Note* This post is part of a series detailing my recent participation in Burning Man 2016. I'd like to warn the reader that I'm writing these for personal use and the details noted are likely biased, inaccurate, and increasingly full of profanity as the days go by. Names may have been changed.
The next day, i woke up at 4am. because jet lag. because east coast time. because i'd spent the last few years with a kid who was *always* awake by 7am. But i figured, the air was still cool in my tent, and I should make the most of it. So I rolled over and slept a few more hours. Then at about 7-ish, i woke up again and began what would become my daily routine.
first a wet wipe for my face, just to feel like I had cleaned up a little. Then sunblock on every inch of my body. Then sports bra and underwear, and my outfit of the day - which remained harem pants and a white cover up. I climbed out of the tent and had a cliff bar for breakfast.
That morning, only one other person was awake and we decided to go exploring for our first real venture into the daytime playa. It was cool, there was a lot of art and a lot of unfinished art. I was surprised by a memorial to cats out in the deep playa. We also found a giant box of saltines but no soup. At one point we participated in a psychological study being run by Oxford "Trust us, we're british!" They wanted to know if we'd had any transformational experiences. No - we hadn't. It was only Monday and I had zero intention of having any kind of anything.
There is an annoying thing about being a "birgin"; everyone keeps asking you what your expectations are. And its a trick. This may be my first time and I can still tell its a ridiculous question, asked only to entertain the questioner. My biggest fear at burning man was that I would be injured. My main goal was to just be there.
We came back to the camp and had breakfast. I met more of my camp mates, and we spent a little time looking at the guide to decide what to do that day. (yes - there is an event guide, more about this mystical publication later).
I can't remember what else i did that day. I think i peddled around some more and looked at things, at the people. And there was a lot to look at. The desert is beautiful, the art is surprising, and the people are wearing (or not wearing) all kinds of things. I reapplied my sunblock at least two more times, I drank some electrolytes.
A note about my camp mates* I haven't really mentioned them. I went to burning man with wonderful people. There was no drama. People cared about each other, and were funny and helpful. And we were each having our own experiences, be they spiritual, sexual, pharmaceutical, or whatever. I'd feel like an idiot trying to describe them, and nothing I can write would do justice so I'm not going to try.
That night I went out into deep playa again with one of the neighbors. It was a largely silent journey, except when we found an art car playing music out by the farthest most fencing. We danced until it was time to move on, at which point I was tired enough for bed and my neighbor headed for the parties.
Going to bed each night was also a routine. Each night I'd carefully place my shoes on my door mat, a yellow lion bathroom rug, and then remove my clothing into one of two piles: dusty or dirty. Then I would wipe down with a wet wipe. If I was feeling extra dirty, i would follow up with a sponge bath. Then it was pajamas, ear plugs, and eye mask, and I would be out like a light.