Anyone have playa regrets?

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Anyone have playa regrets?

Postby SouthernExposure » Fri Oct 07, 2011 8:16 am

Have you, or anyone that you know, truly regretted that they attended Burning Man?

I know that it is definitely not for everyone, and that there are probably many that started the week hating the playa and as the week progressed, found that they had absolutely fallen in love with it all.

What did the haters love to hate?

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Re: Anyone have playa regrets?

Postby Elderberry » Fri Oct 07, 2011 8:41 am

No.
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Re: Anyone have playa regrets?

Postby junglesmacks » Fri Oct 07, 2011 9:04 am

I should have taken another one.
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Re: Anyone have playa regrets?

Postby trilobyte » Fri Oct 07, 2011 9:05 am

No regrets here. I don't doubt there are people who do, but odds are they don't spend a lot of time on web boards participating with a community of an event they regretted ever having attended.
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Postby Simon of the Playa » Fri Oct 07, 2011 9:13 am

fuck you, it's magic

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Re: Anyone have playa regrets?

Postby SouthernExposure » Fri Oct 07, 2011 9:26 am

That's why I asked if you knew anyone that had gone, and hated it. I talked to one guy in our camp that said his wife came one year and absolutely HATED the environment (i.e. the desert) and could not overcome that aspect to benefit from everything else that was going on.

I thought that there might have been other aspects (shyness, fear of open places, strong aversion to cross-dressing unicorns, etc.) that some attendees simply could not tolerate.

I am planning on assembling a small entourage of virgins next year and want to be able to address any concerns they may have that could be an obstacle to any of them.

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Re: Anyone have playa regrets?

Postby MOOP_Nazi » Fri Oct 07, 2011 9:29 am

I can think of nothing other than the rampant Boa menace... I was unable to snuff them out and they seem to multiply between burns...
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Re: Anyone have playa regrets?

Postby junglesmacks » Fri Oct 07, 2011 9:33 am

SouthernExposure wrote:I am planning on assembling a small entourage of virgins next year and want to be able to address any concerns they may have that could be an obstacle to any of them.



Ok now that is a much different way of putting it. Potential stresses for noobs.. there are many, and not just with the physical desert environment.

Can they handle some crazy, whacked out, really WEIRD shit with people on god knows what doing god knows what at all hours of the night and day.. for a week straight without end? Is that something that stimulates or excites them? Can they get down with the get down?

Are they cool, man?
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Re: Anyone have playa regrets?

Postby Elderberry » Fri Oct 07, 2011 9:34 am

The year of my first burn I flew into Reno on Wednesday. There was an Israeli couple frantically trying to escape! The girl absolutely hated it and couldn't take another minute. I can't imagine how much they ended up paying for their tickets back to israel bought at the last minute.
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Re: Anyone have playa regrets?

Postby Drawingablank » Fri Oct 07, 2011 9:57 am

The guy across the street from us who had a minimal camp (van with a few pieces of fabric anchored a few feet away to provide some shade) and was solo - just packed up and left on Wednesday. We came back to camp and he was gone. He told another neighbor that he just couldn't handle it and was gone 20 minutes later.
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Re: Anyone have playa regrets?

Postby theCryptofishist » Fri Oct 07, 2011 10:00 am

What I have to say is about the way the playa stresses relationships. I love my husband. We were not meant to go to the playa together, our needs didn't overlap. It wasn't until I was going on my own, with my own friends, following my own interests, that I really started having fun. I think I must be a poster girl for sticking with things beyond the point of negative return. 2002-06, five burns!, when I felt trapped by his needs.
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Re: Anyone have playa regrets?

Postby remi » Fri Oct 07, 2011 10:04 am

I regret not going last year.. I won't make that mistake again!
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Re: Anyone have playa regrets?

Postby trilobyte » Fri Oct 07, 2011 10:14 am

A few years ago, some new friends shared that they had gone to Burning Man once a few years ago and "didn't really care for it." A few drinks later, they opened up that they really did hate the experience. As we got to know each other, my girlfriend and I learned that their campmates had really taken advantage of one of them, which was causing tons of stress and anguish for them both. My friend had a sound system (nice, really big sound system that could drive a camp at 2:00 or 10:00), which at the time was fairly new (under a year old). Rather than look elsewhere for their sound so he could have a stress-free burn, and rather than be honest about how much his gear was going to be punished on the playa, they talked him into bringing it and assured him that it would be fine, and that other members of the camp would see to its maintenance etc etc. Needless to say, that didn't happen, he got out there and was freaking out, and it was not a kind year for weather (from his explanation). They ended up spending the whole week holed up at camp watching over the equipment, and of course spent a small fortune afterwards on repairs and maintenance to his gear. As months went by, we got to be good friends and they were excited about the plans we were making, and they accepted our offer to camp with us, under the condition that they were "born again virgins" and had no crazy stressful responsibilities. We had a shade structure and they already had basic camping gear, so it was easier for them to prepare. We had a great year on the playa together, and they've since been back a few times.

