How to cancel out your efforts to be cultured

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Starting the day with morning dumplings, the size and approximate temperature of the sun. They may have been almost impossible to eat (though we were happy to see lots of locals making a mess too), but my God they were tasty.

Day two was our day for pretending to be interested in culture! Yay, good for us! There are many old ‘water towns’ scattered around Shanghai of varying degrees of touristyness – we went for Zhujiajiao almost entirely because it’s one of the only ones that doesn’t charge you to walk around the streets.

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Oh look! A river! (The water towns are pretty, but they aren’t exactly Venice)

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The post office? Well why not. I think this was probably the only real sight we saw

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Express delivery was set up during the wars of the Song dynasty, with messages being given gold, silver or bronze tallies depending on how urgent they were and how fast they should be delivered. Postal classes graded by horsepower!

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This print reminds me a little of the FedEx advert (clearly the Americans stole the idea), although it’s part of a series that ends up with the horse delivering a letter along with his dead rider. So not quite so uplifting as FedEx.

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Oh, we saw a temple too – double cultural achievements! Which probably means that we can pray to the downright terrifying gods to forgive us for our actions later that night.

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We hadn’t realised when we booked the holiday (because we’re English, so we don’t seem to care about Ireland except when we’re abroad), but day two was St Patrick’s day. Pub crawl time :D I think it has been… about 5 months since I last got drunk? I’m blaming that for my lightweight lack of tolerance. Also, I can hardly be held responsible when there were this many free drinks involved

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Free shots of something horrible on the party bus, mostly poured over our faces when the buys was moving (Alix refused to wear the free T-shirt, because she’s boring)

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More free drinks! Nothing to do with the pub crawl this time, merely for the privilege of having breasts.

At this point my camera hid out in my bag for the rest of the night as I got steadily more plastered. I remember having a fairly sober and sensible conversation with a DJ called Ian (I think) at the beginning of the night, and a presumably less sober conversation with a guy in a Guinness hat later on (not many girls on the crawl), and I vaguely remember dancing on a table for around 10 seconds before I was told off and had to get down again. Everything else is a complete blur, or at least it was until Emily’s photos emerged. I think I preferred the blur.

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Next day we proved our old age inability to deal with alcohol by staying in bed with hangovers until about 4. I unsurprisingly have very little to report on this day until we dragged ourselves out of the room in search of Mexican food (among my top two hangover foods, competing with a good curry. I know many people will be horrified that I didn’t include the great British fry up, but I just can’t deal with eggs on a hangover). On the way out we encountered this guy making caramel zodiac animals based on a spin of the Wheel Of Fortune!

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Alix was thrilled to get a souvenir for her boyfriend, even if she wasn’t sure how she was going to get it home. Unfortunately that decision was made for her and Ben never received his gift as the sugar started to melt overnight.

It’s a very odd thing to wake up bleary eyed and fuzzy brained to the words:

‘Alix, your goat is dripping’

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