rhyll: (Default)
It's going to take me a while to process Burning Man, but for now a quick post to let anyone who's not on FB know that I'm back in San Fransisco and alive and well.

I'm a little surprised at how little the discomforts bothered me: all the dust, no showers, sleeping in a tiny tent without a mattress, the portaloos, the heat, the cold. It helped somewhat that my entire nasal cavity was permanently full of dust, I think. I really enjoyed the dust storms, too, and had no problems with asthma the whole time I was there. (In fact, I suspect that I have stopped having asthma at all.)

Still, it's nice to be back with showers and vegetables and beds and the Internet and the potential to wash some of my clothes.

So, that's the mundane stuff. I'm not sure where to start writing about the rest of it.
rhyll: (Default)
I'm hanging out at someone-called-Ramon(e)'s house at the moment. We got all packed up on the RV, and I got to feel all intrepid and useful by climbing up on the roof and pulling bikes up (I think we're at around 12 now?) and strapping them on with Tim*.

The RV broke down going up one of SF's crazy hills. So we are now in this house, being hosted by some lovely people, with people who actually have mobile phones and friends and competence making decisions and trying to arrange trucks and cars and other ways of getting us and our stuff to the Playa. It's looking quite possible that this'll get sorted out in the next few hours. I'm feeling quite relaxed about it, because there's basically nothing I can do at this stage. So I'm just sitting back and trying to be reassuring.


----
* I am hanging out with a heap of people I've just met, all of whom are lovely. There is a Tim and a Star and a Kristen and a Matt and an Evan, and some other people whose names I've consistently missed.
rhyll: (Default)
So, I'm at some people's house right now, feeling very proud of myself because I managed to get here by bus without too much fuss. And I have most of the things I need, and a ukulele, and I am not (so far) paralysed with PeopleFret. The people are lovely, and they're lending me a bike, and our lift is on the way.
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1) Somewhere to stay in San Francisco for the couple of days before and after Burning Man. I think I'd like to stay with a friend-of-a-friend or check out the couchsurfing site, but I may end up getting a hotel, rather.

2) A bike. Still haven't sorted out a bicycle. If I don't, I think I can probably manage without one.

3) A camera. I was thinking of getting a lomograph or a Holga, because then I won't have to worry about recharging or running out of space. Ideally I'd like something that can do night shots, maybe one of the lomographs that does long exposures? Any recommendations?
rhyll: (Default)
You guys. I have never been camping before. Not ever.

Here is a short video about how very uncomfortable Burning Man is: clickyclick.

Here is an infographic showing How You Will Get Hurt at Burning Man.
rhyll: (Default)
I am unexpectedly going to burning man this year. I only decided a few weeks ago.

Burning Man is something I've been excited and curious about for years, but I'd only ever started to consider going over the last few months. And even then, I was thinking about going next year. And then someone pointed out that this year, while I don't have a full-time job and I'm still a bit unsure about what to do with life, is a good year to go, and said they'd help me out with getting there. Since then, a heap of people have been helping me out in various ways: with tickets, with planning, with reassurances that it'll all be okay.

So, I have a plane ticket to San Francisco. And a ticket to Burning Man that a friend's given me. An offer of a tent. Some glowthings to light me up at night so I won't get run over. Goggles.

What I don't have:
* A place to stay in San Francisco before or afterwards.
* A lift there or back.
* A bike.
* Various campingstuffs I'll need.

I'm still not sure how to manage it all. There are a few queries going out to friends-of-friends for lifts and such, and I'm also checking out the rideshare options on the Burning Man site. I'm finding this very difficult, because it involves a lot of asking strangers or near-strangers for help, being quite aware that I won't be able to give much in return.

The physical difficulties of Burning Man are pretty extreme. It's very hot and dusty, there won't be water for washing, toilet facilities sound not-so-pleasant, there are dust storms, and the nights are very cold. I'll probably get a resurgence of my eczema and asthma. I'm thinking hard about how to deal with all this effectively, but it causes me very little anxiety.

The thing I am very anxious about is all the dealing-with-people. I'm really worried about asking strangers for help, being a complete noob, being in the way or a hassle. I'm better at this than I was. When I went away on geek camps at high school, I spent a ridiculous proportion of the time angsting in my journals and feeling anxious. The first time I went away to a student activist conference by myself, I spent pretty much the whole time totally terrified and uncomfortable. When someone hugged me on the last day I nearly cried. The first time I went to a conference as a postgrad, I was better but I made a few friends and then followed them around most of the time.

I am better than I was, but going to a crazy, week-long event in which I will need other people's help just to get there and then have no safe base to come back to is a confronting thought. I'm more terrified than excited about Burning Man, but I know it'll be an amazing, challenging experience. And I do like to be challenged, apparently.

I'm also fretting a bit about the decadence of flying to the US for this. I'll be carbon-neutralling the flights, but it still requires some thought. It's not the kind of thing I can do on a regular basis, for sure. But it is something I've been wanting to do for years, and perhaps I can allow myself some (more) decadence now that I've finished my PhD?

I might post more about all of this at some point, but I wanted to at least get some thoughts down rather than letting them just race around my head like crazy.

(Crossposted from/to lj.)

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rhyll

July 2012

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