Thursday, July 03, 2008

Expo 88 - 20 years ago

I can hardly believe something I remember so well happened 20 years ago! In 1988, there were a lot of big events in Australia because of the Bicentenary. In the summer of '88, my family spent three days at the World Expo in Brisbane.

Australia Pavillion - Expo 88

Sun Sail - Expo 88

For me, going to Expo 88 was infinitely more exciting than a visit to Disneyland. I suppose learning about different countries and cultures always appealed to me more than fairy tales and cartoon characters. Not that there weren't cute animal mascots at Expo. That's my brother and I with Expo Oz. Oz is, quite obviously, a platypus dressed in an Anzac-style slouch hat.

brother & me with Expo Oz - Expo 88

Here's what I remember most about Expo 88:

-the 360° movie and marketplace at the China pavilion
-the photos of tribal people in colourful make-up at the Papua New Guinea pavilion
-the sculptures all around the park - giant insects, people, abstracts
-a pair of pope shoes at the Vatican pavilion
-charts and maps at the Captain James Cook, Navigator pavilion
-seeing a photo from my Canadian hometown at the Canada pavilion
-the sheep-shaped benches and Maori '88' logo at the New Zealand pavilion
-the Sri Lanka pavilion (at age 10, I'd never heard of Sri Lanka before)
-the giant Ken Done 'Australia' sculptures (top and bottom photos)
-collecting "passport stamps" at all the different pavilions
-the Cadbury pavilion and the ginormous Toblerone at the Switzerland pavilion
-the architecture of the Thailand and Vanuatu pavilions
-buying a badge of Hodori, the Seoul 88 Olympic mascot at the Korea pavilion

Stamped programme - Expo 88

I was very fortunate to go to Expo at exactly the right age to appreciate it. I think it set me up for a lifetime of curiosity about other people and places.

Ken Done Australia logo - Expo 88


ewan - the bro said...

Is it just my imagination, but didn't we ride on a chairlift in the Switzerland pavilion?

Andrea said...

I have a vague recollection of a ski lift at the Switzerland pavilion, too, but I wasn't sure if it was for passengers or just for display. I remember it was at quite a steep angle up the centre of the building. With our combined memories, I'm going to say that we did indeed ride in that chairlift.

Oh, hey! I searched the Expo 88 Flickr group and found photo evidence of it! They built a ski hill in Queensland!

Joe Parsons said...

I was so young when I went to Expo 88.. this just brought back a flood of memories.

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