Why, yes, yes it could, but by now, I was beyond mad, I had abandoned all hope of anything going right and when you abandon hope, there is very little to get stressed about.
Sure enough, the luggage area was empty, the round-and-round thingee shut down.
My luggage was nowhere to be seen.
I looked for an airport employee and found one lurking behind a pillar. I asked her if she knew what happened to the luggage from the Philippine flight 106. She had no idea but immediately and very kindly went in search of someone who might.
She did find someone but they too had no idea but went in search of someone who might.
Probably unsurprisingly, the 3rd person had no idea either.
So there we were, the four of us, 3 nice employees of the Las Vegas Airport and me, all of us looking for a 4th person who would have no idea what had happened either.
Then I saw the black girl who had stood in front of me in line and she was over at, quite naturally, the British Airways carrousel. As she passed, I asked if that was where she had found our bags and lo and behold the answer was yes.
The first employee looked at the second who looked at the third who was still looking for that forth person while I marched over to the BA carrousel and found my bag. It was intact as far as I can tell.
By then most of the rest of the customs people had left and so I was waved through the last bag check and marched out into the HOT night.
Now, in a perfect world, a world that tried to redress all the silliness in the airport, that world would have had taxis waiting for me.
Instead, well, there was another line.
A long, sweaty one.
I almost laughed out loud as I got into the line. I thought of what they would write on my tombstone. He never even got out of the airport but died of a combination of heat exhaustion, frustration and old age while waiting in a line up.
However, I ended up talking to a nice guy from Nova Scotia. Noooooova Scoooootia. Loved his accent. We did what all people do while standing in yet another line, we bitched aboot everything. He was here for golfing, gambling and a few shows. When I told him I was going into the desert, he looked at me like only an east coaster could and said, “Let me get this straight. You’re going to a desert in the middle of summer.”
“Las Vegas isn’t hot enough for you, then?”
“Not for me,” I said. “And not dusty enough.”
About 30 hours later, our cabs arrived and we wished each other a great vacation. I have to say, them Easterners are freaking hilarious. I wish I could recall all of his funny observations about the line-ups, the customs people and a particularly HUGE lady squeezing into a small cab but it’s 11:00pm that I’m writing this and not a little drunk.
And for good reason.
The day was not yet over.
When Is a Deal Not a Deal?
Now being amazingly clever and yet unendingly clueless, I found a Vegas hotel for one night, on the strip, for $30.
Oh, how clever, right?
But if that deal is in a hotel under renovation, is it really a deal?
Well, the taxi driver certainly had an opinion. He thought I was nuts. I pointed out that the rooms were supposed to be fine, (having, of course, not actually seen the rooms,) and he went on a tear about how the Imperial Palace had fucked up traffic for blocks and that the only way in was a seedy back entrance beside where they kept the garbage.
Honestly, at first, I thought he was joking but sure enough, they had ripped up entire streets and one of them was the main street leading to the main entrance. So, around the back we went, and through the back door I marched.
And got lost.
Oh there were signs to the desk but the first one I followed led me to a desk that said, this desk is no longer in operation, please go to the front desk, a perfectly reasonable request if I could actually find the front.
I went up escalators, down steps, past bars and closed shops and tons of sweaty gamblers, half of whom were smoking.
Ah yes, I forgot.
Smoking is still ok in the casinos.
With a fake Michael Jackson singing in the casino and hordes of people holding drinks and stumbling around or sitting on chairs gleefully playing one armed bandits while rings of smoke swirled above their heads, I followed signs until I found the check-in desk, and… wait for it….
There was a line.
And if there was AC working, it wasn’t working here.
But I was near my goal. An A/C room. And food.
I got both relatively quickly, settling on a place called the Hash House, somewhere in the casino (though, even as I’m writing this, I’m not quite sure where.)
I order a 24 ox Heinekin and drank most of it before ordering their speciality, a stuff meatloaf.
Now, by the time the food arrived, I was hungry, and a little drunk. But OMFG the plate was HUGE. I mean HUUUUUGE!!! I could not eat it all. I could only eat about half.
It was so good but jeebuz, in Vegas, when they tell you it’s a big plate of food, they are not fucking kidding.
I’m not even sure if 2 people could have eaten that.
But food and beer made me happy. I drank and ate and wrote and then planned out tomorrow.
Only one rule.
Tomorrow has to be better.
Sure I survived, it all worked out in the end but man, today was exhausting.