Sunday, August 03, 2008

Push The Button

Originally uploaded by amsterboy
After four hours driving in a 40-degree heat, it started rising in the horizon: Las Vegas. Arriving during the day it actually looked sort of calm. I mean you had Empire State Building and a pyramid next to the Eiffel Tower and the Colosseum but you get over that rather soon. I must confess that I was expecting it to be corny and camp when it actually was all about money and wealth. So less Elvis and more Ferrari.

I have never been the Las Vegas type as I really am not tempted by gambling. I did not plan to spend a lot of money into the slot machines. I guess I am just too cautious and pragmatic for that stuff.

But I would be lying if I would state that I would not have been tempted. It all started from the moment when a bet of 2 dollars hit a row of sevens and the numbers started rolling. Suddenly my evening buffet and drinks were covered and I still had money for souvenirs. With just 2 dollars and pushing a button. In the end I spent threefold the planned money on the slot machines and the win of the first day was quickly gone.

Las Vegas is bizarre. The luxury shops and the blitz of the casinos are quite overwhelming. Everything seems to be possible in Las Vegas if you just have the money. The machines and tables around me seemed to be calling: it could be you, you could be the person walking away with the suitcase of dollars.

But even if I enjoyed the visit, I must confess that California is a place where I feel more comfortable. Everything is not about money and getting rich, it is also about kindness, beauty and quality. Shopping today at Irvine's Whole Foods organic store felt good. It is highly needed that someone reminds you now and then that maybe you don't need that extra plastic bag even if you could afford it or maybe spending that extra dollar on the organic lettuce makes sense.

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