A friend of mine announced that she got a new job and I responded:
“Let’s go to Vegas!”
Three days later, we were in Mandalay Bay. Imagine our surprise when we immediately found ourselves captured by a military dictatorship and placed under house arrest in the middle of the man-made wave pool next to a giant iguana statue.
Haha! Just a little Burma joke there!
Having never been to Burma, I can’t say with certainty, but I’m going out on a limb and say that I don’t think there’s any resemblance to this Mandalay and that Mandalay except for the name. Which is probably a good thing because it wouldn’t be popular otherwise, except by extreme survival fantasists.
Las Vegas is a place where every cultural stereotype is exaggerated in a manner to put those who are uncomfortable with other cultures at ease. There is no need to deal with foreign languages, unfamiliar public transport, or strange food, because even in medieval times, pizza can be procured (food mall in Excalibur!).
Paris is an amalgam of the Garnier Opera House, Arc de Triomphe and Eiffel tower, where a French restaurant serves classic standards such as American style pancakes. NYC is the Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge, and Empire State, without the aggressive pedestrians and cabbies. Even the slot machines tread the line of unthreatening fantasy. Names like “Great Wall” or “Brazilian Princess”, imply exotic adventures in gaming, but are really…just slot machines. (They also feel vaguely racist, but in that retro way of the harmless aunt who doesn’t get why she can’t say “oriental” anymore.)
Moreover, no matter where you are in Vegas world, you will be accompanied by the greatest hits from the 70s and 80s. Because nothing says “oh la la!”, “fuggedaboutit” or whatever it is they say in ancient Egypt, quite like Hall and Oates’ “Maneater.”
In Vegas, every day, someone is getting married and it never feels earlier than 9:30 p.m. Your circadian rhythms will be wrecked, but it makes having a martini with your bacon and eggs seem perfectly reasonable.
And if the noise gets overwhelming, you can check into a spa for $25 where you can use a sauna, hot tub, and cold pool in an endless loop for an entire day while being served a bottomless supply of tea, juice, and fruit.
So pack too much eyeliner, too short skirts, every sequined item you own, three cans of hairspray, and go to Vegas. Really. You’ll have the best time that you’ll be vague about having when you get home.
Casual Vegas Footwear