AIMLESSLY AIMING - Or, how I became a gambler.

in The Ink Welllast year (edited)

When I first came to Las Vegas, I was overcome by what is called culture shock.

First trip to the US, but not the last. It's the year 1994 - See me in the middle of my friends.

Back then, in our mid-twenties, we young women were in the US for a three-week holiday. I only knew Vegas from TV series, but I hadn't given it much thought, even though we all knew that a big show awaited us there. The many hotels and casinos, the artificial buildings, fountains and monuments all seemed exaggerated and grotesque to me, and the obvious replicas of other earthly places and sights seemed ridiculously attention-seeking.

Entering town by car.

The screaming colours, the never-ending jingling one-armed bandits in the lobbies, the constant grinning of the artists, divas, transvestites and the ever-flowing tourists, the luxury, the fun, it was all too much for me after just one day. I longed to get away from this place.

We stayed for three days and watched some of the evening shows, went around the famous hotels, tried to find our way around where we could eat and eventually collapsed exhausted in our hotel room, in Caesar's Palace.

It wasn't until years later, when I had become accustomed to the idea and what Vegas had come to represent to me,

that visits to the sinful city had turned into a place for gambling, a distraction from the ordinary, a deliberately artificial world full of showiness, waste and cheap knock-offs that can nevertheless be highly expensive.

Gigantic metallic Lion in front of, what I think, is the MGM Grand Hotel

Feeling like God in France for once as an ordinary person began to amuse me. Precisely because I didn't have endlessly stuffed trouser pockets in which the banknotes flowed all too abundantly, the excitement of walking around with more money than had gone in was particularly appealing. Winning is just great! So is losing. Only there's less whooping.

On our way to Las Vegas through the desert. Lookin' forward! It's the year 2003

I began to find Vegas quite to my liking,

to accept that the few days I would be there would be entirely and solely for the overload of the senses.

There aren't many places that I would say you either love or hate, but the city in the desert is one of them for me. Although hate and love have very fluid boundaries anyway, and one can certainly make a psychological profile of why the hate was so strong on my first visit. HaHa!
The Puritan in me probably resisted these all too obviously acted out sins and would have preferred it to be a little more covert and less showy. The elegant woman also doesn't like it very much when the shrillness comes shamelessly at her and turns her snobbishly raised nose away.

In any case, all of us women got an idea of how it can be when you have problems with being able to fully engage in such experiences. The overly sin-laden will then want to leave the city in a roundabout way, without being seen coming out of its direction.

But what an extraordinary time I had, when I let go of shyness and shame,

when I let myself fall into the arms of the city without reservation. With two good friends, my lover and a very good friend whom I had known for some years, we made our way through the night. We lost the rest of the party-crowd somewhere. Fittingly to break up the psychological and physical armour that all civilians build up over the years, that is; all humans hold certain reins of self-control, I first had to get rid of those pesky chaperones inside me. In doing so, consciousness exhilarating substances hold in very nice measure.

We drifted through the streets and ended up in a strangely empty huge hotel lobby, an enormous domed roof spanning our heads, at our feet a beautiful decadent marble floor on whose bare surface we began to tap-dance as we thought we heard echoes returning our joyful steps and shouts.

I felt like the Queen of Sheba, young, beautiful and with the two nicest men in company I could have imagined at the time. I felt my youth with every laugh, with every movement of my hips, I felt it in the looks of the men, the women, and everyone I met that night. Since I too found all creatures deeply beautiful, and had I been able, I would have loved them all.

Back in one of the casinos,

we took a seat at one of the many bars and ordered drinks. A dark eyed woman approached us and I, who must have seemed very welcoming to everyone, smiled at her. But my friend said, "No, she's not for us. She's a prostitute." And I said, "So what? Why not have a little chat?" But J. and C. were unanimous in preferring to shield me from her, although she said "if the girl is in, I'll make an extra price." I laughed and was indeed flattered, though it was only the thought of such a nefariousness. I was far too funny for that.

So I then made the bartender an offer by making a bet with my friends beforehand whether he would let me put lipstick on his lips and they shouted "No, not a chance. He won't do it!"

But he does, of course, because I had decided that no one could resist my charm, simply because I wouldn't have wanted to, not by any means, but loosely from the hip.

We took the tram that shuttled between hotels, jumped out at random places. We rode up and down the mirrored lifts, always meeting new passengers whom we infected with an easy mood.

Sorry, no footage from the fun times. We were too busy having them instead of taking photos. What you see here is a shot from less shown sides of Las Vegas.

