keskiviikko 29. huhtikuuta 2009


Once a year Shanghai hosts Shanghai International Automobile Industry Exhibition. This year's show was held April 22-28.

I returned from Australia last Saturday evening. I left the hotel at 4:30 A.M. that morning, which meant 2:30 A.M. China Time, and arrived safely at 7:30 P.M. It was a long flight. Loooong. Long, got it? By 8:30 I had fulfilled my belly and curled up to the couch and I was merrily snoring away. Not literally, I don't snore, of course, but I couldn't keep my eyes open for 5 seconds and fell asleep immediately. Which is perfectly understandable, if you ask me. But then, there was J., who had been waiting for me. We hadn't seen each other in three weeks. And who was not tired. But very, very disappointed. "You can home and all you are interested in is food and sleep." "Err... yes. I'm sorry. I missed you too, but I am really, really tired."

Not quite the home-coming one would wish from travelling spouse. And what's more, I had one week, before I was going to be leaving to Finland, for almost three weeks. So, I decided to try and make it up for him. I told J. that on Monday I would leave office early afternoon, and we could do something nice together. "What would you like to do?" And this is how I ended up visiting Shanghai Auto 2009.

It's not that I don't like cars, I do. I might even say I love to drive a nice, powerful, car. But I am not that exited to watch cars. And I didn't think Shanghainese were either. I was going to be wrong on one of them.

We arrived to the site, and I went to get us tickets. The queue was well organised between railings, so that the typical chaos would be prevented. The queue even went quite quickly. But when the railings ended, everyone charged towards the ticket counters, and THEN you had to fight for your right to buy the tickets. I have gained some expertise with the elbow tactics around here, so in no time I had exchanged my crispy 100 RMB bill to two tickets.

Towards the autos we headed! There was a metal detector at the door. And it beeped loudly and flashed red for every single person entering. Not that the guards were the least bit interested. Maybe someone had forgotten to mention that they are suppose to check the belongings and the entering person if the detector-machine alarms...

There were ten halls full of cars and most of all, full of Chinese. I could have done with five. Or two. Even one would have been ok. But no, ten they had. We went through everyone of them, and I think I saw between 20-30 makes I had never ever seen before. Most of those Asian makes didn't offer anything that appealed my taste. And then, some of them had, bloody hell, directly copied London Cab and Rolls Royce. Cheeky, don't you think?

At some point I started a new hobby: taking pictures of men carrying ladies handbags. There were plenty. Only problem was, that with all that crowd, taking pictures was extremely hard: either you didn't have a line to the target, the target was too close, or someone bumped into your back just when you thought you got it. And they didn't just "bump into" you. They push you. They poke you. They step on your toes. They walk in front of you just when you are taking a picture. They try to push you aside to get a better view. And you can forget about "excuse me" or it's Chinese equivalent (if there is one, so far I have never heard it used?).

What was to be expected, but was still a little funny, was that everything was only in Chinese. So much for the international exhibition then... But what was really... Chinese, if you may, was that they had own sound-systems for each stand. Imagine walking into a hall, where you can see two girls playing violin on one stand. A group of dancers dancing on the next stand. And what you can hear, is Celine Dion from a third stand, so loud, that you (or that would be I, in this case) have to press your hands against your ears, if you are to survive there for more than few seconds. Then, the stand with the violin players wants their show to be noticed and turns up the volume. And the Celine Dion stand, which by now no longer has Celine, but some other record playing, responds swiftly and gives it all they have got. Ca-co-pho-ny. I, personally, wanted to tie those idiots' heads to the speakers, so they could reconsider whether the volume might be a little too much...

So, about four hours in this place, and we were both exhausted and headed home. Would I go back? Voluntarily? No, no way. Luckily, J. wouldn't either. Maybe next year I fill my exhibition quota with China International Adult Toys and Reproductive Health Exhibition. Or maybe not.

2 kommenttia:

Tarja kirjoitti...

Moi! Me eksyttiin vahingossa (harmitti) sinne autonayttelyn alueelle, eika meinattu paasta pois. Etta mulle riitti jo se portilla hengailu ja ihmisvirran katseleminen ulkoapain, huh!

Eeva kirjoitti...

Hullujen huone, mutta hieman hullu taidan olla itsekin kun jotain muuta kuvittelin :o)

Onneksi huomenna nokka kohti rauhallista Suomen maata!