo in Shanghai for a day, but, disappointingly, found it an extremely underwhelming experience. With no limits on daily attendance, the venue was flooded with people, and the wait times for entrance into individual pavilions were lengthy. I waited an hour and a half at the Japan Pavilion, only to see a series of videos, during one of which I fell asleep.
Through the course of the day, I was able to peruse the Japan, France, Canada, Austria, and Romanian pavilions, and took a quick tour through the African group pavilion. It was hot (my skin felt like it was on fire, while waiting in the Saudi Arabia line, which I never saw through to its end, over 2 hours away), tempers were flared in the lineups and there was simply too many people. The Expo is being heavily advertised both by commercial and government groups. Television is filled with news reports of great success (success is measured by number of attendants, naturally) and commercials, urging the populace to experience the world. To me, it just felt like more China, with a bit of foreign culture sprinkled in, when not waiting in line.
By nighttime, the crowds had lessened and I had a few opportunities to photograph the lights. That was pretty spectacular.