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Thanks for the memories in Zone B


As the six-month-long World Expo in Shanghai draws to a close, millions of people will remember urban miracles, extravagant performances and the friends they made. All this week, one zone a day, Shanghai Daily talks to pavilion staff about their memorable experiences and what they will take home from Shanghai.

Tryphena Luhur

From Indonesia,

Marketing communications assistant at the Indonesia Pavilion

Tryphena Luhur, an international student in Shanghai, said the Expo experience has turned her into an office lady.

The 21-year-old Chinese Indonesian said she learned a lot in a short period of time, and got a crash course in marketing and communications.

"The experience will help greatly when I look for a stable job after the Expo," she said.

Luhur's great-grandparents moved from South China to Indonesia. When she was 8 years old, her family moved to Singapore and she studied in an international school.

To better communicate with her grandparents who speak Chinese at home, Luhur arrived in Shanghai two years ago for a one-month course in Chinese. She returned in February to study at Fudan University.

Luhur said city transport and the subway are much improved since she first visited and many more people can speak English.

"Many taxi drivers can speak simple English and the volunteers are helpful," Luhur said. "It is so cool that so many volunteers serve the Expo."

After the Expo, she plans to find a job in Shanghai.

"I hadn't expected I would stay here for a long time when I first arrived," she said.

"But now I really like the city," she said.

(Xu Fang)

Fang Rong

Zhuang ethnic from Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region,

senior student at South Central University for Nationalities in Wuhan,

guide at WWF Pavilion

Fang Rong guides visitors and explains issues of environmental protection and pollution control for the international nongovernmental organization.

Fang is thrilled by her first visit to Shanghai, even though she has to pay her own expenses as the WWF subsidy is insufficient.

She is the only student from her university to work at the Expo and has been working for the past two months.

"My family supports me very much and I enjoy my stay," she said.

She has visited tourist spots, museums and art galleries "to learn and experience this international city," she said.

Fang said most Chinese visitors just quickly walk around the pavilion, which has a special aquarium globe containing rare fish from the Yangtze River and exhibitions about pollution in the river.

She says one Shanghai man impressed everyone.

"He especially came to the WWF Pavilion to learn about environmental protection and then went directly to work," she said, adding that he left his contact number and asked for a call about any changing exhibits. He got a call and bought a ticket to see new displays.

After graduation, she hopes to work for an organization such as WWF.

(Cai Wenjun)

Anaru George

From Wellington, New Zealand

Security guard at New Zealand Pavilion

Wearing his New Zealand police uniform, Anaru George is always an attraction while on duty as he guides the flow of visitors on the garden-like roof of the New Zealand Pavilion.

The inspector said he has already started to miss Shanghai since he and his police colleagues will return to New Zealand after the Expo ends on Sunday.

"It's pretty sad to leave," George told Shanghai Daily. "I'm definitely gonna miss this place."

George's main job is to control the crowds and ensure safety. He is also in charge of security for the Maori performers during their four daily shows.

"I really enjoy the job here," George said. "The people here are well organized and follow the rules, except the minority who jump the barriers."

But George also expressed his understanding of some bad visitor behavior at the Expo, citing the enormous crush of crowds and long waiting lines.

"Some people said visitors need to keep a distance between each other, but there are too many people here, so if you got a space you gotta take it."

The frenzy to collect pavilion stamps on Expo passports poses a big challenge to George and his colleagues.

As a cop, George is always on the alert and several times has caught people selling fake passports.

Before arriving in Shanghai, George knew little about Shanghai and China and the city amazed him.

"It is much different from what I had expected. The city is so vibrant, the streets are clean and I am very impressed," he said.

(Ni Yinbin)

Darren Greenwood

From Australia, State of Victoria

Executive VIP chef at the Australia Pavilion

Darren Greenwood has been working in fine dining, award-winning restaurants and boutique retail operations on the Chinese mainland since 2007.

Before becoming executive chef at the Australia Pavilion, he was group head chef for Slice Deli and Restaurant in Shanghai.

"I was very excited about the opportunity to showcase the very best of Australia to each and every guest to the Australian Pavilion," he said.

By the time Expo ends Greenwood and his team will have prepared more than 15,000 meals for more than 210 functions.

For the Mid-autumn Festival Greenwood developed unique Aussie Cupcakes, using his grandmother's recipes for chocolate, lemon and vanilla cakes and adapting them to local taste by adding flavors such as green tea and sweet red bean paste.

He said his most rewarding experience has been working with around 100 young Chinese interns who joined the 450-member Team Australia to keep the pavilion running.

"The interns who have been working with me in the VIP kitchen over the entire Expo are truly inspirational. Watching their growth over the six months has been very rewarding," said Greenwood.

They have learned a lot and are ready for the next steps in what could be careers in international, not only Chinese, cuisine.

"I look forward to seeing them develop into truly international chefs - these home-grown Chinese chefs could be one of the legacies of the Expo," Greenwood said.

(Fei Lai)

Ramon "Jojo" De Veyra Jr

From the Philippines,

Senior marketer, Philippines Department of Tourism,

PR manager of the Philippines Pavilion

Ramon "Jojo" De Veyra Jr was at the Expo to help launch the Philippines Pavilion, then returned for the past three months.

On his first visit to Shanghai in April, he was awed by the skyline, the skyways and bridges.

"I like the fact that Shanghai has a huge international community, not just for the Expo. They live in peaceful coexistence with the locals and that says a lot about how safe the city is," De Veyra said.

"Of course, the strong expat presence is driven by the affluence of China and progressive thinking of Shanghai. I have the impression that opportunities are endless in this place."

He said he is very proud each time a staff member performs well on stage, recalling guides and massage therapists singing and a cameramen belting out his favorite folk tunes while playing the guitar.

He said he was astonished by the exhibits in the Urban Footprints Pavilion that collects important artifacts from museums around the world. The pavilions at night with their striking play of lights also impressed him.


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