This summer I had a short break from our changemaker adventure. I went to Las Vegas with a friend of mine to support him with the language during an important expo.
The Las Vegas I expected to see, made of gigantic extravagant palaces, lies along a small stretch of land, the Strip. It’s a world made of plastic, undoubtedly impressive. I must admit I did not have time for visiting the most interesting spots such as the old Las Vegas, and riding along Road 66 or the Grand Canyon, not far from there. So the Vegas I’ve seen is the glittering one, a swirl of excesses. I represented here with a sepia shot, as I had the feeling of a place in decadence. Living of the image people have of it. The one Hollywood contributed to create with films like the Ocean’s trilogy and the Hangover to name a few. Not fitting anymore the millennials way of life.
Still, when you go in Vegas you can’t help giving a shot at the green table. Being there for working and considering the minimum stake of 5$, I allowed myself a 20$ diversion. I started to play Black Jack. Not that I have much idea about it, beside that you have to get as close as possible to 21, but you better don’t over pass it. It is not much about abilities. Once you win. Once does the dealer... After a while I still had my 4 chips. So I decided for another must-play game: the roulette. We are in the realm of probability and with a bit of math and a chink of luck you can pile up some bucks. I reached 160$ before losing the last bet. I decided to dare no further and leave that table in the black.
I got quite exited for that pretty sum and the adrenaline of the game. I started to think I should offer my friend the dinner. And maybe tonight we could have an extra beer, why not?!? And I thought, I could buy some souvenirs, my family, Anna. We had a walk down South Las Vegas Boulevard. All those shining ads about fancy tourist attractions, amusement, adventures, seemed suddenly way more attractive and doable. It’s not my money anyway. I’ve just won it. We visited a few souvenirs shops. Low quality stuff. Meaningless, no message, no higher goal. Just stuff stating you have been in Vegas.
I decided to detach and observe my emotions, as a way to dispel them. To calm down. There I realize Las Vegas is a perfect machine. There you are welcome, snuggled. There’s no way you pass through it without facing the lure of gambling. And there you are. If you lose, well, you lose. But if you win? You’ll spend that money anyway, may be even more. What comes to Vegas, stays in Vegas.
Finally, I paid the dinner; bought a couple of things, just for the kids; later in the evening I played part of the booty at Texas Hold’em against some experienced fellow. My 10 chips looked miserable versus the pile the other players had. I lost very fast. All in all, I managed to take home some of that cash. This time I won.