If you read today’s slice of Vegas life, here’s another:
A WELL-LIGHTED CAFE
At the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf across the street from UNLV, two guys and a girl take little breaks from studying for biology midterms to smile and chat: Victoria Jo, 19, Wilson Ou, 20, and Edward Call, 19. They all want to graduate into pharmacy. It’s the weekend, they have no plans to party. They are upbeat and focused.
“We’re good kids,” Wilson says.
They are of their generation, hunched over laptops next to coffee and calculators, conversant in the business-news language of capitalistic indoctrination.
“MGM stock is under $2,” Wilson says.
Victoria got laid off recently from a retail store. She doesn’t seem too upset about it.
“Toni Braxton came in the store, and she threw a fit, and said she’d sue, because we carded her,” Victoria says. They carded the singer to make sure someone else wasn’t using her credit card. “She said, ‘You don’t know who I am!?’”
Victoria, who spent some early childhood in San Francisco, thinks she’ll leave Vegas after graduation.
“It’s so convenient, because it’s 24 hours. But the whole idea of Vegas — I’m so tired of. I feel like everyone here is kind of fixed [closed-minded]. People here are so concerned about themselves” and don’t “stray from the standard” in fashion, trendy language or ideas, she says.
Wilson would like to go back to his hometown of San Francisco after graduation. It’s a better place for single people, more diverse and tighter-knit, he thinks.
“People remember you in San Francisco,” he says. “You go to the store, and people know you by name. It’s a family feeling there. Not here. Everyone’s like strangers here. It’s like everybody just moved here.”
Edward is studying hard because his dad might send him into the Army if he doesn’t do well.
Edward, Victoria and Wilson aren’t too worried about the recession, since their families are faring fine so far, and hopefully hard times will be over when they graduate in three or four years. They’re all optimistic, they say.
To be pessimistic, Edward says, “you feel bad all the time, you don’t trust anyone. I get tired of that.”