Nevada - The woman who sat on the toilet too long (and other odd American tales) - CycleBlaze

July 9, 2014


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FUNNY PLACE, Nevada. I mean, there's absolutely nothing here that's not covered with dust. This is, after all, the driest state. And yet everybody has wanted to own it. The Indians had it and then the Spanish, who gave it its name (Sierra Nevada means "snow-topped mountain range, and the state tourist map insists it's correctly pronounced Ne-vudda as in Spanish and not Ne-vah-da or Ne-vadda). Then Mexico thought it ought to have it and got the Spanish out. That ought to have been excitement enough for a place that looks striking but has little, except that the USA thought in 1848 that owning it would fill an awkward corner on maps.

They certainly make it look paradise on earth, don't they?
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Now that Americans no longer needed a passport or a gun to go there, they came with a gun anyway. Nevada's history as a shoot-out cowboy state lives on, albeit fairly peacefully, in all the cowboy stetsons and ranch-style boots and the habit of naming everything from bars to groceries after the Wild West. The difference is that they ride motorbikes and four-wheeled countryside-wreckers now rather than horses. Nevertheless, Nevada gives me the impression that nobody would much mind two gun-slingers slugging it out in the street.

Nevada is one of the few places in America to allow smoking in restaurants and bars, to have gambling and to allow brothels. The most recent figure I saw was from 2008, when there were 28 of them. Brothels, that is. Although you probably have to take off your chaps and spurs at the door.

The Economist concluded: "[Nevada was] founded on mining and refounded on sin - beginning with prizefighting and easy divorce a century ago and later extended to gaming and prostitution."

You see what I mean about its being an odd place?

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