One of our campmates this year had a really terrible experience a few years ago. She admits it wasn't the event's fault, just that the timing of everything got out of sorts. Some things in the default world were coming apart, and she was filled with stress and anxiety. When she got to the playa, it was many days late and she spent her whole time holed up in her camp with one of her campmates looking after her to make sure she was eating and hydrating. She ended up leaving the playa early, and very probably regretted having gone that year. Fortunately for us, she decided to give the burn another chance this year. Unfortunately life still threw curveballs at her, but she manage to take them in stride and made it out mid-week. This time, though, it was a whole different experience. I'd like to take credit for us just being awesome people to camp with, but it was her. She overcame her hardships, she perservered, and she let go of the things she needed to in order to have an awesome burn. She's already working on a few cool project ideas for next year, too.

Sure, the playa isn't for everyone, and not everyone should go every single year no matter what. Sometimes even experienced burners could use a year off (I enjoyed my gap years tremendously, which contributed to my enjoying 2011 so much), and sometimes that person who you know deep down inside is a burner at heart... might not be ready to go this year. Even after you get your ticket, don't be afraid to question the decision (if someone truly has a change of heart, they can always sell their ticket at face value and get their money back). Chances are, as long as people are asking those questions and raising their concerns and communicating, they can be addressed and everything will be fine. Anything you might not have the answer to you can relay for them here, or better still maybe they'll join ePlaya and ask for themselves. Either way, good luck with the plans for next year :)
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Re: Anyone have playa regrets?

Postby Savannah » Fri Oct 07, 2011 10:38 am

First, I would tell all my virgins that if they want an escape route, they need to bring their own vehicle or travel with someone willing to leave if they do. :)

Then perhaps, I'd make a list of common playa stressors and ask my virgins to take a hard look at them and determine which two or three are likely to bother them the most and why. They should start their studies there.

For example, sleep deprivation is the most stressful thing I have to deal with out there, and I would be a mess without silicone earplugs and a timepiece, so that I can get back to camp by 2am (most nights) and sleep at least 6 hours. Whereas a person who can sleep through anything, but is sun-sensitive (which by contrast, I am not) would want to make sure to be a specialist in that area first. Or someone with back issues might want to concentrate first on trying out quality bedding. Someone who wants to shower daily will want to study evap pond plans and read obsessively on solar showers (and learn not to leave one hanging for long periods when full, haha!) Etc.

I don't personally know anyone who regrets going to a Burn, but all the neighbors I've ever seen up & leave did so right after lengthy dust storms. And I get the impression that they were surprised by them. The more surprising something is, the worse people are prepared for it both mentally and physically.
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Re: Anyone have playa regrets?

Postby NessaZee » Fri Oct 07, 2011 10:39 am

I think I actually gained weight this year from all the bacon I ate.

but I don't regret it :)
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Re: Anyone have playa regrets?

Postby MrMullen » Fri Oct 07, 2011 10:46 am

I have two Playa regrets:

The second year I took my wife, we had just gotten married and were on part two of our Honeymoon. Well, she had planned the whole wedding with little help from me (A HUGE mistake on my part) which stressed her out. Then we went on Honeymoon Part 1 to San Luis Obispo, which was awesome, then a couple of weeks after we got back, we went on Honeymoon Part 2 to Burning Man 2009 and it was a disaster. She told me that went from being stressed out, getting married, vacation, work (Which was in the middle of laying people off), another vacation and all it of was annoying her because her life no longer had any semblance of normalcy. For about 3 months, her life was just upside down and nothing was as it once was. We argued at the Burn and I started to have regrets about marring her, which did not help. She made it the worst Burn for me and she had a horrible time and could not wait to go home. She isolated herself from the event and lashed out at me, which really pissed me off. If had not just gotten married, I would have drove her to Reno and sent her home. It was that bad. We really talked about it months later and she told me how she hated going without her real world friends and at Burning Man, she does not really like anyone because everyone is so fake (I disagree with her on this very very much. I think people are fake in the real world but are real at Burning Man.)
Now, she takes her real world friends to Burning Man and we all have a really good time. Her friends are really awesome, so she is happy and thus I am happy.

