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'Hangover museum' in Croatia makes light of blurry nights
[ZAGREB] For those struggling to piece together the black holes of a boozy night, a one-of-a-kind museum in Zagreb is offering up some inspiration.
The Museum of Hangovers, which opened in the Croatian capital this month, is showcasing objects and amusing stories from drunken escapades around the globe.
"We wanted to collect objects that people woke up with without knowing where they picked them up," explained 24-year-old Roberta Mikelic, who opened the museum with her boyfriend Rino Dubokovic.
The museum, which the duo says is the first of its kind, currently focuses solely on the "fun" side of these forgotten nights.
But they plan to also delve into the dangers of binge drinking and blacking out in the future.
The stories and paired objects, such as stop sign and a plastic potted plant, are laid out in a series of rooms meant to recreate the zig-zaggy walk home from the bar.
Visitors start in the "Street" room, whose walls are covered in graffiti, before winding through the room of "Mirrors" that represent storefronts, past a home's "Garden" and into a messy "Room" where the partier finishes the night.
They are also invited to complete the sentence, "I woke up with..." on a chalkboard.
"Two stray dogs", "My ex", "a lot of pumpkins", read some of the contributions.
The idea was sparked by a conversation in which a friend recalled waking up hungover with a bicycle pedal in his pocket, explained Mr Dubokovic.
"I thought, as I listened to him, why not set up a place, a museum, with a collection of these objects and stories that will illustrate in a funny way these evenings of drunkenness and the hangover the next day," he said.
In one story a young man describes making it to his front-door in the early morning and flashing an ID card to his father, a policeman dressed for work.
The boozer thought he was entering another club.
His dad "let me inside the house. However, I was not allowed to go out for a while", he wrote.
"If you wake up on the balcony of an elderly home, you know you've had a good night!" writes a Bulgarian about a night out in the Netherlands.
So far the museum is drawing a steady flow of visitors, mostly on the younger side.
"I'm very impressed but also very horrified because it brings back very bad memories, or good memories at the same time," chuckled Andrew Hardie, a 29-year-old tourist from Edinburgh.
The dangers of binge drinking - from adverse health affects to injuries - are not mentioned.
According to the World Health Organization, the harmful use of alcohol leads to 3.3 million deaths annually.
Among people between the age of 20 and 39, nearly a quarter of deaths are attributable to excessive drinking.
The museum's founders say they plan to create a "dark room" where these risks will be explored, and where warnings will be displayed.
For now, museum-goers are offered a glass of local brandy on arrival and a chance to play darts with goggles that simulate the effects of inebriation.
If they hit the bulls-eye, they can enter for free.
So far, everyone has had to pay.