Thursday, February 19, 2015
I miss Las Vegas
I moved to New Zealand in 2007. Before then I've spent nearly 2 decades in Las Vegas. I've left Vegas because I was tired of the rat race, which is unavoidable anywhere in US if you strive to be successful in any field and because I wanted someplace quiet and quaint.
I’ve been to New Zealand on many occasions prior to moving here, so the move was well thought-out and planned-certainly not an accident or spur of the moment thing.
7 years went by before I went back to Vegas for the first time-that was last year. I was closing a fairly large deal, so it was mildly stressful. But still I felt a twinge of nostalgia driving around familiar streets and neighborhoods, walking down The Strip, enjoying my favorite restaurants and stores.
This year I went back again: this time just to relax and to visit with my girlfriend. And it hit me: I really, REALLY miss Vegas.
I miss how inexpensive it is: housing and food and everything else, how comfortable and familiar I feel there, all the people I know, the climate…
New Zealand is absolutely gorgeous-there is no question about it. There is no country like it on Earth: green and luscious, quiet and quaint. As you drive around the country, the scene is green meadows with cows grazing and lambs frolicking, gorgeous lakes with mountains reflecting in them.
It’s far away (next stop is Antarctica) and does not present any major political or strategic advantage for anyone so there is slim to none chance of it ever being attacked.
But it is also mind-blowingly expensive, pretty small and that far away thing does not bode well for those of us who like to travel.
I pay $1500/month for a studio (NOT 1 bedroom) apartment in the city (which includes $160/month for an uncovered unsecured parking space, as there is no free parking available) while in Vegas I can have a 2-bedroom HOUSE (free-standing dwelling) with attached garage and plenty of free parking in front of it available any time for $900/month (and that’s in a good area-if I was willing to settle for a bit more questionable area, I could have one for about $700).
Food is notoriously cheap in Vegas as well. I LOVE salads and adore those “make your own” salad bar places. There are several to choose from in Vegas: some are located in grocery stores such as Whole Foods and Glaziers, others are all-you-can-eat salad bar restaurants. These places have huge selection of greens and toppings (about 2-3 dozen) and the price tag is under $10 (estimated by weight).
There are no such places in NZ and the places that do offer something similar-like Habitual Fix- make the salad for you, have very limited selection of toppings and charge $12-$13 for a portion that is decidedly smaller than that in US.
Then there is the weather: sunny most of the year in Vegas and predictable. If the weatherman on the radio or TV tells you that it will be 56 degrees and sunny tomorrow, it will be-all day. Same with rain and wind predictions: it happens just like the weather bureau says it will, during the hours it predicts. So you know how to dress and what to plan for the day.
Yes, Vegas is very hot in the summer months, but it is dry heat and for me personally it makes a huge difference-I really don’t like humidity.
New Zealand is an island, so predicting the weather is next to impossible and I feel bad for Met Service: they get a lot of abuse but it’s really not their fault. Often I look out of the window to see blue skies and sun only to be confronted with pouring rain and wind 20 min later. And then sun and blue skies again. And this can rotate 2-5 times during the day.
The sex industry is approached differently as well. Prostitution is still illegal in US *sigh*. So the game is played differently.
New Zealand is extremely progressive country where sex industry is concerned-other countries (definitely US) should take a leaf from its book. Decriminalization of Prostitution in 2003 was a game –changer (a great one).
However, now, 12 years later I feel some NZ punters take things for granted and don’t appreciate how good they have it.
I’ve put an ad in Backpage while I was in Vegas this year just to see how the industry has evolved in the 8 years that I was absent. While Internet changed some things: prices have gone down and there is a significant number of timewasters present (something that was pretty much non-existent before), the general way in which business is done remains the same.
Genuine punters quite literally take a punt: they book off very few, not nude (nudity is prohibited by BP) photos and just a few lines that do not tell much (as selling sex is illegal, girls don’t describe services offered at all. The ads are for money in exchange for “time and modeling services” which IS legal).
While there are review sites in US-the most popular being TER (theeroticreview.com), due to the huge population and size of the country many girls advertising on various sites do not have any reviews at all.
Client verification sites (like preferred411.com) have been targeted by Vice forever, so they no longer allow explicit wording or description of sex acts by providers.
Many girls would not discuss the services on the phone either or engage in any kind of explicit talk in fear of Vice cops. Shrewd girls would ask the client to put the “donation” in an envelope and place that envelope on the table upon entering the room and do not discuss it or refer to it.
I was told by clients have seen in Vegas this year that the ads are really a crap shot, as often times the photos are of entirely different person, or of the person, but 10 years old. Also a lot of men are posing as escorts (for whatever reason) apparently. Many ads are placed by agencies pretending to be independent escorts and there is significant amount of “upselling” going on.
So a guy really has no idea what he is getting for his money until it’s actually happening. Besides, Vice target clients as well (albeit not as often), so the whole thing is nerve-racking.
So when they receive a great service, clients are actually genuinely appreciative and tend to stick with the great provider they found. It doesn’t mean they only see that one girl exclusively (although many do), but they find 2-4 and see them often (at least twice a month) on a rotating basis.
So it’s very easy (based on the fact that WG provides consistently great service) to build a book of regular clients and create a steady, predictable, guaranteed stream of income, eventually without the need for advertising.
In New Zealand where clients are not faced with any such problems/restrictions, it appears they keep demanding more and more of the providers while wanting to pay less and they constantly roaming hundreds of ads online and in the papers in search for a new “gem”. Even if they truly liked a WG and thought the service was outstanding, they hardly ever start seeing her regularly (I define “regularly” as at least twice a month)-preferring instead to sample new delights.
I must add that some of this “sampling” ends up in them wasting their money due to bad service and outright rip-off, but this doesn’t seem to deter them.
So that’s that.
I was born and spent most of my life on different continents (vs. islands) and I am definitely a big city girl: through and through. While I enjoy New Zealand for shorter periods (2-3 months), anything longer than that causes a bit of an “island fever”. I like to know that I can hop in the car (or on the plane) and go somewhere fairly far away that is drastically different from where I am at the moment. For example, living in Las Vegas, I often went to California and Utah.
I also like to travel and explore different countries and some of them (European ones) are just too far away from NZ while it’s only a 12-hour non-stop flight to most of them from Vegas.
While I was in Vegas this trip, I’ve met up with several people whom I’ve had business dealings with in the past. I was offered a couple of business opportunities: it appears they have missed me J. Regrettably, these require my ongoing physical presence in Vegas, so I couldn’t accept them at this time.
I was told the offers stand, though, and I have been seriously thinking about those. I never do anything “half-assed” (for a lack of better word) and am self-motivated, self-driven and result oriented. I give 100% to every project and don’t try to scam or scheme. I am very pleased that this attitude is clearly appreciated and my business associates of the past hold me in high regard. It’s nice to know there are various business opportunities available to you.
I am glad that I’ve moved to NZ 8 years ago. I had the opportunity to get to know this amazing country, its culture and people. I’ve formed great friendships and have learned so much.
But I think my New Zealand adventure has just about ran its course. It doesn’t mean I am packing my bags just yet, but I will start slowly winding down my NZ affairs in the next year or so with the plan to move back to Vegas in 2 years.
I thank New Zealand for its hospitality and will definitely come back to visit once I leave.