Expo 86: 25 years to the day (almost)

I went through a cleaning fit on July 5 and dug up my Expo 86 passport (which I still don’t know where to stash) and had a tingly feeling that I might be finding this little souvenir exactly 25 years after I wielded it dashing from one exhibit to the next. Not exactly. It seems that my expo visit was on the three days June 30-July 2, 1986.

My mother, younger sister, and I were in Vancouver en route to spending the summer in Hong Kong. We would have gone to Expo where the youngsters (my sister, younger cousin, and I) bounced around and explored tirelessly; given what I know now of Expos and crazy queues, I now think my mother and her Vancouver-residing younger sister were exasperated by the waits but put up with them for the sake of the children.

17 years after the Expo visit I came back to visit only for the second time in my life. 18 years after Expo, I moved here and have been here since. My mother still hasn’t returned to visit Vancouver.


I don’t remember a whole lot of Expo. Presumably I was in complete awe of every exhibit and the three of us kids banded together to go to as many exhibits as possible, damn the long queues, in order to get as many stamps as possible. It also appears, by the placement of its stamp on the first page, that the very first exhibit we went to was the China one. Go figure.

I also remember that it was at Expo where I wandered off and got lost. I think my sister may have been on a kiddie leash but I wandered around and the adults lost sight of me. I found a Lost & Found booth, eventually, and they put out a loudspeaker announcement that prompted mum to be able to find and collect me!

And since the Expo passport does not provide you with the area, I drew my self-portrait, identified myself, and signed my passport. You’ll have to excuse the loopy handwriting, I would have just learned how to write in cursive then. It’s funny how I identified as a “Canadian citizen” of the “Chinese-Canadian” variety. And I was really proud of how my Chinese name had such initials that I have complete initials WMWL that you can squiggle in cursive like a worm!

On this day..