Sin City, Sinful In More Ways Than One – Part 2 (by Mike)

The real fun started on the second day, when Jason and Rita invited me to join them for Pai Gow Poker after our terrifying dinner at Silk Road Noodle Bistro inside the hotel. Before we get to the fun part, below is a picture of the restaurant, followed by some personal rants of mine. Silk_Road_Noodle_740x498I will sum it up fast: nice deco, shitty food. Sensing some sort of Asian authenticity from their decoration, I decided to have some faith in the restaurant and ordered tonkotsu ramen from their menu.

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The noodle WOULD HAVE BEEN absolutely fine, had it been named something else more fitting for its appearance and quality.

I must be honest and say that, aside from the two pieces of chashu put at the very top of the bowl, there was absolutely nothing in the bowl that resembled what we usually call tonkotsu ramen.

Not the soup.

Not the noodle.

And not even those two pathetic pieces of kelp that the chef put there, probably secretly hoping that his/ her customers would mistake them for seaweed.

Oh and the noodle was still in its chunky form when we tried to scoop it up to eat it. My mom had to put the chunk of noodle back into the soup so she could stir it apart.

On a scale of 10, I would probably give the restaurant a -0.5. That last minus 0.5 is given because whoever came up with the menu was stupid enough to put Chinese, Vietnamese (yes, they have Pho, as well), and Japanese cuisines under a restaurant named Silk Road.

First of all, China, Vietnam, and Japan are three distinct countries, each with its own unique cultures in terms of food, so it is without a doubt a terrible idea to put all three of them under one roof. It’s either you are extremely good at one, or you fail trying to make all three of them.

Secondly, the Silk Road, as an ancient network of trade and whatnot, never in fact ran through either Vietnam or Japan.

Yes, a little study into Asian history (or just the Silk Road itself, really) would have made the restaurant seem less stupid.

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Fortunately, the gambling after the dinner made me feel slightly better. I mentioned the name of the game that we played in the previous post, but just for those of you youngsters who would like to leave your own unique footprints in Sin City later on in life but aren’t sure where to start with, I would like to mention again that we played Pai Gow Poker.

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Pai Gow Poker is really not as hard as it may seem. On the contrary, the rules are quite easy to learn (but I am not going to go into the details here. Let me know if you are interested, though. I would be more than happy to teach you how the game is played, and probably share a tip of two).

While I am not a big fan of gambling, it would be a shame to leave the city without playing a hand or two, I thought. I then proceeded to borrow 40 dollars from my mom. 40dollars_slideshow20/20 hindsight always works the best. Yes, I KNOW I should have called it a night by the time I had won 37 dollars using the original 40 that I had borrowed from my mom. But my primitive instinct got the best of me and had me think “Hey, remember that econ lecture where the prof talked about opportunity cost? Think about the profit you could otherwise generate while you sit in your room”.

(Note: Sophia later pointed out that the concept of opportunity cost would not exactly apply to this case. Opportunity cost, for those of you who are not exactly familiar with this term, is the loss of potential gain from other alternatives when one alternative is chosen.

In other word, for example, let’s say you have two stores in mind you would like to go to – McDonald’s and Tim Hortons. Unfortunately, due to what limited time and money you have at your disposal, you could only choose to go to one of them. The opportunity cost of your choosing to go to McDonald’s, for instance, is the enjoyment you could have otherwise gained from having yourself some Tim Bits at Timmy Ho, and vice versa.

The reason that opportunity cost would not be applicable to my gambling case, as pointed out by Sophia, is that even if I had chosen to keep sitting at the table, my winning would not have been a guaranteed experience…

I agreed with her at first. However, on second thought, I would like to argue that since I was on a winning streak, my continuous winning could have been a highly possible experience.

Nah, please do not fall for what you just read in the above paragraph, kiddo, because that is exactly what casinos want you to think. Just because the table is hot for you, doesn’t mean it ain’t gonna turn cold for you the next round and leave you all broken-hearted.

Bottom line is: leave as soon as you think you’ve made your fair share of fortune for the night.)

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And so down the drain went the 37 dollars, along with the 40 dollars borrowed from my mom. This is when I had this epiphany and realized that not all knowledge taught at school applies to life. The 100 dollars that I had the nerve to borrow from Jason was close to meeting the same fate. I was smart enough to really call it a night when I was down to 35, though.

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My second night in Vegas didn’t exactly end on a good note. 142 dollars lost. I promised myself I would come back again before I leave the city.

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