Las Vegas... I'm Comin' Home
Friday, 12th May, 2006
I have never had the desire to go to Las Vegas. In fact it is the last place I would have ever thought of going . Let alone falling in love with.
But when I think about it, there is nothing I shouldn't like about it. A town surrounded by the dry dusty desert, full of cowboys, drinker high rollers and low rollers. As I walked down the street I could feel civilization erode... and I loved it! The old collapsing casinos down the end of the strip and on Freemont...just clutching at existence but refusing to give up against....I loved it, it took my breath away, actually just thinking about it now is affecting my breathing.
What left me breathless...
There in Vegas to be reunited with my beloved friend Jakki for her birthday celebrations... after stepping off the plane I queued for hours in the dry heat to get a taxi. The taxi driver asked about the Mickey Mouse T-shirt I was wearing and whether I had ever been to DisneyLand, When I said no, he mentioned that it was only a few hours drive from Vegas and he had the weekend off, and maybe he could drive me in his truck. But my savvy led me to decline that offer, something told me it would be a one way trip for me.
As I arrived at my Hotel the driver commented that a pretty girl like me could make a lot of money in a town like this. That's when I knew I was home. I found comfort in the way those words dripped from his lips with complete honesty, completely unaware of the amusement I found in them. Oh I should also mention his dream of killing Barry Manilow...but that might be a piece on it's own.
Pulling up to my hotel I was shocked that it was the worst on the Strip, as I had left it a bit late to book, thinking there would be no problem booking a hotel in Vegas, except on memorial day weekend. At check in I was asked to pay for the full stay up front , logically in case I gambled all my money away on the Slots or drunk four hundred $1 Margaritas. So I paid upfront...and then was asked to sign the declaration that I wouldn't smoke in the non-smoking room I had requested, and if I did I would happily pay the $100 needed for airfresher?
I had originally wanted to stay at the "Algiers Hotel", which was a lovely original 50's hotel on the Strip....but the week before I arrived, it unfortunately was demolished. So I managed to book into a cheap hotel on the strip, that was built in the 50's and was managing to cling on to survival assisted by its sales from the 24" hotdog and the largest $1 Margarita on the strip. It had that 50's kinda layout, a horseshoe of rooms around the pool.
After I had signing in the clerk suggested I wait outside for the shuttle bus to take me to my room. Terrified I asked how long he thought it would take me to walk to my room, he said "Oh, 30 seconds" I guess the shuttle is for the gambling Nana's.
My room was pretty standard, but the one feature that stuck out was the needle disposal box, which struck me as I hadn't requested a smoking room, but I had been lucky enough to get an intravenous drug using room. There was a sign above it requesting that I dispose of injecting equipment into the box, and I contact the concierge if I needed to request a new one. It made a nice ashtray.
Another puzzling feature of the hotel was the knock on the door at 8am, which makes no sense in Vegas, I hope it was just the maid.