On a flight to Bangkok, Dalrymple falls into conversation with the passenger next to him, a washing-machine salesman. By coincidence, Dalrymple and the salesman are staying at the same hotel, the Oriental.
DALRYMPLE: Joseph Conrad and W. Somerset Maugham stayed there too.
DALRYMPLE: Just some writers.
SALESMAN: Oh. The only trouble with the Oriental is they don’t allow women — hookers — in there.
DALRYMPLE: I don’t think that would have troubled Somerset Maugham much.