Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas (October 2013)

Writer’s Notice: this is fiction, but I thought it would be more funny tell you the story this way instead of saying that I had a great time and everything was amazing. Dot. So, I spiced it up a little…

Folks, let’s face it, in Vegas everything has to be The Best. We all have to have the best nights of our life, it’s all pushed to the limit: if you kiss you can’t just kiss someone, you have to kiss in 4 in a sort of group kiss where all the mouths and tongues mingle together – like I saw on the dance floor of the Vodoo Lounge- if you eat you have to eat in the most trendy restaurant with the best chef; if you drink if you have to get so wasted that you erase totally the hard disk of your mental memory; if you are tipsy/on the way to be drunk (this happened to someone I know) they have to take you out from the club on a wheelchair from the backdoor while 2 American girls following you scream “ OH MY GOOOOOD! She needs to go to the H-O-S-P-I-T-A-L!!” (Seriously, the wheelchair was not necessary, she just needed a bit of fresh air…). If you wear heels they have to be climb-the-ladder sort of high heels, that if you fall from up there you need 15 surgeries to fix your ankles. If you are fat you have to be obese and if you are fit you have to be obsessive-healthy-vegan-eating fit (but this is just America as a whole actually) …and so on and so on… is just NOT the place for being reasonable, well-balanced people or born under the Libra zodiac sign.IMG_0471

I arrive there, coming from 5 super chilling days in LA were people are super laid back, smoking weed at Venice beach, enjoying the sunset after surfing. Vegas looks like a giant amusement park without borders, everything is designed to suck the money out of your wallet. All of the lights: bling-bling, the noise of the slots: ting-ting, the laser of the Luxor pointing the sky (the most powerful on the earth, can be seen from the atmosphere!!!), the fake eruption of the Mirage, the sharks in the aquarium, the roller coasters, the lions in the garden of the MGM, the excursion tours, the fountains, the naked oily strippers, the homeless, the beggars, the street artists, the coloured feathers, the tingle, the illusionists, the magic, the shows, the pools, the souvenirs, the shops, the gadgets, the alcohol, the parties…

I am immediately overexcited, overwhelmed, like a kid first time at Disneyland, like in an endless Xmas Eve. I breathe adrenaline. I smell it. You want to do and see and touch everything. And you just don’t want to sleep. For this, there are some little pink bottles sold at the gift shops called after the movie The Hang Over, that are like a pure concentrate of Redbull. They tell me it works, but taken with moderation. Moderation is a word that has no meaning and no use whatsoever in Vegas – I object! – and I immediately buy 2 for 9 $. And then 2 more, as souvenir before leaving…

First night. In Vegas it’s easy to get things for free, or at least they make you think you do. Just walking around the casino and you meet a PR, you get a bracelet and he promises you to get in for free including drinks if you go to his club. Works sometimes, but sometimes you get to the door and they don’t have your name because you never replied to and SMS you never got from the PR as your mobile mysteriously doesn’t work abroad.

Getting ready thinking that I will look good and discover 5 minutes later that I am totally underdressed for Vegas style -even if I am wearing something so sparkling and short and glittery that I could only wear it again next Xmas if wanting to resemble a Xmas tree. Got chat up by 3 different drunk guys within 1 hour. I am still a bit stiff though, and tired…

Second night and the travel group already shows signs of dismantling, each of us struggling to decide what to do, what to prioritise, fighting to impose our interests… but we are going to have dinner altogether.

“We get ready”. They seem again just 3 simple words… but in reality Las Vegas poses many fundamental challenges to all women on the getting ready subject: one of those is the heels marathon as anticipated above. Because if you take me, that I am a crazy dancer and in general someone that when goes out, instead of spending the evening in pain, prefers to kick asses on the dance floor, I basically never wear heels. I might do with a lot of mental preparation if it’s a special weekend, so max on a whole Saturday night and then take the Sunday off to recover on flat shoes and pediluvio (aka foot bath). But in Las Vegas every day is a Saturday night, so no matter how long you will stay, you’ll have to be on top all the time! It’s the ultimate challenge for anyone’s feet! So let’s suppose that the outfits are chosen and ready (which is of course not an easy task after the Xmas attempt) we still have a lot to do about the shoes. I read in the guide book that all clubs had a note at the bottom like “dress to impress” or “dress to kill”. In this case the shoes are for sure made to kill -yourself- not the ones that look at you! I have never seen more bare foot women like in Vegas passed the hour! Therefore I mostly go out with a tiny bag with my golden ballerinas (Golden because they are literally precious in those moments but they are seriously covered in golden glitters! I tell you, fit all dresses! Perfect!) If on day 1 you can make it till 3 am on the heels, on day 2 you are already crying at around midnight and so on for day 3 and 4…

So after all this what-the-hell-do-I-wear-dilemma, we rush to catch the free shuttle bus to town, but it’s barely an 8 seater, obviously full, so we need to pay the taxi. There you realize that your hotel is great but why the hell did you not book something on the Strip directly, instead of adding to your bill 12 $ of taxi each way whenever you want to go out from it?!

