Do you know how expensive it is to get to China? Just to get into the country you have to (as an American) pay $200 for a travel visa. Thats before a plane ticket, a hotel, sightseeing, etc. On top of that, you have to get your picture taken at a "professional" photographer studio. I guess the Chinese government keeps this photo permanently, because you don't need it for your visa (the visa is a fancy sticker they attach to your passport).
All of that being said, it was worth it. Before we even got there it was worth it...the photo studio we went to was a large closet where this guy displayed some incredibly ugly portraits. He even had a persian rug that he got underneath to take the picture. Maybe you can see what I'm talking about in the picture.
This is an example of his work. This is hanging outside the place and I really think it displays a lot of feeling. This was probably the feeling that you get when you watch him use the first version of Photoshop to crop your picture on an incredibly slow computer, which is exactly what he does.
Like I said, all of this nonsense was worth it. China (specifically Shanghai) is an interesting place. Shanghai is full of architecture that would seem out of place for Asia, and it has come a long way in short period of time. In 1995 there was no subway system, now it boasts 13 different lines. Here are some views of the city.
The impetus for our trip to China was The World EXPO, a type of theme park that moves to a different city every few years, showcasing nearly every country in the world. Each country builds a pavilion and then brags about how smart they are. Imagine a temporary Disneyland but with substance. All of this magnificent architecture will be torn down/removed after the EXPO ends (the end of October) except for the Chinese pavilion.
The United Arab Emirates pavilion
China's pavilion (see if you can find a person close to the building...thats how big this monster was)
There were an insane amount of visitors; 500,000 a day was the average. This visitor caught my eye while I was eating Czech food.
We saw loads more...
More from China soon.