We fed the slot machines with wafers and the bells rang out our winnings. I won more than I lost that night and filled the jingling coins, which streamed through the slots "ding, ding, ding", into large plastic cups, which I then exchanged for crackling dollar notes.

So we roared through the clubs, making random acquaintances of a deliciously superficial nature, knowing we would have the most terrible hangover the next day, tired to the bone, making our way home, over the freeway, through the mountains towards Anza and then back to the valley of Palm Desert.

After Vegas, I welcomed such trips to casinos,

as they were an exception to everyday life and it is the rare occasion that makes an experience outstanding.

At the invitation of our parent agency, then Scholz & Friends, with whom the agency I worked for was under contract, there was a big hello at the German Travemünde casino. Where, after a feudal meal, we were each handed a fifty-euro bill and used it to have fun at the roulette table. My colleague at work and I had a little fling with each other and decided to enjoy the evening as Mister and Mrs., in agreement without speaking it out loud, that it would be those few hours, no more.

We split the minds of our colleagues into those who smilingly indulged us in our fun and those who considered us immoral, since we both had steady partners at the time. The next day in the office I told spontaneously what "we had done yesterday" and thus took most of the wind out of the sails of the conversations going on behind closed doors. If you're going to be the subject of gossip, at least tell the story yourself unashamed.

Was it a bluff or not?

It's all part of me, gambling. You can see my love for card games in particular here in this post of mine. Black Jack, Durak, Mau-Mau are games I play with devotion and great fun.


Self illustrated set of cards. Here: Kings & Queens

You have a reality bite to tell? Got to The Ink Well and check out how to participate and what is this weeks prompt.

All pictures are mine.


Loved this tale of being sucked into the whirlpools and eddies of Las Vegas, and letting go your puritanical chaperones. You write so well of this time, so affectionately, and bring some of the energy of that landscape into startling colour. Great piece and enviable writing skills.

One for @misslasvegas to enjoy at leisure.

Thank you very much, I gladly take your compliments. Every writer perceives great satisfaction if what one wants to bring to life is being seen as lively on the readers side. The advantage of nonfiction is that if people write from memory that what happened was for real. One "only" has to be able to transfer it into written language. When the "river flows" (haha:D) it becomes a coherent stream.

Cool, I would like misslasvegas to come here.

Hey @erh.germany,

I enjoyed reading about your trip to the immoral land of Las Vegas lol.
The photos were really cool and I could feel the nostalgia in them as I followed along.

It's nice that you let go of your shyness and indulged in having a good time. Las Vegas is one of those places that if you find yourself there you might as well enjoy yourself because you never know if you're going to find yourself there ever again.

I too found myself in Las Vegas when I was a young man of nineteen years, and it was a lot of fun for me, so much fun I don't even remember half of it :D

I believe we've talked about the prude nature of societies before, so the fact that you embraced your good time by confronting the gossipers bluntly is great, and speaks volumes for the good character traits you possess. Albeit an embarrassed/confronted gossiper might disagree ;D

Thanks for sharing with us my friend, awesome post! 🤗

Thank you, dear @futuremind.

you never know if you're going to find yourself there ever again.

Oh, that is something! I know this feeling from other places I have been, where I had this very thought "not to know if I will ever find me there again" but right in that very moment.

Then it gains something all too conscious at the moment it happens. In a way, it robs spontaneity. Sometimes I lose this ability to be unthinkingly joyful when I take photos, for example. ... Which is fine, of course, because you approach a thing or an experience differently. More with the eye of a silent observer. Until you throw yourself back into life.

I don't even remember half of it :D

LOL. Yeah, I know that feeling, too. :)

I believe we've talked about the prude nature of societies before, so the fact that you embraced your good time by confronting the gossipers bluntly is great, and speaks volumes for the good character traits you possess. Albeit an embarrassed/confronted gossiper might disagree ;D

We did. In a way, we are all sinners and I know of no one who wasn't or isn't. I have a favorite quote about sins:

In the history of Christianity, around 400 AD, there was a big argument between Augustine and a Celt called Pelagius. Pelagius was a British optimist who believed in muddling through, pitching in and pulling one's weight. He held that one could fulfil God's commandments through one's own will and effort and argued that God would not have given us commandments if we could not obey them.

Augustine, however, was of the opinion that Pelagius had thoroughly misunderstood this. If he had read Paul correctly, especially his letter to the Romans, he would have been able to conclude that God did not give us the commandments so that we might obey them, but rather to show us that we cannot. To paraphrase Paul: God gave us commandments that we cannot keep in order to lay sin upon us. In other words, the commandments were a move, an upaya. It was not really expected that a person could keep a commandment like the one in the Ten Commandments: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind." No one can do that.

