A thousand instagram photos and articles and travel journals and words from your friends are about this Milan Expo 2015. And I’m not gonna repeat what to see or eat or must not miss or how good or bad it was. It’s just a day me and my impatient (sorry for this lol) Italian friend hopping around Rho-Fiera, avoiding all the queues and expensive activities, and finished the day by making a new friend who made contact with me on Couchsurfing the evening before.
I spent 3 days in Milan (more or less) with no specific plan but going to Milan Expo 2015. Well, I didn’t have much expectation about the Expo so everything that I came across with were wonderful and entertaining. And the best part about the Expo? It’s the person I was going with, the same Italian friend hosted me for 3 days at the beginning of my Italy trip.
He is not typically patient, in fact, he is very impatient with the lines and photos and the cost. Because of this, he made my day by sneaking in at the back, or going to less popular (also less packed) Pavilions, or making fun of some Pavilions for how unreasonable they are together with me and giving me free personal Italian class (yea if I understand any).
You are right! Yes the whole reason to get in this Pavilion as our first stop was fast. There was no stiff line, people in the photo were actually moving. That’s why we literally just walked in as if there were no line. And you also make the right guess for the quality of the Pavilion. NOTHING SPECIAL.
In fact, most of the Pavilions that we went inside were quite empty, either too poor to build its own Pavilion and fill in with attractive contents or too plain and boring to tell the difference from one to another. And they are Afghanistan, Tanzania, Vietnam, Azerbaijan, Malaysia, Palau and some others which I already forgot which one is which.
Here are some ‘awesome’ observations that we had made:
1. In Afghanistan, there was no country chop but manual signing of the name ‘Afghanistan’ on the ‘Expo Passport’
2. In Tanzania, they were selling Heinekan instead of their own brewed beer
3. In Azerbaijan, they showcased some pictures of someone important, including ‘DJ’
4. In Palau, there was nothing but a giant cube filled with blue, the colour of the floor and the wall
5. In Turkmenistan, it looked nothing more than a typical house in the country, with a weird stage and some VIP seats in front on the rooftop, without performances
In order to stop him from eating his own country’s food that day, I agreed to pay an insane amount of money to eat my own country’s food. That 8 euro noodle in the photo actually just costs 2 euro in Hong Kong (and larger as well) and even cheaper in mainland China. Was it good? Yah, for 8 EURO. And to repay his private Italian class, I gave him a private ‘use of chopsticks’ class. See, he’s doing pretty well, wasn’t he?
Getting thirsty? No problem if you are willing to pay 10 euro for a glass of mojito. Mojito aside, the Colombia Pavilion is my favorite (no surprise as a South America fan). I love the colour of it, vibrant and carefree, the music of it, dancing and cheerful, the people in it, friendly and happy and the feeling of it. Some said emotion is contagious, yes I agree, and I prefer to be infected by positivity and joyfulness.
The other highlight of the Expo is the future supermarket. I mean surprisingly not the way I imagined. I thought by ‘future’ it means less time-consuming or less effort involved, something like direct transfer of items instead of walking around with trolleys or virtual taste of food without actually eating it or stuff like that. NAH. All you get is more information on electronic monitors by touching the item. You’ll see in the video.
Did I mention that he does not like to wait?
So when I said I wanted to go to UK Pavilion and later on Ecuador Pavilion, his face was like dull and half-hearted and almost fell asleep. How precious these photos are with regard to his impatient of getting the right angle or lighting or without people at the background!
Milan Expo 2015 is an international event, and I think we lived up to the spirit. I am from Hong Kong while he is an Italian (wondering how we met can click here) and the girl is from Switzerland. Earlier I mentioned that we spent the evening with a new friend, there she is. It was actually risky given that I was not alone. If someone came up and be really annoying or negative or cheesy or other possible bad personalities that no one wants to hang around with on a Friday night in Milan, it would be a complete disaster, not just ruining my evening, but also my friend’s. Luckily, after all the bad lucks I experienced that day, she is a really nice girl and I am happy that I took the risk.
International encounter was not finished.
Later that evening this Swiss girl and I took the Expo train back to Milan and on our way back, we sat right opposite to a French-Brazilian couple. I repeat, Brazilian. The Brazilian woman reminded me so much of the time in Brazil, crazy, carefree, funny, passionate about life, love and cheerful. Just a 20-minuteish train ride, the woman had already told us their love story, shown us the photo of their son, shared with us her life and how happy she ended up in now. Wow, help me to book a flight to South America please!
Check out what happened in Milan!