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Sunday, May 2, 2010

World Expo Opening

On Friday, Shanghai held the opening ceremonies for this year's World Expo. I went with Anna, one of my co-workers, to the Bund, where we were hoping to get a glimpse of the elaborate fireworks display we'd been hearing about. I guess the rest of the city had the same idea - the Bund was teeming with people. Anna taught me a new phrase in Chinese:

ren2 shan1 ren2 hai3
people mountain people sea

We pushed & shoved through the crowd to Captain Hostel, & found a good spot on their terrace to wait for the action along with scores of other people. No problem - the weather was nice, the view was awesome, & the patrons were friendly.

Finally at around 10pm we heard the crack & boom of fireworks. We all looked toward the sky but couldn't see anything. Turns out the fireworks display was being held down river at the Expo site (of course), around the bend & out of sight.

Resigned to disappointment, we finished our beers & were turning to go when suddenly the Oriental Pearl Tower was ablaze with fireworks. Ooh! Aah! I fumbled to get my camera out, but the show didn't last long so I was only able to get a photo of the residual smoke hanging in the air.

Back on the street, that mountain & sea of people was heading home. The busses were so jam-packed that they didn't even stop at the bus stop - no room for more.

Anna & I started walking toward the next stop. Again, no busses stopped. We looked for a taxi, but they were all taken. We wound up walking a few kilometers toward home before we finally came across a free taxi. We made it back safe & sound around midnight.

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