Source - translated into English from German.

I found this very very revealing.


I absolutely adore this article, @erh.germany. Great travel stories always inspire me. I think travel to distinctive places broadens our horizons, and makes us reflect on who we are at our core. "Does this place speak to me? Can I find any part of myself here in this culture?"

When traveling to Las Vegas, I have found myself google-eyed and mesmerized. You captured that so beautifully. The glitz, the harsh glamor, the one-armed bandits. Isn't it funny how it repulses one at first, and then you somehow come to appreciate it, in all its showy outlandishness? It's like that odd friend who gets piercings and tattoos everywhere, and you're drawn to it by the sheer audacity of it all. Maybe not the best analogy.

At any rate, this spoke to me. I loved the wild romp. And the mischievous caper at the end. You were young and wild and crazy!

Thank you for this great compliment.

one is drawn to it by the sheer audacity of it all.

Yes, yes, it's a very excellent analogy. I have a friend who is a photographer. She was always a bit different and special too, which wouldn't have made her an overall outstandingly awesome person per se. But she has a refreshing directness that other people sometimes find odd or even too direct. I've always found that very funny and her unusualness is reflected in everything: her decor in her home, the art she makes and surrounds herself with, she's eccentric in a way. I could never live with her. LOL. I called her "my weird friend" to my other friends and told her so. She took it as a compliment, but said a friend told her she would have taken that as an insult. I like the exaggerated when it comes with such obviousness and makes no secret of itself, is not bashful. But I had to get a little older for that. The younger years were for trying things out and making mistakes. Not that I don't make mistakes now! HaHa!

I'm delighted. Your eye has read to the end and seen to the mischief.

What a great walk down memory lane, @erh.germany. It's really kind of amazing that a place as glitzy and showy as Las Vegas looms out of the dry desert. Thanks for sharing your creative nonfiction story in The Ink Well, and for reading and commenting on the work of other community members!

A lot of energy has gone into making Las Vegas, a city like no other. I am delighted that my story has been read and commented on, and I am especially pleased to have been nominated this week. Thank you for that :)

What a great story! I haven't been but would like to one day.

Thank you, I am happy to have entertained you.
Yes, go there, it's quite worth the time, once you decide to embrace the experience :)

good ol' shyness and shame :) ..

yeah, they are our companions until one exchanges them for permissiveness and frankness, as a contrast.

gambling have destroyed many lives, like other addictions it is very easy to get into and so hard to get out

True. Staying un-hooked is the art. Finishing when you have a high time, because it ain't get any higher :)

Seems you had lots of fun. Nice to know you still remember them decades ago. Don't know much about card games and casinos but gamble a bit. Nice post.

Thanks :) What is your preferred object of gambling?

Online sports betting. All forms of sports, virtual and real

Congratulations @erh.germany! Your post has been a top performer on the Hive blockchain And you have been rewarded with the following badge

Post with the most upvotes of the day.

You can view your badges on your board and compare yourself to others in the Ranking
If you no longer want to receive notifications, reply to this comment with the word STOP

Check out the last post from @hivebuzz:

HiveBuzz World Cup Contest - Round of 16 - Recap of Day 4
The Hive Gamification Proposal Renewal
Our Hive Power Delegations to the November PUM Winners
Support the HiveBuzz project. Vote for our proposal!

Nice I myself would like to check out Vegas and many other places around here

Go ahead.

Your story looked like the first 10-20 min of a hollywood movie. There's a very little chance I'll be in Vegas, so thank you for giving me a vivid description of the place, the atmosphere, and the experience.

Interesting, thank you. I am glad to have done these Vegas trips as I think the city is unique in the whole world. It is the embodiment of exaggeration and contrast like no other. No wonder it made me sick the first time. LOL
However, should you travel there one day, you now know what to expect :) ... But maybe it's a pity, because I might have disenchanted a few things... However, the offer is so varied that you can certainly expect surprises.

My word!
You had a fun time!
What other way to enjoy your youth than in the sin-city.

HaHa! :D
In the end, I think, the biggest fun streams from the self, no matter where ;) But Vegas for sure helps out.

What a wonderful story. I wish that I can visit that place too someday. In God's time and will.

Thank you :)
Earth is full of exciting and strange places. Whatever it will be, I wish you'll experience some moments of wonder.

