Saturday, July 24
Ko Phi Phi Don, Thailand
I woke up early again today to catch a 9:00 a.m. ferry back to Phuket. When I opened the front door, a big monkey was making its way down a flight of stairs about 10 feet away right in front of me. I had a meltdown in the hostel lobby when I learned that I had misplaced my return ferry ticket. While I dug through my backpack, a short but intense downpour soaked the island. Luckily, it stopped a few minutes later, so I marched down a half mile to the pier, where I hoped I'd be able to excavate the ticket, but no such luck was with me.
Instead of paying $10 for another ticket, which could pay for a night in a hostel and a meal, I decided to wait for the next ferry at 2:30 p.m. so I could turn my backpack inside out and hopefully find it. I walked over to a nice pavillion with big wooden chairs and tables overlooking Ao Lo Dalum bay, where I had hung out before. As I started pulling stuff out, I remembered that I had packed the ticket away inside a bag full of ephemera I saved from every country on this trip. I killed the next couple of hours with my friend Mr. iPod until I got the boot when a lunch crowd showed up to eat at the tables.
Then I munched on some cold buffet food and walked around the maze looking for some shade. I found it at Aoi's food stall, where she offered me a stool. I ordered a banana pancake, even though I was pretty full, and we had a nice chat about each others' lives for over an hour. She is 42, from Chumphon, about halfway between Phuket and Bangkok, and moved to Phi Phi eight years ago to work in the food stall. She experienced the 2004 tsunami firsthand and ran up a nearby hill to escape a date with a certain Mr. Grim Reaper, who claimed the lives of over 220,000 people on beaches throughout this side of the world with that little outburst. After 90 minutes on the sea, the ferry dumped me off back in Phuket Town, where a shuttle bus driver in hate with life dropped me off back at Phuket Backpackers Hostel. I went for an air con room for the max relax, then got invited to the annual staff party, where I chowed down on delicious free food while the ladies partied super hard and played musical chairs and some other games.