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Another Day on Phi Phi Island

Traveling in Southeast Asia right now. It's hot, it's buggy. We have at least 10 species in our bungalow on Phi Phi Island right now, but we also have a gecko and a mosquito net. Despite these little saviors, we also have plenty of bites.

Ko Phi Phi Don is a haven for party-ers, mostly Aussies and mostly 22 years old, full of muscle (like the song) and ready to dance (certainly, although I have no first-hand evidence to report) until 4 a.m. The music they groove to sounds like a mix of road construction, airstrike and Gangnam Style. I have to say that it grows on you as you lie in bed wondering when the urge to sleep will finally override the need to figure out the music.

A Clown FishI have been to the hospital three times on Phi Phi Island, a story of its own later. Later. The upshot of the injury is that I can't get near the water for a few days. Yesterday "we" went snorkeling. I wouldn't have gone in the water anyway, but hearing Peter the Russian Goldsmith Insurer yelling Hey another one that looks like Nemo! (I'm translating from Russian of course) made my heart sink to the bottom of the long wooden boat we rented for about 30 dollars. My only consolation was that Peter the Russian Goldsmith Insurer didn't actually see a clownfish (if his description--yellow with a long fin that trailed behind it--is accurate). Actually, his description makes me doubt whether he paid attention to the movie at all. I'm sure he missed the movie's message--to keep swimming toward your goal. I didn't miss it. I don't enjoy swimming, but I'm pretty sure the writers meant it metaphorically.

I'm having trouble walking, so Peter the Russian Goldsmith Insurer has left me at an Internet cafe. A few minutes ago he walked by and promised me that an order of French fries would be appearing in 10 minutes. It has been exactly 10 minutes. No fries.

Our hotel is a death trap. Mom, if you're reading this, I'm totally exaggerating. Everyone else, I'm not even telling the half of it. The hotel is on the side of a hill, and our bungalows are at the top--the very top. The owners must have seen me with my bandaged foot and said Put him at top of mountain. Make little white boy climb insurmountable treacherous stair. Uh-huh. The stairs and railings are rotting horribly. If you are one of those guys who comes back to your hotel at 4 a.m. drunk out of your gourd, you'll breathe your last breath on these stairs. You'll lean against a railing and land at the bottom of the hill . . . with tetanus and three broken arms. You are, after all, drunk.

That said, the guys who run the hotel are really nice FC-Bayern fans. You can't beat nice (FC Bayern fan) in this world. Or maybe you could if you fixed your stairs . . . and played something else on the CD player at breakfast besides Adult Contemporary hits from the 70s.

I'm told this picture was taken right before I started screaming. Life was still good.
I must be off (still no fries),

To continue with I Must Be Off! A-Z, go to L is for Lyon.


Christopher Allen is the author of Conversations with S. Teri O'Type (a Satire), an episodic adult cartoon about a man struggling with expectations. Allen's award-winning fiction and non-fiction have appeared or are forthcoming in SmokeLong Quarterly's Best of the First Ten Years anthology, Prime Number Magazine, The Best of Every Day Ficton, Pure Slush, Bootsnall Travel and Chicken Soup for the Soul. A finalist at Glimmer Train in 2011, Allen has been nominated for Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize twice. He is the managing editor of the daily litzine Metazen. Recently, Allen--along with editors Michelle Elvy and Linda Simoni-Wastila--hosted Flash Mob 2013 in celebration of International Flash Fiction Day.

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