Saturday, January 30, 2010
Found myself thinking back to our trip to las Vegas two years ago - one of our "let's escape the tail-end of the Scottish winter trips", another of which I shall soon be off on. A quick look at the flickr set of photos from the trip revealed a pleasing patchwork of colour; I've reproduced a section of it here.
The interesting thing for me is that this particular section represents what I most recall about the trip: the huge contrast between the silent tranquillity of the desert and the frenetic sounds and lights of the city. The desert is all pale blues and greys - even the vegetation has a blue-grey tinge - while the city, and in particular the Strip, is alive with colour. The liveliness, of course, is artificial, as fake as the interiors of the casinos replicating Rome, Venice, Paris. There, the noise is constant: the background of the tunes the one-armed bandits play incessantly, the changed chords for a win, the hum of machines rather than the sound of conversation.
But in the desert there is nothing. No birdsong, no sound of water, no wind, no smells. A purity of place that I have experienced nowhere else. And it is the desert that I remember.