My second Playa regret is not discovering the Orgy Dome years ago! I went in there with my wife on Saturday (No sharing, just us together), a first for doing ANYTHING like that for either one of us and for 40 minutes, we had an absolute AWESOME time!
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Re: Anyone have playa regrets?

Postby Elliot » Fri Oct 07, 2011 12:33 pm

In 2007 I personally brought approximately 15 burgins to our Kinetic Sculpture Racing Theme Camp. Risky, yes, but I knew them all -- and they knew each other -- from Kinetic Sculpture Racing, so I felt the risk was acceptable. And here's how it turned out at the end: Many of them felt that one time was enough. The loud techno music was the main complaint. But NONE was sorry they had joined us that one year.

As mentioned above, the first thing I tell people is that BM is not for everyone. And I feel we have a responsibility to serve as door keepers to the event. We must screen out people who are not ready, and the same with potential spectators. That creates a dilemma, of course, in that we do want to "spread the dust" in the default world. So what we need to do is not scatter the dust wildly, but instead plant seeds where the soil is fertile.
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Re: Anyone have playa regrets?

Postby graidawg » Fri Oct 07, 2011 2:00 pm

Elliot wrote:In 2007


As mentioned above, the first thing I tell people is that BM is not for everyone. And I feel we have a responsibility to serve as door keepers to the event. We must screen out people who are not ready, and the same with potential spectators. That creates a dilemma, of course, in that we do want to "spread the dust" in the default world. So what we need to do is not scatter the dust wildly, but instead plant seeds where the soil is fertile.


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Re: Anyone have playa regrets?

Postby NessaZee » Fri Oct 07, 2011 2:39 pm

graidawg wrote:
Elliot wrote:In 2007


As mentioned above, the first thing I tell people is that BM is not for everyone. And I feel we have a responsibility to serve as door keepers to the event. We must screen out people who are not ready, and the same with potential spectators. That creates a dilemma, of course, in that we do want to "spread the dust" in the default world. So what we need to do is not scatter the dust wildly, but instead plant seeds where the soil is fertile.


+30


YES!!!
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Re: Anyone have playa regrets?

Postby Savannah » Fri Oct 07, 2011 2:48 pm

Well said, Elliot.

I realized that there's something I forgot to say about the two times I traveled with virgins when I myself was not. Several things that contributed to the success of the venture:

1) Little to no expectations on the part of the virgins. Emphasizing an adventure over "It'll be great" or "It'll change your life".
2) Camping skills/experience. One of them in particular.
3) Practical, non-prima-donna personalities.
4) An agreement on frills level (low).
5) Pre-agreed total independence during the day (although we were often in the shade simultaneously), with a number of shared nighttime adventures (but not every single time).
6) Luck. :)
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Re: Anyone have playa regrets?

Postby TomServo » Fri Oct 07, 2011 3:16 pm

I've told this story on eplaya before, but...
in 1998, our neighbors returned from Burning Man, and got my wife all excited about it. She tried to talk me into going, but spending a week in the desert didn't really appeal to me. After getting tired of hearing about it, I reluctantly agreed to go. Once I stepped foot on the playa, my whole outlook changed. I fell in love with it. By the end of the week, she hated it.
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Re: Anyone have playa regrets?

Postby AntiM » Fri Oct 07, 2011 3:55 pm

Several camps packed up and vanished from Hushville in the dust storms of 2008.

We used to volunteer at the bus depot. One day in 2003? 04? a guy from somewhere not America showed up, and wanted to know how to get to Reno, he'd had enough. He took the bus to Gerlach, and I don't know what he did from there. He was not a Happy Camper.
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Re: Anyone have playa regrets?

Postby dragonpilot » Sat Oct 08, 2011 7:48 pm

After the BIG dust storm on Monday of 2008 (it lasted about 11 hours, folks) I met a young lady at Center Camp holding a "Need Ride to Seattle" sign. Struck up a conver and she says the ride she and her boyfriend came down on took off Tuesday morning back to Seattle. They'd spent so much time and money planning they decided to stay, but needed a ride back...their ride down just packed up and left muttering he couldn't take it.

