They don’t call it Sin City for nothing.

Agnes and I took a 9 hour drive down to Las Vegas just this last weekend in order to attend her high school class reunion, an informal one to be sure, though one that did take quite a bit of preparation on the part of the organizers. So finally I get to see the famed city where casinos dominate every bit of mental space, and where every venue in the city has at least one slot machine including (and I kid you not) the friendly Filipino family-owned 7-11 in the corner behind the Stratosphere hotel.

lasvegas

My initial reaction to a place I’ve never been to but have always seen on TV and the movies? Lotsa lights, lotsa drunks, lotsa gambling-obsessed hyperactives, sensory overload on every casino game floor with whistling bells and electronic beeping chaos from slot machines, and oodles of people parting with oodles of hard-earned cash.

I won 8 dollars on a 1-cent video slot game called Miss Clara T. And that was it. Spent probably a grand total of 5 dollars on the slots. Well, because, I don’t have cash to play with, period.

Enjoyed the company of Agnes’ classmates and friends, who kept us up till 5 and 6 in the morning with stories of school antics over early-morning breakfast meals and walks through the brightly-lit streets.

I finally got to watch a real-life Cirque Du Soleil show at the MGM hotel, and was blown away by the stage design and the grandeur but somewhat disappointed by the feats of skill.

Still, while Las Vegas is fun and possesses an endless horizon of entertainment options, it’s no place for families with little kids. Just the mere fact that people on the streets hand out flyers and calling cards for topless shows and drunks keep falling down on the street everywhere you look, shows that the place really promotes hedonism at its strongest.

I certainly don’t intend to go back there for a long, long time.

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