Yeosu Expo 2012

This last summer the city just south of me here in Korea hosted this year’s Expo. The Yeosu Expo 2012 was a major event for the people in South Korea. The theme was “The Living Oceans” and every pavilion had a water theme of some sort. There were a lot of Pavilions, and I was able to make it to most of them over the course of the three days that I spent there during my summer vacation in July. My personal favorites were the International Pavilions, where I was able to meet some awesome people from all around the globe, as well as enjoy international foods and drinks that I would otherwise be very hard pressed to find anywhere else in Korea!

Just a quick rundown of a few of my favorite pavilions:

I greatly enjoy the Belgian pavilion for personal reasons! The Pavilion itself was decent, not spectacular, but it did a good job of explaining the importance of the seas in Belgian society, while also educating people about Belgian culture. More important to me though was the restaurant! I was able to get buckets of muscles, real Belgian fries, and good Belgian beer on tap! I was even able to bust out my Flemish a bit and talk to a few people from Belgium. I even found out that the next European Expo is going to be held in the city of my birth, Mons, Belgium.

I also greatly enjoyed the Italian pavilion, mostly for its food and being able to speak Italian to people! My Italian is getting very rusty from not really speaking it ever (other than to myself or at my computer scree while watching Roma matches…), so it was a real pleasure to get to practice with some nice Italians. The food was also superb!

My favorite pavilion by far was the Swiss Pavilion. They did a great job at having their theme running throughout the entire Pavilion. Their theme was “The Future of Water is in Your Hands,” and they did this in interesting ways. The entrance area had digital projectors that lit up an image in your hands when you held them like a cup over certain spots in the floor. At the end each visitor was given a sample of pure Swiss glacial water, served in a small plastic bowl you had to hold with two hands. They also had a drilled core from a glacier in Switzerland, which was really cool!

I enjoyed delicious food at the Italian, German, Turkish, and of course the Belgian pavilions. I made good friends with people at the Belgian, French, Italian, U.A.E., Brunei, Yemen, and Nigerian pavilions. It was a real joy to get to talk to so many people from all over the world! I was even able to hang out with them all one night after the Expo closed at the Expo Village where they all lived during the Expo. All in all, it was a lot of fun, and I am very thankful that I was able to experience such a big event!

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