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We walk around, but as I am a notable freaking planner, wandering around without a plan and most of all crossing places I have already seen in the morning, it simply drives me mad! So there you are, ready to fight with your travel companions because it’s natural after 10 days of non-stop co-existence. Someone realizes that he forgot his ID, hence can’t go anywhere without it and we need to go back and get it. I tell you that nowhere like in Vegas I felt more under-aged. I got asked all the time if I was sure I was old enough, I mean, ok it starts being flattering and it ends up being offensive! A stupid card dealer at blackjack table stopped me even from watching others playing unless I would proof my age. I gave my Swiss driving license stating “I am thirty!!! (WTF)”, and she repeated “ahhh thirteen…” What??? She believed it?! Then as I gave her my evil face waving around my driving license, she even called the manager as they had to check my document in the computer to make sure… what’s wrong with Swiss IDs? Well, I tell you, the bouncers normally all look for birth date first and then expiration dates, but hey we don’t have one, Swiss driving licenses are limitless, so even when I am going to be a senile grandma I’ll still drive! He wanted to make sure it wasn’t fake.

On the plane it happened also! I asked the hostess for a little Californian white wine to get me to sleep and she said: “You look so young, are you sure you are at least 21?” (I look young??? Is young now a synonym of crap? Because I just feel I look like shit with no make-up, the hair like a bush and 2 eye bags as big as my carry on after 10 hours journey! I thought this would make me look older actually!!!).

We finally arrive at the restaurant and I am already tired of standing. My friend who made the reservation just texted saying that she is on her way –aka she is mathematically not less than 30 min late all the time… So the 2 top models that are working as receptionists and are supposed to let you to your table, they politely scold you off as you can’t be seated unless the whole group is there checking-in together. Such a fuss! Yes! Restaurants have a check-in procedure and a check-in desk, like if you were flying to Timbuktu!

When the late friend comes, it seems a joke, but part of the others is already lost into the huge shopping mall -as they were tired of waiting and went for a round! More waiting… When we finally re-group, the models walk us in, by the time we sit it’s 21.30 and I haven’t eaten since 12.00. I am on that hunger stage where I have cramps and no one should talk to me if they care for their life. The restaurant is super cold as the Americans are conditioning sick. Nonetheless they keep serving us jugs of water with a kilo each of ice cubes and frozen cocktails on the side. Tummy congestion anyone? It’s free and included in the meal! The ambience is weird. In order to be a super cool restaurant they decided to have club music pumping the beats at full volume. I thought dinners where occasions to rely and talk. Here no one can hear a thing, not even the waiter when we order! He has to prone down to your mouth to guess what you want and combine some reading-lips skills! By the time we make it and get the plate is past 22.00. Who is in the mood for drinking now? I actually wish to, but would be better to go straight to plain whisky (NO ICE!).

Oh! Good news! We are told that we can get free entrance to the club downstairs: we get one stamp on the wrist! Finally P-A-R-T-Y. But the doorman bounces us back to the starting point saying we have to queue again outside to show our IDs before we can go in the club! I feel like a game token in monopoly. We get another stamp after the second queue. And guess what? Girls enter for free. Yeey. Another stamp. To prove I am actually female I need a stamp?? In Vegas you actually never know… At this point I get an allergic reaction to the ink on my skin! We get to the bar and we discover that to have free drinks till 23.30 we are actually supposed to queue again in another line for the guest list and get a bracelet! And It’s now 23.20 – F*ck it.

Ok time to dance. Considering what I said in the introduction, it does not take me long to realize that all the human beings around us are just too wasted. So no man can be considered able to have a conversation with you which would lead to a bit of flirting. It’s just all or nothing at this point. Someone simply tries to thrust his tongue into my mouth without asking permission while he is passing by. Another guy (and this is maybe the most weird approach I have ever experienced in my life!) mumbles in my ears “you surely have a husband, but you are gorgeous” and instantaneously leaves. What a way is that if I can’t even answer that actually NOT, I AM NOT MARRIED…

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This supercool deejay in this super cool TAO club is changing song every 10 seconds! I can’t even dance!!!

Third night. After a full day of running, walking, sweating, roller coasting, driving, visiting, climbing up the Stratosphere and exploring the Old Vegas, It’s girls Night in the amazing terrace of the VODOO Lounge! This is my fav night! The music is right, the mood is right, we are all equally and in the right measure tipsy. We get approached by a man with his companion inviting us into his private area that is an amazing terrace on top of Vegas. He pours us drinks and I start being sceptical. Some people say I waste the fun being always so cautious, but after he told me he is Italian he started touching my ass! In the US you meet often people calling themselves Italians, just because their grandma’s grandma maybe was. But they really believe they still are even without knowing a single word or anything about our culture (which in fact does not include spaghetti con polpette!). So when people asked me where I was from and said Italian, my friend rushed to add after me: “she is real Italian, not like American Italian!”. After the nice man has tried to grab each and every of our asses under the eyes of his partner, we just feel a bit embarrassed and try to come up to the dance floor again. We finally leave, I remember a glass elevator and people screaming Mexico. It’s my friend! Then we get lost in the casino and start playing poker, making new friends and so and so… I think we ended up in Mac Donald’s. But do you know that even Mac Donald’s in Vegas instead of their normal sign have a special old-fashion-casino-style-sign with all lighting bulbs?!

As a conclusion after paying a fortune to stay at the Palms in a double suite, our door keys never worked properly, we got locked out several time, we had to call first the maid with the master key, then a technician of the magnetic door lock and then David Copperfield in person who thankfully has a permanent show going on in town! But the receptionist wouldn’t let me in on the first night neither give me a second key as the room had only one name – so why didn’t you tell us at check-in that you needed to register us all to avoid problems??? Am I supposed to sleep on the floor? And pay that much to be locked out??? I feel horrible but start knocking till someone gets up to open the door for me. It’s maybe 4 am! After a tough negotiation we got a free SPA entry… hey you don’t try to fool me, I have worked in tourism! It turns out that the “SPA” was as big as the bathroom of my double suite…

But hey, we are in Vegas…. wasn’t it supposed to be fun???

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