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#Travel: A teetotaller in Vegas

The shots are free, beer is everywhere. But you could be dying of thirst on the Strip, and no one would offer you water.

ht weekend Updated: Jun 15, 2019 18:24 IST
Riddhi Doshi
Riddhi Doshi
Hindustan Times
Las Vegas,Vegas strip,Travel
You can walk into some of the hotels and take a free gondola ride down a fake canal, grab a free jello shot, climb to the top floor of a mini-Eiffel. But you won’t get a glass of water. (GETTY IMAGES)

In Las Vegas, people walk around with fluorescent extra-large glasses with spiral straws, except instead of a slushie or an iced coffee, they’re filled with alcohol.

Step into any casino, restaurant, even mall, and a tray will come at you loaded with complimentary shots. Vegas wants you to be tipsy so you spend more when you gamble. But even at our fancy resort on the Strip, with its 3,981 rooms, there was literally no drinking water. Just signs that said ‘Don’t drink from the tap’ and a menu that priced bottled water at $5 (the beer was $2).

At the bar, I asked if I could swap my free gello shots for water. Bartender: What? Me: I want water. Bartender: (smile disappears) “I can give you two bottles.” That was my cue to smile. No one had offered me water in six hours. My smile faded as I was handed two 200 ml bottles.

via GIPHY

The Strip is fascinating, it’s got colour, style, bright lights, everything’s larger than life and everyone’s dressed in their wildest. One hotel had a mini forest and a pond where you could see real, live flamingos up close. Even the light and water show at the Bellagio is more breathtaking than you’d think. And it’s completely free. You can walk into some of the other hotels and take a gondola ride down a fake canal, see the skyline from a conservatory on the top floor of the ‘Eiffel’. Free drinks abound, but no water.

Antique stores, pawn shops, yummy ice-cream, but no cheap water. The Japanese crepes and macarons and yoghurt, the bubble tea ice-cream and sesame scoop in a waffle cone, even the mango sundae dressed in sunglasses and umbrella were cheaper than a clear, cool drink.

People drink from giant novelty glasses. Vegas likes to keep its visitors tipsy so they’ll spend more when they gamble. ( GETTY IMAGES )

After a stunning time at Ka by Cirque du Soleil, the lavish dance and acrobat show, we headed off the Strip, and saw many wonders. We photo-bombed two wedding shoots at the ‘Welcome to Vegas’ sign. We saw three large limos glide by; inside, women pole-danced for a necessarily small audience. We saw people actually zip line down some of these streets. And at a small souvenir shop, we got, well, iced tea for a dollar.

Finally, a friend on the phone suggested a way to water — opt for the $10 buffet at a certain hotel, eat to your heart’s content, and fill up all the bottles you can carry at the fountain in their restricted dining area. We took turns doing this, hoping no one would see. It actually felt wrong.

So there. There is something that is frowned upon in Vegas.

First Published: Jun 15, 2019 18:24 IST