Walking into a casino with the soul intention of laying down your entire life savings on Roulette, numbers start bouncing around in your head. 50/50 payouts, 47.37 real odds, $800 and 500 Euro, $180 Azerbaijan visa, $80 Kazahk visa, $150 Caspian Sea ferry, $300 China visa, -20 degrees on the Himilayan steppe, 6 months till spring, zero and double zero, 12 months traveling hard, 26,000 miles, 12 timezones to go… Carefully squirelled away and guarded cash turns into a big pile of chips – liquidating memories of wandering penniless and cold through the streets of New York looking for work, spending Christmas living in the back of a box truck with junkies selling trees, nervously getting the IV of experimental drugs shoved into my veins, $35 a day living with a crack hooker and a one-eared three-toothed violent stuttering child molester in the carnival, sifting through trash under a hot mediteranean sun… All the times I refused to open my purse- train buckets, freezing in an Arctic gale, eating stale dumpster bread, guns in the triple war-zone of Kurdistan, hauling a shopping cart over mountains, sleeping in the rain, cold, hot, tired, hungry, lonely – fighting for every fucking mile and still feeling so far away. I need to make a move- need to double up while I still have a nestegg, before the miles and visas of the Central Asian Silk Road bleed my wallet dry – I’m so close, I do the math over and over again and think maybe I can do it, maybe I have enough – but only if nothing at all ever goes wrong. I can’t take that chance – I need to make a move. And this seems like the place to do it- the bizarre ex-Soviet-Vegas-come-Turkish-Tijuana on the Black Sea all wrapped up in crazy cartoon architecture. This is the place, this is the time, I have to do this. I stick my big stack of chips all on black. One spin. One chance. The dealer stacks and restacks. The wheel spins. The ball drops. One chance. One spinning ball determining the fate of my trip. The wheel spins. The ball bounces around. The wheel spins.