June 18, 2009

Living in the Desert Paradise, Part 1

Sometimes I'll be driving along thinking, "How the hell did I end up in Las Vegas?" It's not terrible, but it's weird and harsh sometimes. The things I've noticed have to do with weather. This is what we're down to this summer. Weather posts...

Here are some observations and tips about life in Las Vegas:
  • Ladies, take a jacket or a sweater when you go out. I carry one in my car. I know it seems weird, but there are a lot of places, like restaurants and movie theaters, that are over-chilled. Sure, it does feel good for the first 5-10 minutes, but then you'll wish you'd worn a sweatshirt instead of a tank top when you're shivering and asking for hot tea instead of iced tea. People may look at your strangely because you're carrying a sweater, but at times like these think comfort over fashion.
  • Hispanic moms use umbrellas when out in the sun. I think this is brilliant, but I never see any other people carrying around umbrellas. I can't think of the last time I owned an umbrella, but I'm thinking it was 1990 when I lived in northern Idaho. Maybe it was my roommate's, though. She would always leave hers open in so it would dry out. It was a strange sight that still sticks with me, as it would pretty much fill the floor space of our small dorm room. She was Japanese and didn't understand our taboo. She had a good point: how will it dry out? Anyway, I'd never seen people use an umbrella to use against the sun unless they were on a patio or on a beach before I moved here. If this is such a brilliant idea, and I think it is, why doesn't everyone do it?
  • One might forget how to use her windshield wipers. I was driving home from Henderson (suburb of Las Vegas) last night and I noticed the sky was spitting on my windshield. Suddenly I thought, "Where are the windshield wipers in this car?" I could see where this would be a valid question if I were driving a new car, or if I were driving my husband's car, but I was driving my own car, a car I have been driving for 3 years! I freaked out a little because I was in an area I don't travel a lot, getting ready to exit onto the freeway, and I didn't want to be fumbling with the windshield wipers if a downpour started. Remember? When it rains, it's a crisis.
It didn't start raining. It was just cloud spit. Instead, I was trapped in freeway construction...
  • Road construction is constant, and it happens at night. I have fallen for this trap so many times! Sure, there are cones everywhere, but not a lot of--if any--workers. But then comes the night and they are everywhere. So many nights I have a hard time getting home! One night last month while school was in session, the surface street route I take home was all coned and clogged up with workers, and the freeway on-ramp was closed. A lot of nights, I crave a teleportation device, but that night I was crying for it! There are worse things than weaving one's way through the 'hood at night, though. My husband was none too pleased the night road workers were working near our house.
So, here are some things I've noticed lately. I called this Part 1 because there's much more. When you live in a place long enough, weird things become normal. I've lived here long enough...but sometimes I get to thinking, so I'm sure there are more things from the odd-to-me files.

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