Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Burning Man 2007 Recap: Tuesday, August 28

Burning Man 2007
Originally uploaded by marytsao.
Burning Man: Day Two
Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Black Rock City, NV

We woke up bright and early (6:45 AM) on Tuesday to ride out to the Black Rock City International Airport, which is about half a mile south of the city. Mike was scheduled to do some volunteer work at the airport so we left him there, then the kids and I headed back to Center Camp to get coffee.

After getting myself a latte ($4) and Mike a coffee ($2) in our travel mugs, we biked back out to the airport. While there, I took some pictures of the kids in front of the Black Rock Travel Agency (BRTA) tent and of the BRTA plane. I also took a picture of my shadow, which was amazingly long because of the angle of the sun. Being in nature reminded me of how amazing it is to, well, be in nature. Even though Burning Man is an artificial city that pulses and blinks at night with the light of a million LEDs, it also takes place in a beautiful, natural environment where mountain ranges and a big sky can be enjoyed and appreciated during daylight hours.

It turns out that Mike was scheduled to work on Wednesday and Thursday mornings so he was able to leave and go back to the RV with us. We hung out for a bit and did what people do when it's hot and dry: we drank water and napped. In the afternoon I took the kids on a really long bike ride around half of the city. At one point we stopped to watch a dance club camp being built and spoke with a woman who was a belly dancer/fire dancer/poi dancer "all at once." She mentioned she would be performing that night at 2:30 AM. I told her that I didn't think I would be awake and motioned to the kids.

[Aside: Yes, I definitely missed a lot of what goes on at night on the Playa, but I'm okay with that. The truth is that I don't have much interest in staying up until 2 or 3 or 4 in the morning now that I am clean and sober. I don't think I've ever missed out on my nightly 8 hours of sleep unless it was due to drugs of some variety. I didn't get to see the fire dancer or dance the night away in an ecstatic rage, but I did get to spend several mornings riding around on the Playa when the only people who are awake are those taking advantage of the morning light to snap photographs and the few people who are *still* awake. The nights might be hot, but the mornings are cool and truly, naturally magical.]

At some point on Tuesday I donned bunny ears and rode around by myself. Bunny ears attract a lot of attention at Burning Man from men and children. I understand why kids like them, but men? When you wear bunny ears does it mean you want to f*ck like a bunny? Are men turned on by the sight of a woman wearing bunny ears? Not sure. One guy--who looked pretty high, I must admit--said to me as I rode past, "I'm French and I eat bunnies." If his was an offer, I did not take him up on it.

Tuesday night we announced the grand opening of the Tsaobug Movie Theater by walking around KidsVille and inviting our neighbors to send their kids over once it was dark, around 8:15. I think we played Disney's Aladdin. The kids loved it and the parents loved having a place to stash their kids for a bit. The electronic babysitter made it to the desert! Some parents didn't allow their kids over because they don't allow their kids to watch any TV, but nobody got upset at us for bringing our corrupt values to Burning Man so that was good.

After the movie, we rode up and down the Esplanade, checking out the theme camps and dance club camps and other neat and interesting camps that were just coming to life as we were making our way back to our cozy RV home. Like they did every night, the kids fell asleep in the bike trailer so we just put them to bed wearing their dusty, dirty clothes. Before going to Burning Man I was worried that the kids would miss their normal nightly routine of a long, hot bath, but they never once complained or seemed to care about being dirty. Even when their hair got so sticky I started air kissing their heads because I no longer wanted to get my lips coated with dust in the process!