Tuesday, August 07, 2007
Las Vegas - Gambled with life.
Las Vegas - Convention City par excellence! Five days on company expense! My very first trip to sin city, and almost my very last trip anywhere!
I live in a city far removed from LV. Getting there meant almost 24 hours squashed into your seat, the constant droning of the aircraft engine in your ears, and worst of all, your bum becomes so sore that you will never again ask for a window seat. Aisle seats at least lets you get out at anytime for relief.
I'll never forget the first impression of Las Vegas. It began with the slot machines at MacCallan Airport enticing you even while you wait for your baggage to appear. The glitter and gold finish of the airport interior exudes wealth. This is a rich city!
Twenty-four hours on an SIA/Delta flight and now finally at the El Rancho Hotel. El Rancho was* located right on The Strip, that stretch of road where all the major casinos are located - MGM, Caesers Palace, Reviera, Circus Circus, New York, New York, Treasure Island, etc. etc. I was there with my colleague for the COMDEX convention, at the time the world's largest IT show.
Everything is different in the US, the sounds, the smell of the air, the wide open spaces, the service at restaurants, and the traffic, which flows in the opposite direction. We drive on the wrong side of the road, according to the Americans.
COMDEX was tomorrow but now it was time for dinner. Going out into the neon, our first order of business was food. Across The Strip we saw MacDonald's. OK, that's familiar. Let's go.
The Strip is a one-way 2 lanes highway with a road divider in the middle.
Look right. No cars coming. Cross now!
Honk honk honk honk!!!! screech screech honk honk!!!
SHIT ! The traffic was from the other side! LOOK LEFT, not right!
Missed us by just that much! "Assholes!" screamed the american driver.
So our first gamble at Las Vegas was with our lives, and we won. phew!
Must be jet lag.
*footnote: The El Rancho closed in 1992 and was demolished in 2000.