This place is insane, I thought to myself as I wandered through the lobby of the Bellagio in Las Vegas. I was there with Jay to attend his friend’s quaint wedding ceremony. It was a lovely gathering and the guests were a lot of fun.
There was a time when Vegas needed tourists so all of the ads were about “Whatever happens here…” well, you know the rest. The city is booming and with the growth comes excessive consumption along with flaunting everything you have (money, skin, hair, clothing).
For me, Vegas is not an ideal destination because I’m allergic to alcohol. (This is not the allergy most Asians experience…even small amounts of alcohol makes me violently ill.) And I don’t gamble. (I can’t find a game I like so much that I want to spend hundreds of dollars playing it.)
As we walked through the hotel casino toward the wedding suite, I looked at the faces lit up by the glow of the slot machines. Some of the expressions conveyed anticipation, boredom, anxiety. Many people visit Vegas with hopes of winning big or going all out. It’s a place that promises extreme entertainment and fortune. Whether the city delivers on its promise, I am not sure.
When the ceremony ended, the wedding party gathered outside to wait for a shuttle. Jay and I saw a fountain filled with coins. Jay dug into his pocket for change.
“Make a wish.” He said.
I made a wish and Jay tossed the coin.
“What was your wish?”
“I’m not going to tell you, otherwise it won’t come true!”
“Good, I was just checking to make sure you weren’t new at this.” Jay said taking my hand to walk toward the shuttle.
As we walked, I wondered how many of the coins in the fountain represented unfulfilled wishes. In a city where the odds are against you, it doesn’t look good for most.
But maybe…there is one wish in a million that comes true.