antrony wrote:i picked up a hitch hiker in reno on the way to the burn. he was from japan, making his way across the usa, and wanted to go to burningman.
his english was not very good but better than my japanese. we talked, laughed and pointed most of the way down 447.
we got to empire, and i realized that he didn't travel with much...just a pack...so i asked him what he would eat...and he pulls out this loaf of bread. and then i asked him what he would drink, and he showed me a couple of litres of water.
i felt guilty and wondered whether i should take him to the playa. but at the gas station, he pulls out this wad of bills, and buys a couple of things. we talked some more about what he needed for bm, and i explained about the bus to town. he agreed that he would use it, and get whatever he needed.
well, i let him off at the gate, and he bought his ticket...last i saw him was hiking into the dust.
i don't really think he knew what he was in for...
I think I helped this guy out for a few days. Danger Ranger had been giving him a bowl of rice for breadfast everyday, and asked me if I could help him with a little food and shelter. So, he basically lived with me for 3 days. His English was pretty poor (I have tutored Japanese ESL students) but we were able to communicate.
One thing that really surprised me though, aside from how clueless he was, was how ready he was to accept someone else's shelter, food, water, weed, gifts galore, etc; and then give back NOTHING. All I wanted in the way of payment was a chance to make a new (Japanese) friend, of which I have many. Yet with him, I kept getting the feeling that he was secretive (about what, I have no idea) and less than open. I'm certain his English was better that he was letting on to. We went out once together and he (tried to) ditch me at the first club we hit. I told him (slowly and clearly) that he was a selfish asshole who would no longer be living off of me. That night I moved his black backpack, sleeping bag and lots of water (donated by me and others) and food (donated by me) about 20 feet out of my camp and into walk-in camping. He showed up about noon or so and moved his stuff closer to the gate.
I've known dozens and dozens of Japanese citizens, usually while they are studying here in Seattle, and this was the first asshole (of the user variety) that I've ever met.
O.K. he did say he liked my 8 foot x 5 foot Rising Sun flag, but who wouldn't?