In San Francisco, Burning Man is like it’s own special Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon, but bring that down to about two degrees. Everyone knows someone who has gone to Burning Man or is going this year. I thought about going in the past, but then I remembered I kind of like showering and sleeping in a bed. Plus I had never been camping and didn’t think I was cut out for the Survivor-like elements of Burning Man. And then in the last eight months I went to Snow Globe, started meditating, dated an energy healer and now I was convinced I was destined to go this year.
I knew I couldn’t afford a regular ticket being jobless and all, so I had to go the cheaper route. I applied for a Low-Income ticket to Burning Man. The process was like writing an essay in 5th grade on why I thought I was special enough to win a low-income ticket. I guess they thought I was special or I am pretty good at marketing myself because I scored a ticket!
With my wild card in my back pocket, I wasn’t stressed about pulling everything else together and went on with my normal life. That was about four months ago. Six days ago I decided to pull out that wild card and told my friends I was heading to Burning Man for my birthday.
The best way to describe the last five days is with the new phrased that I coined this week – BBGFO (Bougie Black Girl Freaking Out). Often times I need to add an extra ‘F’ and ‘T’ to really drive the point home. Then it becomes BBGFTFO. I would be in shock to find out how hard and expensive it is to prep for Burning Man, but I don’t have time to be in shock.
BBGFO (Bougie Black Girl Freaking Out)
The thing that sucks is that I had a genius plan in mind if I decided to go, so I didn’t need to worry about figuring anything out. My plan was to tag-a-long with my good friend who is a Burning Man veteran. That way I had a tour/fun guide, drinking buddy, transportation, wingman and a fashion consultant all wrapped into one person. Plus, he had a RV with running water and a bed so what else would I need? I needed him to say yes, but instead I got an “oh, I’m sorry sweetie…” He was already staying with a camp, which is like mini themed communities at Burning Man, and his camp was not accepting new people.
Ok, no big deal because I live in the land of Two Degrees of Burning Man. One of my other friends would let me camp with them and I’d be all set. When I finally heard the loud wake up call that my genius plan was not so genius, I opted to go solo. Surprisingly, I was ok with it. I started thinking it may even be more genius to go solo for my first trip to Burning Man. Seriously, if I could move to Italy without knowing anyone or the language, I totally could go to Burning Man in Nevada. I also had an added edge as I had gone camping for the first time in May and survived with no issues. Well, that was after I stopped worrying that we were going to get robbed every time I heard a noise outside of our tent.
For the most part, I thought once again I was set. I would just flirt, smile and talk my way into food, clothes, drinks and whatever else I was missing. Now all I needed was a ride.
I read about a shuttle bus from San Francisco, but that seemed way too expensive. Clearly that thought process was during my delusional stage, around day 4 or 5, as there is no cheap option for Burning Man. My only option now became getting a ride from a stranger. In my mind, I visualized being dropped off in the desert with my stuff (note to self – a suitcase is not an ideal bag) and then wondering where to set up. Will there be signs? How will I carry in all of my water, costumes, gifts, and my new bike? Is there a VIP status you can pay extra to have someone set-up everything?
The more I read or got advice from Burning Man veterans, the more I used BBGFO. Then I read somewhere that most of the people who die or get arrested were first-timers. I didn’t want to get arrested or die. Realistically, did I really need 12 galloons of water? Couldn’t I just put the ice they sold in a bowl and let it melt into drinking water? I knew I was screwed, but the sad thing is, I didn’t know how screwed I was as I kept learning something new each day.
If I knew someone would take me seriously here is my Craigslist posting for Burning Man:
HELP!!! Female Newbie/ Non-experienced Camper/Slightly Bougie ISO Everything For Burning Man
- Ride with a/c and good music; talking optional
- Food and someone to cook
- Water that is slightly colder than room temperature
- Tent and tent builder
- Drinks but preferably bourbon
- Costumes but they need to be cute
- Headlight that matches my new hair color
- Utility belt (don’t know why, but I was told I needed it)
- Bike and someone to peddle
- Shade monkey
- Fur coat
- Wifi (I’ll need a way to check FB and Twitter)
Well I’ve wasted too much precious time already writing this and I need to get back to making sure I’m as prepared as one bougie black girl with no camping experience can be. Pray for me folks!