Oriental Adventures - Family Matters

Grettings of the Season to you all!

We have spent a couple of days in Shanghai, but I must first take a post to catch up on events prior to our arrival in this megametropolis. Truly events have been transpiring faster than they can be recorded - I shall take to whipping my chronicler, redoubling these typing efforts until I catch up with the elusive present.

On top of the family dinner recorded in the last writing, there was a second family dinner: The Family Strikes Back. At this myself and Xinxin were heavily suprised by being awarded with a "Ru Yi", which translates roughly has "Goddamned Thing"

Fancying themselves a civilised folk the chinese have refined familial gift-giving to its very purest essence, creating a device that
a) obviously cost a lot of money
b) is difficult to carry safely
c) has absolutely no function whatsoever but to burden you with the obligation of a) and b)

Xin has suggested that it may serve as a "Beating stick" sufficiently elegant for her to remonstrate with me - I countered that it was an ideal size to be crammed into her flapping mouth whole. She incorrectly objected that it was too large, until I pointed out her error in not realising how much force I would be prepared to bring to bear in this endeavour. The hunt is on for other uses - the carved holes are too small to act as a pen holder, and though secret research has shown it to be a very fine back scratcher, if Xinxin ever actually catches me doing that I suspect it will lead to the beating stick argument times 9.

Dinner: The Revenge took place in a restaurant called "Shark Fin Palace". If the Forbidden palace was destroyed, and the ruins painstakingly rebuilt by a dedicated team of crack Las Vegas Casino designers this is how it would look - every surface is absolutely crammed with stuff, to the point where if there was a quarter as much it would look four times better. Example: a fountain in the middle of the giant walk in menu (no joke) is tasteful and elegant - when that fountain consists of six giant illuminated carp, you need to have a serious talk with your interior decorator. And that talk needs to consist of "Pack up your shit, Jones, you don't work here anymore. And take your giant fish with you."

I could write a whole update about the architectural horrors of the place, but there's a fair chance they'll send their army to kill me - I've honestly never seen anything with such a ridiculously large number of staff. There were sixteen staff working the front door - that's one per hinge! This sort of thing is only possible in a country where "prevents you starving to death as fast" is an acceptable working wage - leading to an amazing 5:1 staff to customer ratio, doubtless all trained in kung fu and ready to leap into an oncoming flying kick the moment a wronged lone hero approaches within a square mile of the building.

The food here continues to be excellent - I note with surprise and alarm that I've gained the mass of an entire infant tiger in the gut region since I've arrived, and warn you that come my return to the frigid wonderland of Canada in January this newsletter shall be renamed "Avoidance of fat-fuckery: no Bacon edition" for a few months. This is all part of the long scheme of the cunning Chinaman, seeking to lull me into a false sense of security while reducing my top speed, that I might not escape when they strike en masse. Here you see the cardinal tactical error! They think that I will cravenly act as they would, not realising that the Sturdy Irishman runs not from naught! Every kilo they add to my frame will simply be more mass with which I shall roundly smite them, standing firm and proud and breaking the tide of assailants with nought but determination, my patented chin-checking one-two, and any chainsaws I happen to find lying around.

In fact, it's time for us to leave for food once more - enjoy your day of boxing, knowing that I shall be sitting with chopsticks in one hand, pump-action in the other, ready for food or foe!

Your humble and well-fed expeditioner


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