I didn’t really know what to expect: some people were so in love with the Expo, but others absolutely hated it, or thought it was overeater. But who cares!
I knew that a lot of people were supposed to come on the same day, so I decided that I would not spend my day waiting in line for some particular pavilion. I instead chose the ones with no queue, and it was a great decision.
I visited quite a few countries there: Argentina, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Hungary, Belgium, Madagascar, Vietnam, Cambodia, Cuba, Ghana, Kenya, Dominican Republic, Yemen, Guatemala, the Emirates, Switzerland, San Marino, Oman and Morocco.
Some of them were quite, if I may, useless. No real explanation at all about what they do with agriculture, if they have problems, if there are farmers, if there aren’t, if they have some projects, or not. They were shops, just shops full of jewels, bags and local products.
And that’s ok! They are here to sell as well. But not just to sell. Madagascar, for example, was very disappointing: I’ve been there for three months, so I know how the situation is, which problems they have. And there was not a single word about it. It was a shop and they were inviting you to go there for a holiday.
What I really liked instead were those places where you could learn. In Belgium, for example, they teach about the Aquaponic System, in Azerbaijan you can learn which problems they have, and how they are facing them, in Switzerland there are those three huge towers filled with salt, apples and coffee: you can take how much you want, but they will not fill it again, explaining how the system really works.
I learned really a lot in some of those stands. In Oman they showed us how they manage the lack of water, for example, and by Slow Food I just loved it: they explained how sustainable agriculture should work, how to make a change and it was so concrete!
I know that Expo has been criticized for a lot of valuable reasons that I share as well, but nobody can deny that it’s very well done. That you can travel the world in less than 18 hours, that you can smell beautiful scents, that you can see two people from different countries with their typical dresses talking to each other. You can’t deny that eating a complete lunch starting with an entrée from Oman, a main dish from Azerbaijan, meat from Morocco and a cake from Switzerland in the most beautiful experience ever.
It’s a cheap, beautiful way to go global. And now we really need to learn about other cultures, because we are so stupidly afraid of what we don’t know.