Discuss culture, living, traveling, relocating, dating or anything related to North America. For those looking to relocate within the US or Canada, discuss your experiences and pros/cons of each domestic region.
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I figured I would contribute to the discussion by relating what I know best, where I live: Las Vegas.
I've lived here for six years working as a poker dealer in various casinos. I hate the place, but the work has been good.
* A part-time (or 32 hours a week is considered 'full time') job as a poker dealer, bartender, waitress/waiter, or casino dealer will afford you often a lifestyle of plenty of time off and plenty of opportunity for vacation, and a great income with probably the lowest taxes in the country, based on the trades described (any tip-based position). This is why I'm here.
* Generally, a VERY POLITE population, but not particularly friendly. VERY tolerant of all races/backgrounds. I would actually describe it as "humble". Why? A lot of people here have addictions, or moved here on a whim and a prayer, or COULDN'T make it elsewhere. That's my view. So they're not nearly as high on themselves as you might find in D.C. or L.A., surprisingly enough. Even the casino bosses have struck me as being half-way decent.
* Some places I've been I've noticed that the "locals" (different places I've travelled) notice you, or you stand out, or you're judged for something, or they'll look at you funny if you're not what they expect. NOT HERE.
* Non-aggressive drivers, strangely enough. Non-confrontational attitude across the board.
* Very good weather. Almost non-existent weather. Summers are hot, but not intolerable.
* Everything is NEW. EVERYTHING (not sure if this is good or bad).
* All of the cars are NEW. Everyone drives a new car. VERY few clunkers, VERY few classics on the streets (which I don't like). Good air quality. Some cities you'll see 70s Datsuns loaded with hippie stickers all over them, or more variety. Not here. (Not sure if this is a pro or not).
* Services are available 24/7. Probably more open here late and available than anywhere else.
* I've always thought everything here was CHEAP/low priced. My total bills per month to survive less food/water -- everything, yes, everything, including phone -- is $370.
* The TRAFFIC is not bad (though I don't drive during peak times anymore, thank god).
* People consider "ten miles" to be "far" here. While those in the Inland Empire would consider "100 miles" to be "far".
* There are spectacular 11,000 foot mountains 25 miles from the city, green pine forests and a ski resort and lodge less than an hour's drive.
* Two excellent weekly free local news-zines that offer solid content in what is otherwise a cultural wasteland.
* Women/dating scene has an awful reputation. I've had little luck on dating sites like OkCupid. I'm decent looking. Biggest issue? They don't talk, don't communicate, have nothing to say. There's no interest, or it's not serious. My impression is they're on there, mostly flauting themselves with tasteless pictures in short skirts taken in clubs (SO many girls just showing off titties), looking for attention. They receive TONS of messages from TONS of mouthbreathers. On my time there I've met ONE decent girl -- someone I would consider a good and intelligent person. The rest have bubble-gum for brains, or they're aloof.
It's a country-wide cultural psychocircus fuckstorm, but here I would say the girls almost entirely LACK a sweet/kind/friendly disposition, and posit themselves with more a "yo I just wanna have fun" attitude or "I'm too awesome for you" attitude.
* The stereotypical gold-digging female looking for the next big thing is alive and well. So many of the good-looking females are involved in tatoo art/clubbing/waitressing/bartending. The party lifestyle. UFC. Casino events/marketing. It's a lifestyle that draws in the flakes/superficial idiots.
* One of the worst education systems in the country, only getting worse as the university is being severely de-funded.
* City-wide literacy problems. If you mispell something you're unlikely to be made fun of, as the person reading the mispelling probably doesn't realize it.
* A reputation for unbelievable FLAKINESS in renters/roommates/colleagues/"friends". NO social conduct or honor system in place. You're on your own. Do as you please.
* Many neighborhoods seem VACANT (they are, in part, due to foreclosures). People don't go outside on weekends, play music or socialize. In the little gated community I'm in, I don't know my neighbors, and I can tell they sure as hell don't care about me (needed a jump start on my car, no one would help). In all my years, I've never known my neighbors, and almost no one has been friendly. Like I said, polite, not friendly.
* This may be my own projection, but people here seem depressed, or at least NOT vibrant, not talkative.
* Seems to be a LACK of cultural variation (not race, but culture). Meaning, everyone seems to drive a Scion, eat Sushi, have an iPhone, fit into a middle-class yuppie lifestyle.
