Have you ever traveled somewhere where you had high expectations based on the movies or the tv shows that you used to watch when you were a kid? Once you arrived there would you say that your expectations were fulfilled or nah?
Well in my case I must tell you that I was looking for Las Vegas to be one of the wildest experiences of my life. I envisioned myself enjoying those
margaritas at the strip, meeting cute gay guys at the pool party at the Luxor, and partying with some celebrities at Tao. However, none of these expectations came to happen. Wallah, before going into details on why this trip turned out to be the way it did I believe that it is important to give you guys a small background story of who Catalina is (the main reason for my visit to Vegas in the first place).
Catalina and I date back to when we were around 10 years of age. We went to the same international school and shared the same beach friends. I remember how every weekend we used to go to her beach house and drink, go bar hopping, and have pajama parties all the times. I remember those pajama parties lol. They were so innocent in the sense that we were just a bunch of teens (age ranged between 10 and 13) gathering to drink and “have fun”. Little did we know how funny we probably looked when we used to enter the beach bars and clubs or when we used to get drunk and think we were adults. Eventually, these weekend pajama parties ended when I moved to study at a boarding school.
Time passed (around 10 years passed to be quite precise) and my friendship with Catalina had entered to one of those commas in which we both forgot about each other and moved on. Yet, what once made brought us together was going to soon do the same.
When I first moved to Seattle I did not have a work permit on me, I was waiting for that permit to come in so I was unemployed my first month and a half. One day, I was checking Facebook and found a post that Catalina had made. In her post, she placed a photo of her in Bellevue, Washington. When I saw this I began to scream. For more than a month I had not made any friends in Seattle and the fact that I had only 380$ on my pocket had made me very vulnerable in terms of fears, security, and happiness. The fact that an old friend came from your same country to the same city where I was living gave me plenty of hopes.
After messaging asking her if she was living in Seattle we decided to meet up. Talking to her using my Costa Rican Spanish slang felt like home and it became one of my newest additions. For many years, I did not speak my native tongue daily. I would only speak in English unless I knew we both spoke my tongue. At the same time, the infamous “Seattle freeze” had hit both of us and we both kind of needed company. The “Seattle freeze” is an interesting phenomenon. I would even dare to say that it is intrinsic to the culture of this city and some of its people. Even till today, I feel that I am still in the early stages of unfreezing myself. The way these freeze works is that transplants from other cities or countries have a hard time making/retaining friends in this city.
Either way, destiny for sure is an interesting spirit. I was at that moment looking for jobs in the fraud industry. I knew I wanted to work in airline fraud as I love traveling and I have a passion for understanding patterns and people’s behaviors. When I told Catalina about my upcoming job interview as a fraud analyst she expressed to me that she had a career in fraud as she had previously dedicated 2 years of her life in fighting fraudsters. Once I got my anti-fraudster job they advertised a large sum of money if agents referred people. Hence, Catalina was referred by me and got hired right away.
Months passed and winter came to be our reality. The “Seattle freeze” went from being a cultural thing to a cold reality. We both knew that we needed to leave to somewhere warm and nice. We began envisioning where to go and Las Vegas became our top destination. Her B-Day came to be and we booked the flights and hotel. So many options to choose from but we were busy thinking about our expectations that we did not realize that to accomplish those expectations we needed to stay on the strip,
We booked the cheapest option and the shittiest to be honest. Hotel Galaxy or how it should be called Motel Galaxy as it resembled more of a motel than a hotel. At work, we would ask our friends in Vegas and the things that this city must offer. Indeed, it seemed like every American loved that city so much and every memory they had was related to fun, alcohol, parties, gambling, and all you could imagine.
Our hopes and dreams for the perfect weekend had gotten so big to the extent that I bought some cool gay swimwears from Lockwood51. One was a yellow speedo with condom pictures on it and the other one was a porn cameo speedo. In case I didn’t look good on those speedos I got another swim shorts from ASOS. Unfortunately, my roommate decided to take the keys of the mailbox to Mexico so I was not able to take the two speedos I had been waiting for weeks. Expectations began to crumble starting at this moment with those speedos.
Crossing TSA high was the worst experience on that day. Indeed, I advise every foreigner in America not to get high if they know they can get paranoid. As usual, I passed the security checkpoint normally so the paranoia stopped once I crossed the metal detector. Indeed, this paranoia was stupid as I would never do something bad at an airport. Once we boarded that plane we knew that Vegas fun had just begun.
We ordered a lyft to our “luxurious” hotel when we arrived at the airport. Little did we know that this hotel was the worst we could have chosen from. I even regret the fact that we did not look into finding an Airbnb. I remember the face of the tattooed lyft driver, he right away started laughing and asking us why did we book a hotel in the red district of Las Vegas. Arriving at the hotel was also an interesting experience. We for sure got scammed by the pictures that Expedia showed. In pictures this hotel looked like a 3-start hotel, it looked modest, clean, and pretty but the same situation that happens with intagramers happened in here – they look good in pictures but they are ugly in real life. The hotel was horrible, pretty sketchy as it had weird people staying there. Complaining wasn’t going to fix the issue but it was going make me feel better.
We showered and I continued to smoke the weed Catalina’s boyfriend had bought for me. Another expectation that was killed by reality was the fact that weed was legal but not recreational. We thought that after Trump had won weed had gotten fully recreational in Nevada. For those that do not know what recreational weed means is simple as you going with your 21-year-old ID and buy any kind of weed you want. If you want candies, joints, brownies, flower, anything weed related you can get in those stored. Yet again, our little research had let us down. Apparently, weed was legalized in the state but it will be recreational by July 1st.
Meeting Catalina’s boyfriend for the second time was quite interesting. I must admit I was a bit jealous to see my closest friend being so close to another guy. The thought that Catalina’s attention was going to be placed on her boyfriend got me angry. I began to think I become the third wheel of the trip. That first night in Vegas did not go quite well as we envisioned. We began drinking and getting ready but unfortunately, Cata got a bit sick. That expected Saturday night got destroyed in front of our eyes. Our desire to go out was so high that it made Catalina cry. I decided to be a bad friend and I left by myself to the club. After all, I realized that both Cata and Marco needed some time for themselves as they had not seen each other for weeks due to their long-distance relationship (Costa Rica – Seattle). They were so cute when I left the room. He was taking care of her in such a tender way that anyone would want the same treatment.
When ordering my lyft I received a message from a Turkish friend I had once met in Seattle. He had seen my profile online and he wanted to go out with me to Piranha gay club. That place was really cool. Cute gogo dancers everywhere, lots of drinks, people smoking cigarettes on the dance floor, 10$ drinks, and a combination of different slutty music in different sections of the place. I was amazed by the fact that all gogo boys were my height, this gave me hopes that one day I might have a chance to become one lol.
Wallah, once I passed the security check I went straight to the smoking patio to look for my friend. Once I was with him he introduced me to his “straight” friend. Indeed, th
is “Straight” friend of his was experimenting with guys for his first time. He tried multiple times with me but I was simply not interested in his machista attitude. He was very rude and demanded people to please him. A random guy showed up and pulled a joint. We smoked it and then security arrived 20 seconds before we ended it. High and a bit drunk we danced. Seeing all those bodies moving gave me a rush of excitement. I dance for a bit with the two Turks, however, my friend got jealous after his “straight” friend focused his attention on me. The air got a bit awkward and you could smell the jealousy that was coming from my supposedly Turkish friend.
The night ended with me going back to the motel. I refuse to continue calling that place a hotel by the way. I smoked a bowl and passed out.
to be continued…