Alaya

I was sitting on Patpong one evening late in 1990 when a lady stopped to talk to me. Her name seemed to be "Alaya", although I may have gotten that confused with "Palaya", a Thai word meaning wife or live-in girlfriend. Alaya was heavy-set, in her late 30's.

I told her that I knew these people on the street of Patpong. She said "Yeah, sure". We sat there together for a couple of hours and street people kept coming by and saying "Hello, Andy", so she finally believed me. She said "You really do know these people" and I said "Yeah".

Alaya and I lived together in my apartment during December of 1990.

Near the end of December Alaya and I spent one afternoon in Ayudhya, the ancient capital of Thailand. We sat down with some guys who were there, the sort of crowd of Thai guys who sit around drinking whiskey and talking to each other. She sent me off to get massage for several hours, and from the way she was talking to the guys I think she went off to screw this one fellow, a policeman, while I was getting the massage. But we were near the end, so I didn't care. Alaya and I broke up a few days later.

I had been a vegetarian for three years prior to coming to Thailand. Soon after I came here a monk admonished me that I should "accept the gift". If someone gives me chicken to eat I should eat it, even though it was not vegetarian. So during the remainder of 1990 I followed that prescription. But, Alaya pushed me too far. She always ordered dinner for us in the restaurants, and although she knew I wanted vegetables she always got me pork balls, stewed beef, all that stuff. She stretched my limits of tolerance. After we broke up I swore that I would not eat meat, even if someone gave it to me.