To <The English Backpacker>,

Too little an account is given to your great antics abroad. I have, if you will, written a little guide to for how to fully embrace the experience:
To start with, it is imperative that you inform people that have been to South East Asia, by repeated references to parties in cities in Cambodia/Thailand/Vietnam (all of these cities sound descriptively and by the letters of the word exactly the same). But from these accounts, we realise that you are a seasoned traveller with a strong understanding of how things should be done when one is abroad.


It is as follows: Descend to the hostel bar at around 4pm (because you have spend the day in bed with a hangover). Naturally you are abroad and thus begin drinking at this hour, in a dingy bar with zero natural light, despite the fact that outside there is sunshine, culture and mirth. In the bar you seek other english speakers, most notably those that are in fact from your country – preferably those with similar educational backgrounds. You chew the cud and discuss your last great hangover and recent fix. As time inevitably passes, you become increasingly rowdy as you are joined by the more civilised, but still unappealing Australians and Americans in the bar. If possible, you will eat at the hostel as they can guarantee for you average food at an inflated price that means you will not have to leave the compound.

You finish eating and resume drinking, declining the opportunity to learn tango, or other quasi-cultural activity, put on by the hostel. At around 11 you realise it is time to leave the hostel for the night’s highlight: your cocaine. You will have a small argument about how you intend to split the price of this and who is in, who paid last, who should do the honours of getting. Fleeting consideration be given to if anyone has any left from their previous time (last night). The two chosen males depart and return as heroes to the dazzled and adoring group.

Noses feeling numb, but with much agreement that this is the “good shit”, you decide that the opposite sex of European countries are rather attractive after all, and branch-out to speak to some Scandinavians who were previously having a charming conversation with the French: no no – its time for the full-frontal assault of the English public schooling system. Having alienated most of the bar and confirmed in most people’s minds that, while Brexit was a poor choice, it is an excellent outcome, you leave en-mass to a large club.

The Club is unique: song seven was latin (you were positively wetting yourself when you adeptly imitated salsa steps with your male friend). Not to fear, the english-spoken music subsumed thereafter.


The night is NOT a success unless you a. Fornicate b. Are sick on yourself c. Loose a possession. If you can achieve all three, then the night reaches the pinnacle, the accolade of “a classic”. Thus, when you return at 5am, phone less and copulate in a sick-covered bathroom with “Livvy”, who went to school in Surry (not Hampshire), you have travelled.

You can descend the stairs at 4pm the next day like a hero to manly bumps and a beer on someone else – to get you started for a heavy one tonight as well! Three days of this in any given city and – to be sure – you have DONE it all. There is no way anyone can challenge you on your insight into the culture of the city. Tick. Now onto Chile!