"Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and the Sultan of Johor are seen in a blue Proton Saga... "When asked whether there is any tension with the sultan, Dr Mahathir said: “No, I don’t see anything because I went to see him and he drove me to the airport. I don’t want to comment on the sultans because if I say anything that is not good then it’s not nice because he is the sultan”"

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Tuesday, June 12, 2007

USP-Stanford Multiculturalism Forum
Day 17 (22/5) - Las Vegas

The only entities to use the $1 coin seemed to be vending machines.

Leggings were not the fashion on the West Coast. Lots of women in Tokyo were wearing them though.

The LA Metro ticket is only valid on the line it's bought on. Wth. What's the point of a Metro network if you have to pay to transfer to other lines?!

Urinal which doesn't use water, LA Greyhound station

I didn't care for the hostel breakfast (if nothing else, the eating area was quite dirty) so I ate breakfast at the Greyhound station. Unfortunately the guy before me bought up the last biscuits, and I didn't want toast and gravy, so I had a breakfast burrito (hah).

One of the shops in the station sold Maruchan Instant Noodles, but the pork flavour had no pork in it, instead having beef fat. Gah.

Seen in LA's Little Tokyo: "Little Tokyo Show Girls". Hurr hurr.

At the rest stop I had lunch from "BJ's Barbeque Express". Unfortunately, unlike the other 2 (3) BJs, it sucked.

In Vegas I saw a car I suspected might have a "The Golden State" license plate, since it had a sun and palm tree on it, but it was framed by a metal border which might have blocked the slogan.

You can't go to clubs in Vegas in sneakers.

We stayed in Sin City hostel, which had air conditioning in the rooms. Unfortunately the air conditioning turned off at erratic times, probably to save power, and at night I suspected it was turned on rarely if at all.

One of the hostel staff was wearing a Real Doll ("The World's finest love doll") T-shirt, so since sartorial choices are meaningful (the principle behind my "u r wt u wr" project) I, naturally enough, asked him if he had a Real Doll. He didn't seem very happy, asking me "what kind of question is that?", until another staff member pointed out that he was wearing a Real Doll T-shirt, whereupon he evaded the question with a grunt.

It was suggested to me that what happened next was because of my question, whereupon I will relate this anecdote I found about the meaning inherent in sartorial choices: "My dad once honked at someone who had a "Honk if you love Jesus" bumper sticker. It was one of those "hey buddy the light's green are you gonna go?" honks. The guy gave my dad the finger! We weren't sure if that meant that the guy was an atheist who wanted Christians to honk so he could give them all the finger, or if he was just an asshole who forgot he had a bumper sticker urging fellow Jesus lovers to honk at him." (dooce: When I say Jesus, you say Jesus, say Jesus. JESUS!)

Later on, I was trying to contact Tong Wei and Huishan (despite my booking us into 2 rooms, there was a screwup so our group of 7 was split into 3 groups - 3 in one room, 2 in another and the 2 girls in a third), but not only had they been put in a girls' dorm, they were inside the private room - there was another door inside the dorm leading to another room. If they'd been in the dorm itself, I would've been able to knock on the door and/or yell to them to get their attention, but with their being in a private room, this option was not available to me. So, when I saw the black guy from the previous paragraph showing one girl to the dorm in which their private room was, I made sure that not only was no occupant of the dorm in a compromising position but that it was empty (except for the new occupant). I then quickly popped into the room and banged on the inner door to get their attention. For my pains, I got scolded by the receptionist, was given a warning and even had a threat of eviction waved in front of me.

This blatant proof of the sexism that pervades modern society appalled me. In the field of vacation housing, the doctrine of "separate but equal" has no place. Separate housing facilities are inherently unequal. Gender segregation reinforces sexist stereotypes which are self-perpetuating and reinforcing - if women are always oppressed, they will always be oppressed.

Vinod and Guan Zheng didn't want to go to the Grand Canyon because it was too expensive. What a waste. But I think the former will be in the area in the future, so. No one wanted to go to a revue, either from lack of interest or money. Perhaps I will return once more in 20 years time.

We then went down to see the Strip. There was a bus running up and down the strip called The Deuce, but we had the misfortune of getting a very anal bus driver who refused to drive off when people were on the staircases or sitting on each other's laps because there weren't enough seats.

Siegfried and Roy

Strip, looking south from Treasure Island

Treasure Island Casino

5 of us had Pho at Treasure Island. Their fish sauce was Thai, not Vietnamese. Tsk. At least it was quite good.

We then watched "The Sirens of Treasure Island".

Empty ship

You can see why the guidebook dubbed them "The Strippers of Treasure Island".

[Ed: YouTube was refussing to process any videos taken this day, so I moved them to blip.tv. For good measure, here's a video of us running after Tom Kosnik that YouTube also refused to process. The next day they finally got processed though. Wth.]

or blip.tv video: The Strippers of Treasure Island, Part 1

Some pirates come along in their ship (which actually sailed down the waterway)

or blip.tv video: The Strippers of Treasure Island, Part 2

or blip.tv video: The Strippers of Treasure Island, Part 3

The pyrotechnics were quite impressive, with fireworks, simulated explosions, smoke and other assorted pyrotechnics.

blip.tv video: The Strippers of Treasure Island, Part 4
The Sirens' song causes the ship to explode and sink.

The Pirates swim aboard, lured by the song. Unfortunately none of the women got in the water.


The Strip

"Hot babes direct to you. 24 hrs 7 days. Girls that want to meet you. 696-9696" (yes, the word hidden by the car is MEET). Vehicles like this would cruise down the Strip every few minutes, sometimes one behind the other.


Forum shops

My image stabiliser didn't always work, which is why a few images, including this one, are slightly blur.
Interestingly enough, this aside, a few people have told me that my photos are very good. The only one to say they are bad are my brother-in-law, so he's probably jealous.

Caesar's Palace

I can only assume this is an imitation of the Trevi fountain. After Rome, this is very vulgar.

Eiffel Tower and the brightest beam of light in the world from the top of Luxor.

Caesar's Palace with a Winged Victory of Samothrace

People playing Blackjack.
This was my second attempt since the first was blur. For my pains I was asked to cease and desist. Meanwhile Huishan who only took one snap, got nothing.
Me: "This is where the pursuit of excellence gets you - trouble"

LA felt a little fake but Vegas felt very very fake.

or blip.tv video: Musical Fountain at Bellagio

When we were meeting new people, I suddenly found out that the members of my party had hitherto concealed names like "Alex", "Robert" and "Aprilene". "Robert" was annoyed when I called him Bob, and didn't believe that that was the pet form of his "name".


[On bunk beds] I'm a top guy... As in, I always sleep on top.

I thought I'm not allowed to go into your room. [Me: {You can,} this is a sexist country]

[On who is taller] Let's stand back to back... Nevermind, I don't want to know. Let's preserve our friendship. [Student 2: It's quite a fragile friendship.]
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