* Goes without saying, but mom n' pop stores and established hometown restaurants are far and few between. Phoenix, Arizona is LOADED with great food compared to here.
All in all, I wouldn't recommend it at all, based solely on the lack of cultural and community underpinnings and a poor education framework. It produces and invites MORONS and the intellectually uncurious. I've actually suffered serious medically significant depression living here, being exposed to this garbage, having SO much trouble making decent friends. Gets to me.
But... my job is better than 99% out there, though it's not exactly creatively inspiring by any means. There aren't many jobs, though, where, if you feel like it, you can literally raise your hand and ask to go home within two-three hours into your eight hour shift, virtually any day you work. It's a Faustian bargain, for me, staying here and living.
Interesting assessment. The negatives describe virtually every place in the U.S. now, the positives are far less common. The post actually made me view Vegas much more favorably than I had in the past. Afraid I'd have lung cancer within a few months, though, if I worked eight-hour shifts in a casino. And I suspect you have a high tolerance for heat if you think Vegas summers are tolerable.
Sorta agree with GSJ, Vegas actually sounds like good living.
One thing about being a dealer though, it's a job that requires you to be fairly alert. They don't tolerate many mistakes on the the job. And i suppose you must be able to add and subtract I see lots of Americans have problems with that.
Well, all Vegas poker rooms except for one are non-smoking. I wouldn't do this if there was smoking involved. If anyone so much as lights a cig in the poker room the management -- all of us -- will freak out and tell them to get out. I almost never smell smoke. So it isn't that bad. Not even that many smoke outside of the poker room.
As much as I complain about this place, every time I look at a new place to live, I see all the NEGATIVES in that place, too, but one thing I do miss are trees/grass/wildlife.
I was in Las Vegas a few years ago in the month of October and the weather then was great. However, I know that in the summer time the average high temperature I believe is 106 degrees!
I went to a trade show and then checked out a lot of the casinos. It did seem to have a nice vib at least that's what I gathered from walking around and checking things out. I was only there for a few days but saw a lot the sights in Las Vegas.
The women did not seem friendly (no surprise there) but the cocktail waitresses were nice (but they have to be, it's there job). I read that in Las Vegas between the ages of 18 to 50, 57% of the single people are men and only 43% are women. In other words, there are a lot more single men than single women. Good luck meeting women when the odds are stacked against you!
"When I think about the idea of getting involved with an American woman, I don't know if I should laugh .............. or vomit!"
"Trying to meet women in America is like trying to decipher Egyptian hieroglyphics."
That's a great overview of Las Vegas. Very balanced as well. I've been there many times and it's one of the few places in America that is fun to go to. Lots of activity going on, even though it's all commercial.
Still, as we know, visiting a place and living there are different matters. I don't know if I'd enjoy living there. What is it like to live there as opposed to visiting there?
I did live in Virginia City, NV, which is near Reno, for a year, and I liked it there. So that's a good sign I guess.
Btw I'm coming to Las Vegas soon. My parents just bought a home there. Are you still there? Maybe we could meet up.
Question: Is there any way to get P4P there without paying an outrageous price?
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"It takes far less effort to find and move to the society that has what you want than it does to try to reconstruct an existing society to match your standards." - Harry Browne, How I Found Freedom in an Unfree World
For those interested in ethnic foods, surprisingly Vegas has a good selection of mom & pop Ethiopian restaurants. The prices tend to be lower than their counterparts in LA.
For those who dislike the downtown strip, I used to hang out at Green Valley Ranch. Though it's been some years, perhaps a current resident in the area can provide update on the place.
I miss the days when I used to go to Vegas for Comdex and eat $5 steak dinners with all the fixings. Prices have gone up but quality...
I've wanted apply to teach in Clark County, Nevada for a while, and if I was determined to stay in America, I would definitely try to make that happen. I have been to Vegas before, but it was when I was a kid, so I could do any of the fun stuff.
Speaking of this, one of my favorite video games is Fallout: New Vegas; it's about a post-apocalytpic Las Vegas and the surrounding areas in the Mojave desert. It features actual locations besides Vegas as well, such as a very small town called Goodsprings, which was made to look very similar to how the actual towns looks.
America may not be a good place to make a life anymore, but at least there are still many gorgeous and sometimes dazzling places to see and adventure to.
A helpful guide:
Expatriation Apocalypse! The Guide to Expatriation for the Broke and Hopeless (Kindle)
Expatriation Apocalypse! (Paperback)
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