Andy Watters' postcard from Las Vegas
THE connecting flight from Washington to Las Vegas went smooth as you like.
Straight on and a nice window seat around the middle of the United Airlines plane. An hour into the five-hour flight I heard a voice beside me in the pitch darkness – something about a dog. I took my earphones out and turned to see the oriental lady two seats over holding out her phone.
“Do you like my dog?” she repeated.
I took the phone off her to have a look at the picture and, my God, you couldn’t have made it up. The dog (name Teddy Bear) was a little white terrier and on it was a massive ‘Vote Trump’ sticker. The lady was holding it wearing a Trump hat, Trump scarf and a ‘Vote Trump’ t-shirt.
“Lovely dog,” I said.
“Thank you,” she replied.
“You’re a Donald Trump supporter,” I added using my amazing powers of perception.
“Oh yes,” replied the lady, who later told me she was originally from Thailand, had been living in Las Vegas for 40 years and was married to an Irishman from Kerry.
“He loves everything green,” she said.
Like his wife, he’s a Trump fanatic and had taken the picture of Teddy Bear and his missus at last week’s presidential inauguration in Washington. They’re backing Trump to ‘Drain the swamp’ and rid the US of corruption.
“You’re not worried that he’ll start a war?” I asked her.
“Nooooooo. He’s a great man,” she replied.
“The media lie,” she added and went on to show me pictures of Trump’s car at the inauguration parade and in the ballroom where he later held his reception.
I wasn’t in the mood for an argument and anyway meeting a real life Trump fan ticked a box for me and the conversation killed half-an-hour of the flight, which was a bonus.
A few hours later the air hostess announced that we were beginning our descent into ‘Viva Las Vegas’ but there was nothing to see out the window.
And then, there is was, in the middle of an ocean of darkness an enormous island of lights as far as you could see from one side of the plane to the other.
It turns out McCarron Airport is massive too and after negotiating my way through rows f slot machines, I found my way out, jumped into the nearest taxi and headed off to the Luxor.
It was late at night and you might have been thinking: ‘I’ll have a job getting something to eat at this time of night’ or ‘I’ll have to knock somebody up to get in here’. But it might as well have been 5pm on a Friday afternoon because the Luxor was jumping.
The place is a hollow pyramid and, my room is on the 20th floor of the East Tower. The casinos and bars were doing a good trade and they were still going strong as I headed out for a jet-lag induced walk down the Strip.
I met a posse of Frampton fans from Bangor returning from a night on the tiles.
“Any chance of a late one?” asked one of the lads.
There’s no such thing as late one in this town.