The bright lights of Las Vegas

My left eye is bloodshot from the dry air on the plane and my face keeps slumping into an expression of exhausted bafflement. It's okay, though, because I fit right in.

If I look out the window, I can see a car park, a freeway, another car park and a multicoloured sign for the Love Boutique -- selling dance wear, club wear, fetish wear, lingerie, erotic jewellery and something that's too small to read from this distance. After that there's a building site, a shopping mall, a couple of hotels and -- if I ignore the vertiginous 15-storey drop and lean forwards -- a partial view of the Stratosphere. Welcome to Las Vegas, an oasis of giant casinos and tacky wedding parlours in the middle of the Nevada desert.

It's 8pm and I'm writing this with all the verve and linguistic panache of a person whose body clock thinks it's 4am. My left eye is bloodshot from the dry air on the plane and my face keeps slumping into an expression of exhausted bafflement. It's okay, though, because I fit right in. I look like I'm coming down from a marathon session on the slots.

Viewed at the end of a 22-hour day, Vegas is a weird city (it may seem completely normal in the morning, but I doubt it). The airport has a small-town feel and the freeway looks like any other freeway. Then you step into a casino and the whole world turns inside out. Suddenly you're somewhere so big that the guy at the check-in desk has to give you a map so you can find your way to the single bank of lifts that might take you up to your room.

Despite my addled state, I've tracked down a room that appears to correspond to my five-digit room number, and the keycard opened the door, so I'm probably in the right place. If I were a betting woman, I'd put money on it, but since I'm not, I'm going to take possession by passing out on the bed. Until tomorrow, then.

 

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