As our group was splitting off with some going to Reno and points south we had room to take them home bag and baggage. They were so thrilled that they had their ride home nailed down they had an awesome time for the rest of their Burn...which many of you will recall was a VERY high wind dusty year.
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Re: Anyone have playa regrets?

Postby junglesmacks » Sat Oct 08, 2011 8:00 pm

Oh Elliot you're so fine you're so fine your post it blew my MIND!




No, for real.. extremely well put as many others have chimed in. You hit it straight on the head.
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Re: Anyone have playa regrets?

Postby Elliot » Sat Oct 08, 2011 8:12 pm

Awwww, shucks.... (Rubs toes on the ground.)
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Re: Anyone have playa regrets?

Postby Bin Noddin » Sat Oct 08, 2011 8:24 pm

What Elliot said.

One friend, very creative musician, went and came back saying it "was not my cup of tea". No regret, but just not her way.

One friend left early her first year - just physically and mentally overwhelming. She's been back. No regrets.

I had a hard time for a few days, until I learned to pace myself and accept that there was no way I could see, smell, hear, taste it all. Loved it, will be back. Even so, I'll talk anybody's ears off about Burning Man and Burners (right, MyDearFriend?), but I will never say "you ought to go." That last step has to be decided independently.

And yes, spread the dust everywhere. The world could use it.
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Re: Anyone have playa regrets?

Postby Eric » Sat Oct 08, 2011 8:29 pm

One of my best friends went 3 years, losing more interest each year. Finally he said "done" after his third year- he liked the art, but just found the endless noise & the environment overwhelming. He felt if he was going to spend $1000+ on vacation he wanted to do it somewhere with water.
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Re: Anyone have playa regrets?

Postby MyDearFriend » Sun Oct 09, 2011 10:13 am

Bin Noddin wrote:What Elliot said.

One friend, very creative musician, went and came back saying it "was not my cup of tea". No regret, but just not her way.

One friend left early her first year - just physically and mentally overwhelming. She's been back. No regrets.

I had a hard time for a few days, until I learned to pace myself and accept that there was no way I could see, smell, hear, taste it all. Loved it, will be back. Even so, I'll talk anybody's ears off about Burning Man and Burners (right, MyDearFriend?), but I will never say "you ought to go." That last step has to be decided independently.

And yes, spread the dust everywhere. The world could use it.


+100. Spread the dust. Talking people's ears off? Guilty as charged 8) having caught that bug from you, Bin 8) quite willingly.

But +1000 on never telling people they ought to go. I do not want that responsibility. I have read the back of the ticket...

So YES to what Elliot said.
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Re: Anyone have playa regrets?

Postby Simon of the Playa » Sun Oct 09, 2011 11:07 am

having sherpa'ed over 30 birgins over the past 15 years i now use an arduous screening and training program to select and groom any neophytes that attend, as it will reflect on MY CHOICES, and i want to make good decisions.

i have life-long friends i would not want to be anywhere NEAR me if they were to come to the playa, and i have some enemies who would probably take to it like Dust Bunnies.


the best are those that have Tigers living inside of stuffed rabbits.

to see someone find their footing, to suddenly know themselves, and become who they actually are is the best reward EVER for dragging them kicking and screaming across the country to go to some goddamn camping trip in the middle of KnoWhere.

to see the look in their eyes when on wednesday afternoon they stop you , and almost tearfully say "Thank you'...

there is no better gift.
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Re: Anyone have playa regrets?

Postby bigbluedoggy » Sun Oct 09, 2011 11:31 am

In 2008, I had a good friend and his recent wife join us on the playa. This is a guy who loves desert camping: a total free spirit and all around energetic guy and his wife is very similar. They arrived on Tuesday night, having parked a few blocks away and then walking until they found our camp.They were very excited and spent the entire night out and about with folks and were going to move their camper into the space I had left for them in our camp. I never saw them again that trip. I later found out that they cruised around with some of our other campers all night and went back to their camper in the early morning hours. Eventually woke up that morning, packed it in and headed out to Pyramid Lake where they camped for a few more days (legally). I found this out a couple of weeks after returning to defaultia. Nobody seemed to know what had happened to them. He later told me it was a really great time, but the dust was just too much and that they preferred a little more quiet in their camping environment. He said they enjoyed the visit, but had decided it just wasn't for them. This is someone who I was sure would absolutely fall in love with Burning Man. I am now very clear to let people know that they should only come if it is something they really want to do.
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