Las Vegas has been on my list of must dos since a long time now, so when finally Vish and I got down to making the trip, I was super kicked!
Road trips are always fun in the US thanks to the wonderful infrastructure that provides for basic amenities that human beings would require on a travel – food and restrooms!
As we left balmy coastal California for one of largest deserts – Mojave in California, and of course Nevada itself - the change in scenery was prominent. The elegant palm trees gave way to stunted shrubs, cacti and prickles, as I learnt, white cotton wool over a blue spread covering the barren mountains also make a picturesque site.
After a 5 hour drive, the fabulous city of Vegas welcomed us. There was an unmistakable sense of excitement and abandoned gaiety (no pun intended) in the air. So I was at THE Entertainment Capital of the World – true to its word, the sin city offers everything it promises – glamour, glitz, gaming, fine dining and a truly high end shopping experience.
The Venetian is undoubtedly the classiest and the most happening (and Vish will add the most expensive :)) hotel I have ever stayed at. Everything about the hotel was awe-inspiring – beautifully done up scaffolding, the Grand Canal, the Gondola, Madame Tussauds, casinos – It took us a couple of hours just here!
I will not get into details of what the attractions at The Strip are – just about everything is available on the Internet and trust me when I say that all what they show in the movies – The Hangover, What happens in Vegas, and the many others IS absolutely true :D.
Vegas is, in many ways, the embodiment of what the big American dream means to most outsiders – fast money, instant gratification, an oasis in the middle of a desert, convenient morality, enabling anonymity – the chimera of the Midas touch.
It also, at multiple levels, exposes the shallowness of a whole civilization of people that most of us – across the world – represent. Short lived relationships, compromised solutions to problems we don’t even try to understand, complicated sensibilities, the rat race to own it all, the enchantment of the blinding neon lights fading into obliviousness in the reality of the day, the urge to risk it all in a gamble and the obsession to not let go, the irony of doing whatever it takes to get inside a limo and then rolling up the darkened window to avoid recognition.
We have learnt societal and political diplomacy – aren’t, so very often, our smiles and polite nothings as fake as the Eiffel Tower or the Statue of Liberty that adorn the Las Vegas boulevard?