Bonkers Vegas

I’m experiencing my usual emotion when in the US – everything’s familiar in Las Vegas, even though I’m actually seeing it with my own eyes for the first time. It’s an odd sensation.
Slot machines everywhere and large Americans shuffling up and down the strip. It’s been surprising to see people drinking in public and smoking everywhere – quite different to San Francisco, the only US city I have been to a few times. The size of people here is astonishing, making me feel particularly slim and nimble in comparison.
My hotel here is the Mirage. Excellent room and lots to do, within walking distance of the conference I’m here to attend.
Seeing as I live in Dubai, it’d be silly for me to criticise a city built out of the desert, but it’s fun to cmopare the two.
People often refer to Dubai at the Las Vegas of the Middle East, as well as criticising it for being ‘fake’ or ‘shallow’. Whilst Dubai certainly has plenty of bling, I don’t think it’s particularly fake or shallow at all – these kinds of things depend on the job you’re doing and the people you know. From what I’ve seen of Vegas so far, I’m sure it’s easy to describe the city in the same way, if all you’ve done is arrive and go straight to your hotel.
I’d say that Dubai’s newer hotels are somewhat classier and stylish than what I’ve seen here on the Strip.
I’m sure there’s a more normal side to Las Vegas – this is a city after all, with plenty of people living here. Hopefully I’ll get the chance to see a bit of the ‘real’ Vegas. At least, those parts that aren’t filled with the serial killers, gangs, aliens and sundry other dangers that TV tells me are commonplace in the US.
So far I’ve resisted the urge to stuff myself with junk food, another weird feeling that consumes me when I’m over here. Fingers crossed that resistance will continue throughout the week!

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