Interview by Ollie Sutton

Ollie Sutton

This very funny so-called travel book isn’t really one at all, is it?

Alan Platt

Not really. These are just silly incidents that happened all over the world, because I traveled a lot.

And, although you write about them very comically, they’re not all...

...not all so very funny at the time. That’s true.

In fact, pretty perilous, some of them.

A couple, yeah. Getting stuck in the Sahara...

Kidnapped and mugged in Saigon...

Constipated in Tokyo...

Ha ha, yeah. That one was hilarious. A different kind of peril?

Yeah. Embarrassing, that one.

Cringe-worthy. In fact this book has been described as very much Theater Of Embarrassment.

Oh, absolutely. I make a point of making myself the schmuck. The title gives that away. I don’t want to come off very well.

You don’t. It’s more like confessions of a worldly doofus.

I love making fun of myself. Easy in my case. Obviously I’ve had some great experiences traveling. But who gives a shit? The screw-ups are the fun. 

Is this self-deprecating thing because you’re English?

Not very English. My adult life was mostly in New York. No. it’s just that I’ve always got laughs being the idiot.

And this book started out as performances, right?

Yes, in a few New York venues. You find out pretty fast what’s funny. 

Your first book, isn’t it?

Yes, but I was a magazine writer for years.

Writing about what?

Music and movies, mostly. 

And you had a club in New York?

For a while. Full of the characters I was writing about. 

And now you live in Bangkok.

"The Metrollops". Ten years of ageing disgracefully. Where do you go after New York? 

Still traveling?

All the time. But rather more soberly these days. 

So there won’t be a sequel?

Oh, I’m working on it. Still trying to get into trouble.