The conference is going well, so that's good. Everyone is so easy going and professional that it makes my job easy (huzzah!) plus everyone loves software, so they're all friendly and want to chat about software and so at least I have people to talk to and stuff to talk about. So that's positive.
I haven't been to Vegas in a decade (more?) so I forgot some essential stuff that I remembered as soon as I arrived:
- the cab drivers are pushy. More than other places, which is odd. Like, you have to really push back hard to get change back -- my fare was $7 (for a 5 minute trip up the street) and I handed the guy a $20 bill and he was all "have a nice day!" Sorry, bub. Gimme some of that back. Even then he's all "I only have a $10, sorry!"
- everything, everywhere stinks like a million years of stale cigarette smoke - including your non-smoking hotel room!
- To cover the stale smoke smell, there's 600 gallons of coconut air freshener pumped into the air. So it smells something like old suntan lotion spilled into an ash tray. Learn to love it. It smells like that EVERYWHERE - even outdoors!
- The recirculated desert air gets more and more dry and then they add in air fresheners and it stings your sinuses. I have had a bloody nose at least once a day. Gross. I had to buy nasal saline spray, which is helping somewhat.
- the days of "family friendly" Vegas are nearly gone. In the 90's there was a big push for Vegas as a family destination and the city was toned down a smidgen. Those days are done; sex is back and here to stay. Turn on the TV and the first thing that comes on are the ads for pay per view porn. No joke, at 8am if you power on the TV, you get encouraged to order in adult movies and the voice-over leaves nothing to the imagination. Good morning America, indeed.
- With sex everywhere (including the hotel which has its own sex shop), no one makes any assumptions about anyone. I'm walking down the street in my business casual attire, on my way to/from the conference and I'm offered a minimum of 100 cards to get me into night clubs, stripclubs, sex clubs, etc. I think it's pretty clear that I am a lady on my way somewhere, not out looking for suggestions on where I can see naked ladies and drink for free - but hey! That's Vegas.
- it's a crazy expensive place to be if you don't gamble and drink. (Because if you're gambling, the drinks are free.) I think I need to start playing penny slots, just for the free soda. (Iced tea: $3, no refills)
- Nightclubs go 'til 4am. Stripclubs are open 24/7. You can drink on the streets and smoke in the elevators. You can buy drugs from your cab driver and have call girls sent to your hotel room. However, normal stuff like restaurants and animal exhibits and spas close at 6pm. I was hoping to go get a massage one night after the convention: no go. I mean, a legitimate one, like at a day spa.
- it's a Pepsi town. Do you know how hard it is to find a Coke here? Stupid hard! Also, if you ask someone where you can get a Coke, and you have a bloody nose, they're not going to hear you correctly and slip you a card for a 24 hour on-call stripper service and tell you to ask for "Allen"
Also: I've been watching crappy TV, including old Friends re-runs and I realized that I have the same shirt that Monica was wearing in 1998. Obviously, my wardrobe needs some updates.