A personal memoir by Aziza
Skyscrapers towered above us, poking into the sunny, blue sky, the streets were littered with
people, and realistic replicas of historical monuments (the Eiffel Tower, Lady Liberty, etc.) stood
before us as restaurants or casinos mixed in with shopping malls. As soon as we parked our
bright red rental car at our hotel’s parking lot, we immediately set off to explore. That’s when
then trouble started.
tomorrow wasn’t going to be so crowded and that it being December 31 (New Year) had
brought people here to celebrate or party.
Coca-Cola winter posters with polar-bears drinking Coca-Cola were plastered onto the red and white walls.
One thing that Las-Vegas is sort of famous for is Elvis Presley. That might be why dozens
of men were standing at the side of the sidewalk wearing cheap-o, sparkly, white body suits
and wearing super-man style wigs, strumming guitars or clutching microphones, while boom-
boxes played Presley’s original songs, that they were lip-singing to. They looked pretty silly but
people actually gave them some cash.
One thing that I think stood out most about Las Vegas was that basically every single
building you walked into had: a hotel, a gigantic casino full of noises from the gambling
machines, a stage or theatre for a show that the hotel had (Magic Acts, Cirque du Soleil, etc.)
and, of course, an all you can eat buffet with fancy people who made reservations and just walk
in while the normal people have to wait in mile-long lines. I wanted to go back to normal,
simple Sarajevo, big time. I clutched my Moms hand as we walked out of a great, big, whopping
building called The Mirage. I gazed up at the sky which had turned a light shade of indigo as the
My parents had also noticed that it was getting late so we walked, feet already aching,
to our shabby hotel. Apparently, my brother and I had to take a nap, darn, because we had to
wake up to see New Year fireworks. Double darn. I was too grumpy to argue so I just plopped
down on my lumpy bed and fell asleep. After a dream-less, un-eventful slumber I was woken up
and told to put my sneakers on by my parents. I grumbled sleepily as I popped on my shoes.
Conveniently, the fireworks were near our hotel so we didn’t have to use our feet as
transportation that much. People were crowded around wearing cardboard “Happy New
Years!” crowns and spectacles. A group of young adults, obviously jokers, taped a paper with
“Free Hugs!” onto their black T-shirts and were parading around advertising free hugs.
I eyed people who had bottles of alcoholic drinks suspiciously, trying to decide if they’d
had a little too much to drink and if I should avoid them. I decided they weren’t dangerous but I
kept my distance, cautiously. A huge mega-screen had a New Year’s countdown with the time
in bold, shiny fonts. Cops stood around scanning for disorderly behavior. Minutes had gone by
and finally it was a brand new year. 2013. BOOM! The first firework had exploded.
Enthusiastically, folks cheered. One man, who wasn’t impressed with the normality of a simple
cheer, yelled, “There could’ve been a riot!” The firework show still continued, sparks of color
filled the murky skies.
It was an odd day, a mix of excitement and worry. The worrying part about the day had
made me vow that never again shall I come to Vegas, ever. Too much glamour. I wasn’t much of
a “WOO, HOO! PARTY!” person, I might have even been a party pooper, but this just wasn’t the
place for me.