Urso Chappell’s ExpoMuseum Blog: Small Moments - Expo 98 Philippines Pavilion

02 November 2007

Small Moments - Expo 98 Philippines Pavilion

We usually think of world's fairs as collections of large grandiose events, but talking with colleagues recently, I found myself reminiscing about some of the smaller, impromptu interactions I've had at various pavilions.

I've discovered, when visiting world's fairs in countries where the primary language isn't English, that English speakers get noticed, particularly since many pavilion hosts are perhaps more familiar with English than they are with the local language.

I suspect this was the case when we visited the Philippines Pavilion at Expo 98 in Lisbon, Portugal. Waiting to enter, a staff member approached us asking where we were from. I replied "San Francisco," knowing that I usually get a very positive response. Everyone loves San Francisco, after all.

Her eyes lit up and she responded that she'd "always wanted to visit... Daly City!" This was the first time I've ever gotten this particular reaction, but understandable since Daly City is known for it's large Filipino population.

Daly City is one of the few communities in the United States with a population mostly of Asian descent, but most San Franciscans think of it as an inner suburb with lots of free parking and chain stores.

In many ways, it was a wonderful reminder that living in multi-cultural city like San Francisco can be like living in a world's fair itself.

2 comments:

Potajillo said...

Urso, Thanks for continue.

expoboy said...

My "small moment" would have to be when I left an expensive 35mm camera sitting on the table of the passport stamp station at the West German pavilion at Expo 70. It wasn't until an hour later that I realized it was missing and another hour or so until I retraced my steps back to the West German pavilion. To my relief, there it was, sitting untouched exactly where I had left it. I wonder if that would happen today?