Want to visit Expo – what are you waiting for?

Last week, I went to Expo with my friend Ana.
I met Ana in Morocco this year. She is the kind of person who jumps bravely down a waterfall, yet holds her nose jumping into a 2 m deep swimming pool. The kind of person who somehow manages to set her backpack on fire in the middle of the desert. The kind of person who dances in the rain at a concert. The kind of person I knew would make the 2-day trip extra fun.
Now, I am not the most patient person in the world. In fact, I am probably the exact opposite -the instant gratification generation kind of gal who starts cursing when she sees a loading icon on her computer screen or when there are more than two people in line for bread. Of course I did some research and knew going to Expo involved a certain amount of waiting. The rumors had it that, for some pavilions, you have to wait for as long as 2.5 hours! This information filled me with terror but I decided to be an adult about it and wait for as many pavilions as possible once I got there.
Then I actually got there and I soon became a baby about it. At Expo, you have to wait for everything. You wait to get in through the main gates, you wait to get coffee (and those who know me know that I would make waiting for coffee the eight capital sin), you wait for the toilet and you sure do wait to get into a pavilion – any pavilion. So after seeing just three pavilions on the first day (and 3 hours of waiting), Ana and me mutually agreed that in order to keep our sanity, we will spend the rest of the day outside. Did I mention it was also raining half the time? That it was cold? That we got up at 2 a.m. that night and drove for 5 hours? Waiting makes you angry, then sad, then you’re on the verge of breaking into tears, then you became apathetic and this emotions roller coaster gets you thinking why you came here in the first place.
The second day was even worse. We got up early, got there at opening hours, rushed to the Japanese pavilion all excited, hoping to be among the first ones there only to find a sign, saying the approximate waiting line to get in is – this calls for use of capital letters – SEVEN HOURS! I mean, what’s in there?!?!?! A fountain of youth? Anti-cellulite sushi rolls? Call me nuts, but the only time I had waited that long for anything was giving birth to my child and believe me, I had reached my maximum waiting limit. If the little one hadn’t popped out after 7 hours, he would just have to stay inside me forever.
However, waiting made me think creatively and I thought about alternative ways to get into pavilions. At first I tried to sneak in through the exit doors pretending I didn’t know what “Uscita” means, but I got caught every time. After noticing disabled people got to cut the waiting lines, I thought of persuading one of them to lend me a wheelchair. Yes, I know, that would be really awful of me, but desperate (waiting) times call for desperate measures, I suppose. And finally, I wanted to go to the security staff at the exits, put my best acting skills to use and lie that I’d forgotten my bag inside, begging them to let me in to have a look around. But Ana said I shouldn’t, so I didn’t.
To cut a two-day story short, I didn’t see many pavilions. But if you asked me, if I would go to Expo again, the answer would be “yes” – it is beautiful, the atmosphere is nice and I had Ana with me. She brought GPS, sandwiches and chocolate. And whisky for Friday night to end our trip singing karaoke and playing table football in our hostel. By the way Ana, if you are reading this – the match was a tie so we have at least one more game to play to determine who the the winner is.
P.S. And we did see the Japanese pavilion after all. We watched it on Youtube at the hostel that night 🙂

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At the Japanese pavilion

Still waiting...

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A new camera for 15 minutes of summer

This summer, I bought a Nikon Coolpix S33. It cost about 100 Eur and officially, I purchased it so the kids could have fun and take some underwater pictures on our summer vacation (the older two said they will photograph fish and the youngest – giant squids). Off the record, well, it was also because I wanted to take some underwater pictures.
The vacation was off to a good start. We didn’t fight once during our 3-hour drive to the seaside (I think that was a first), had delicious lunch along the way and arrived to campsite in high spirits.
Unfortunately, this was our shortest vacation ever. Just after 15 minutes, my son broke his arm climbing a tree and we had to rush to the nearest emergency room. Before even seeing the sea and caravan, let alone the giant squids, our summer vacation was over.
Until I try underwater photography next year, here are some funky photos taken with the new camera, which has a nice “mirror” function.