Tuesday, 27 March 2012


I'm in Vegas! It's one of the most bizarre places I've ever been. (That's my hotel in the background.)

I am writing this post sat at an "Italian" restaurant in a fake st. Marks square... Indoors. Even more bizarrely I have had a very simiar experience to this before, but in Japan, but that is another story. Gondola rides glide past, and my pizza arrives, it is surprisingly authentic given the surroundings. At 6pm the sky turns off and we are unconsentingly plunged into romance.

Before I got here all I knew about Las Vegas was learned from the game Fallout: New Vegas - set in the post nuclear apocalyptic ruins of the city. Luckily the game is not far removed from real life. Vegas is mostly inhabited by partygoers, money makers and mutant zombie types.

The main difference from the game is that there are no loading screens. "The Strip" which runs north-south is a long series of interconnected casinos and entertainment centres, which at night blur into a vast expanse of drunken vice. Outside of the strip low rise buildings quickly fade into airports and the Mojave Desert. You can see the beautifully barren rocky landscape from the city, and the terrifyingly named Death Vally is fairly close too, giving the impression that you are stranded on an island of entertainment.

A lot of the casinos are themed. Some more classy, and some less so. Most are a fantastical interpretation of historical time periods, which leave me with a lot of unanswered questions about ancient Egyptian night life.

Being here alone is slightly odd. I'm quite prepared to turn up to a lot of places and hope that a local will take me under their wing, but Vegas is different - No one here is local - why would they be? It's ridiculous. It's easy to see that everyone is a tourist, and as a result slightly wary of a chatty loner with nowhere to go. There are also those people who are here alone by choice, whom I'd rather avoid. I've consoled myself with playing slots, alone, but not alone, if you catch my drift.

I'm not a huge gambler. I know the maths, and casinos need to make their money somewhere, but if you're gambling then you drink for free. So the most logical game is to see if you can stretch out your dollars for as many free drinks as you can.

I'd love to come back here with a noisy party group, I can imagine it would be one hell of a trip. It's geographical isolation adds to the "anything goes" attitude of detachment from reality and gives a safety by anonymity aspect.

Las Vegas is either an adult Disney land or maybe just an aberrant abomination of humanity. Actually, maybe they are one and the same.

I'm of to see a show! Photos to come when I get to a PC.

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