Friday, September 24, 2010
Recently a Shanghai Taxi driver said to me, “You will regret it if you don't visit the World Expo; but you will regret even more if you do.” So I decided to go and find out why.
I went with Wang, a friend, and his girlfriend around noontime on Sept. 4. Wang is a media worker and got free tickets. He offered me one, but I insisted on buying my own. I paid 160 yuan (US$24), quite a fortune in China. It took us 32 minutes to pass a security check at the entrance. There were only two security checkpoints. No one complained.
Nothing Worth Seeing
Our guide thought this expo was a rip-off, not because of smalltime scalpers like himself, but because of the organizers, who he says are the real scalpers. They do all the marketing to get people there, but cannot provide matching services. They sell overpriced tickets in every possible ways, while giving away free tickets to boost sales volume, he said.
He said that the Expo is already overcrowded, yet authorities are still using every propaganda channel to get more people to visit. He also said those major halls have nothing worth seeing except for some videos. During training he noticed that all the past World Expos in other countries were showcases of advanced technologies and ideas, but this expo has nothing but architecture and videos. He could not understand why it would be regarded to be so important for so many people to come visit. Read more...