Happy Birthday Comrades!

90 years since the communist party was formed don’t you know. To celebrate the authorities put an epic music video on all the metro TV screens, which featured Jackie Chan harmonizing over a reel of old propaganda footage. Really. I asked my banker student if he would be celebrating. “No. And outside Shanghai no-one really will. No-one cares,” he said, as he munched down on his Carl’s Junior jalapeno burger . Oh.

I celebrated this historical milestone in Party history by going to the water park again. It’s the only place where the humidity can’t bother you. It really is an amazing place. The wave pool was packed this time round and they obviously decided it would be a good idea to crank up the wave machine to 11. The pool suddenly started to resemble a natural disaster simulator. Raging waves crashed against the high walls at the sides, capsizing kids and adults alike off their rubber tubes and into the watery abyss. Lifeguards in their droves leapt in to save them, only to be smothered by the next wave of helpless punters. Children lost their mothers. Parents could be seen clinging vainly to their empty tubes. A mass of goggles, watches and glasses washed up in the tide, like a leisurely version of Saving Private Ryan. The screaming wasn’t that of unbridled joy I can tell you.

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