On April 10, the World Expo welcomed the first day of its security upgrade with all visitors' pre-processing transaction certificates made invalid. The initiation check started 2 weeks ago where temporary certificates were given to eligible ones. However, with the original passes closed, the only way visitors are able to enter the park is through the newly opened gate. After three consecutive safety checks strict security procedures have seen lighters and knives being confiscated left right and center.
Given that it was just an exercise; the World Expo Bureau did not have all of its channels opened. So, at 8a.m. on a chilly morning, there were people crammed outside the gate, with several long queues forming a line outside the security channel. After 40 minutes of being in the park, I was amazed to find that Wang Chaoge, Fan Yue, the main directors of China Pavilion, had failed to pass the security checks.
Security was of utmost importance in Shanghai, an international metropolis, as it looks to host more than 30 millions visitors during the World Expo. In order to buy a kitchen knife, a manager had to go to the World Expo Bureau to obtain some relevant documents and he had to have the knife registered at a supermarket.
April 11 and 12 began with rain and blowing winds in Shanghai. All of the pavilions within the park including those of Ningbo, Suzhou, Hangzhou and other cities where a full ceremony has been held, however, were still under construction. Unable to sleep that night, I opened the window and found that Vanke's "2049 Hall" was still in a tense restoration. In comparison, the bustling special coaches, a total of 33 we caught to the World Expo Park were all in their depot, in an idle state.
It was sunny on the morning of April 13, but it soon turned chilly and was overcast by afternoon. It was 12 o’clock at night by the time I finished my fourth consecutive work conference since arriving in Shanghai. As I sat quietly in my office and rearranged my thoughts on the days’ happenings, I was surprised to find that I couldn’t even recall what the date was.
Over the past few days, the construction of Xi'an Daming Palace Pavilion came to an end. The ancient Tang-styled architecture, covering an area of 1,000 square meters, was designed with intricate detail. But this is only the beginning for the performances, activities, publicity activities, operations and other supporting acts the pavilion has lined up.
Security, stress, and the hustle and bustle which comes with them has become a common feature of the eve of the World Expo.
By Liu Lei