One trip to Vegas was enough for me. I can not bear the materialistic excess, such as the erupting volcano in the center of town, or the canal winding through a hotel lobby. REally, too much for me! Although I did love that there were so many great restaurant satellites. But gambling has never hooked me.

You were/are a being who lives life full throttle. I am happy to know you found so much joy in Vegas.

This was a truly wonderful read. You have such an incredible way with words. You are a born storyteller weaving your magic through prose to the delight of your readers' senses. The decadence of a city that never sleeps; that draws and attracts, stirs things inside that some would prefer to suppress. You allowed yourself to feel and experience and express things inside that world that on the one hand excites and on the other repulses your imaginings. I truly believe that experiences like this allow us to appreciate and understand people and this life a lot better. I don't need to have them all myself and personally I am not much of a city girl. I enjoy short visits to cities for a taste of the cosmopolitan life, the architecture etc but mostly I stay away from the Big Smoke hehe ... preferring to spend my time in the retreat of the countryside, the mountains, the lakes. I shall try to catch your future posts within their voting period! !LUV !ALIVE !PIMP

Well shit @samsmith1971, this post is older than 7 Days days.
Please try PIMPin' a different post.
(We will not send this error message for 24 hours).


Read about some PIMP Shit or Look for the PIMP District

@erh.germany! You Are Alive so I just staked 0.1 $ALIVE to your account on behalf of @samsmith1971. (6/10)

The tip has been paid for by the We Are Alive Tribe through the earnings on, feel free to swing by our daily chat any time you want.

 last year  Reveal Comment

I just found Hunter S. Thomson in the search engine and read a little about him.

Indeed, I can understand the fear and loathing and Las Vegas is predestined for this form of polar sensations. So then, if one can engage with the grotesque display of human voluptuousness, it is a trip within a trip. You can embrace it while it lasts.

I know from my days of techno and goa parties that people sought to increase their high, which unfortunately resulted in their facial muscles stiffening into grimaces as the teeth in their mouths began to grind incessantly and the fun turned into effort. You could tell from their unsteady looks that they had just arrested themselves and the famous spontaneous flow eluded them. Tripping is a tightrope walk. The gaming table as a material accelerator of the high feelings is a fitting encore, both cause mental flights of fancy, but one should jump off when it is most beautiful. The contrast to the high is the low, as always. To endure the low without remorse, shame and guilt, a way of life. A trip makes no sense if you demonise it afterwards.

I once had a frightening experience from an overdose of quite pure liquid ecstacy. The distortion of reality began with a very intense sensation of the dance crowd surrounding me, the bare sweat-covered upper arms aroused my disgust when I came into contact with them and the bar, which was about three metres under normal vision, suddenly stretched infinitely before my eyes. I decided to leave the overwhelming impressions and took a taxi back to the hotel. But each encounter held its own grotesque scenery. The taxi driver, for example, had his eyes bulging out of his sockets, and the hotel and the corridor again proved to be an infinitely long ribbon, with the same doors everywhere, the carpet made me feel as if it wanted to swallow me up. Nevertheless, I found the right room and went to bed. There it was to go on really great, I had visions of galactic events in space, saw spaceships and lights and all that. I really wished it would stop soon. Which I knew it would. Part of me always stayed sober, so my fear was contained.

I don't regret the experience in any way, I respect it as a unique experience of a special intensity. I neither ascribe to it an exaggerated mysticism nor do I trivialise it.

How about you? Similar experiences?

 last year  Reveal Comment

That's right, that's how I had experienced it before, as extremely stimulating and making me awake. I didn't take a pill at the time, but it was in liquid form, I was told it was "pure MDMA liquid ecstasy". So I was surprised myself that it gave me a trip. Who knows what was in it.

I can confirm the overwhelming effect you describe and had actually only experienced it with shrooms. At the same time, I always had an irrepressible need to laugh at the beginning and only once did I cry for about two whole hours and retreat to a dark room where the party people visited me from time to time to check on me. I said everything that night that I would never say otherwise, for example because my girlfriend only said stupid things. LOL. Truth serum, but not of the evil kind, rather an inability to lie, but without spitefulness. Yes, the sense of time goes down the drain, eternity is not one :)

For a while I had considered taking part in an ayahuasca ceremony, but there was no real reason to do so, other than curiosity. Which I feel is insufficient, because it seems like it's a very earnest thing to do.

Those times are long over and today I have much more respect as my body wouldn't cope so well any more. Or so I guess. (Same with alcohol, drinking is not so much fun as it was).