Robin's Adventures at Burning Man, Part III

(This is the third part of a multi-part series about the Burning Man Festival. To read this series from the beginning, please go here.)

by Robin Forman
Special to iVoryTowerz

Journey to the Yellow Part of The Magic Bus

Eight hours before I leave.
Eight days before the Man burns.

There’s this whole dance you do when you’re packing for a week in the desert, straight through the night, while the Frenchman who’s driving you to the airport lays on the couch watching episodes of Scrubs. Here's what it consists of: 1) yelling at the Frenchman — for no reason other than he’s French and lying on your couch watching episodes of Scrubs; 2) stuffing sequined or leopard print articles of clothing into a suitcase; 3) picking up the suitcase; 4) stepping on the scale to make sure your bag still weighs under the regulation 50 pounds. Then repeat as many times as necessary.

After doing “the dance” about 15 times in between loads of laundry and sending instructions via e-mail to the three people it was going to take to care for my one cat, I was in my own car, in full pre-flight panic, headed to the airport when I realized I’d forgotten my ticket to Burning Man.

Here's what commences: U-turn; squealing tires; lots of people flipping me off and yelling; sprinting all the way in and out of my apartment; and returning to the road to the airport with as much speed as possible.

This was not the last time that day, or even in that hour that I would find myself sprinting, cursing the Burning Man ticket, wishing whole-heartedly that I didn’t smoke and that I was wearing a sports bra.

At the airport, 35 minutes after the first sprint for the ticket, checked in (phew) behind what appeared to be the foreign legion of geriatrics, when my cell rings.

It’s the Frenchman.

My Burning Man ticket is still in the car.

Twenty-five minutes later, I clutch the God-damned ticket, and I run as fast as I can to make final boarding calls for my flight, while cursing all children and geriatrics in the airport. Sweating profusely, I board the plane and basically wake up in Oakland six hours later.

There awaits my hippie in tie-dyed armor, Chris.

We get to Chris’s house and of course to his bus. I ask what I can do to help with readying the bus for departure.

“Paint something,” says Chris, lazily gesturing towards the bus. “We need something in the yellow part.”

I had my work cut out for me.

(To read this series from the beginning, please go here. To read the preceding part, please go here. To read the next part, please go here.)

(Photo courtesy of Robin Forman. To see a video of the Burning Man Festival from 2002, please check below.)

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Daniel said...

Every year that passes I get closer to heading out to Burning Man. But here's what I want to know: When I read the festival's official site, it makes it sound like videography and photography are practically forbidden. Which is a problem for me: Making media and posting it is just part of who I am.

Yet here are these videos, and photos, and...

Well, what are the functional rules? Where is the cool/uncool line?

Robin said...

Hey Daniele! Just go. The rules about cameras are basially that you register your camera (professional or personal) with the media mecca and that you get permission from those you film. But there are pleanty of people with their handy cams filming their drugged and dressed up friends...in fact, I believe I may have appeared in some such films.
Check out this part of the Burning Man website: http://www.burningman.com/press/

As for functinal rules? You can do anything you damn well please so long you don't hurt anyone else (the desert included,)...unless of course it's some kind of dominatrix thing which you can totally take classes in at Burning Man if you're into that.

Anonymous said...

And I appologize for calling you "Daniele." Let's call it a spelling error.

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