Fleeting thoughts about Las Vegas, South Pole and Mars

P Chang
3 min readMay 9, 2023

Las Vegas is full of beautiful service people

We were descending to the Las Vegas International Airport. The small talk stopped, and we all stared at the city landscape getting bigger and bigger from a bird’s eye view. The residential housing areas were spread out and sprouting to the end of the skyline like any other American city. But the surrounding mountains, hills, and lands were barbarically bare and harshly gray.

“Who are those people living here?” he asked with the unmistakable undertone of “who would want to live here?!”

“Don’t forget the service people who will be entertaining us,” I politely replied.

I did not tell him that in Las Vegas, I used to run into beautiful-looking and extremely well-mannered service people because many of them are working in the show business. And sure enough, the Uber driver who jumped out of the car to greet us just looked like a handsome acrobat or an equilibrist from the O show of Cirque du Soleil to prove my point.

I left him and his LinkedIn buddy to continue sitting next to each other in the back seat, and I hopped onto the front seat next to the Uber driver. I enjoyed the small talk with him on the way to the hotel.

Before this handsome Uber driver left, he made sure to tell me the Uber pick-up spot of the maze-like giant hotel we were staying at was on the 3rd floor of the parking garage. It turned out to be a very crucial piece of information later that I benefited a lot from.

I appreciated his subtlety of showing the hospitality of this city.

I don’t want to go the the South Pole, not yet

I started to see more and more of my girlfriends going all over the places.

One good thing about the social media era is that you get to see these places through their posts. Better yet, because we share some common interests to become friends, their photos usually show things and perspectives that I would have had to share with them if I were there. That made their posts even more interesting and enjoyable. I totally don’t mind them uploading 50 to 70 photos day in and day out on their Facebook or other means while they are traveling.

The more I saw, the more frequently I started to ask myself, do I still want to travel like them whenever I get a chance or mood to travel? Aren’t we getting fatigued of these travel destinations that used to be so exotic and foreign?

Today, one of my high school classmates from Seattle is calling for going to the South Pole at the end of this year.

I gave it a minute of deep thought and decided I lost the mojo of traveling, at least for this year.

I may never go to the South Pole as it has been getting more and more people’s attention. It is at the brink of becoming another unnecessary environmental hazard destination, just like the extreme hiking path to the Everest Summit.

I have this vague feeling that in the distant future, I may only be inspired to go to Mars for a visit.

Author’s photo and processions

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P Chang

It all started with the 2020 SIP, when suddenly you became very reflective.