The first thing that struck me about the city of Bangkok, besides the fact that it was hot and steamy, was its exploding skyline. In Thailand, architecture is considered the highest form of art, and it shows. I was no longer in a troubled Nepal village, but a pulsating, vital metropolis of six million smiling people. I saw no machine guns, read no headlines that said, “Twelve Rebels ‘Shot Dead’”, and it looked and felt like everyone had a job. I hadn’t been in a city this upbeat since San Francisco at the height of the Dot.Com surge. But unlike San Francisco, Bangkok is affordable. Everything anyone could possibly want (and maybe you have to live in “outpost” for a while to appreciate this) can be purchased at a discount – from housing, to tailor made clothes, electronics, textiles, indigenous crafts, excellent medical care, some of the best food on the planet, and, oh yeah, sex.