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Back In The US

Well, me and Chhaya are back in the US. We entered into Canada via Tok, Alaska last Saturday around 5 pm, drove through the Yukon and British Columbia and arrived in the US, Washington State today Wednesday around 4 pm. What a journey! I don't even know how many miles we put behind us.....but I think I drove roughly 2500 miles. Or about 4023 kilometers. Since I started in Kenai and I am now in Eastern Washington. I managed on my own with no accidents, brake downs, tickets, getting lost or anything major. My journey is not over yet. I have stuff to take care of and organize and people to see. I am happy (I think, I'm not sure actually....more like empty), a bit tired and ready for sleep. That is what I am going to do now, call it a night. Chhaya is already sleeping......
I just want to lay in a hot bath, scrub my body, wash my hair, pluck my eyebrows and slather on moisturizer.




Miserable

OK.....I am so far MISERABLE on this trip through Canada. All my stuff is divided in between my car and another car that was not allowed into Canada, well the driver wasn't. So I don't know what I have and what I don't have in my possession at this point. I barely have any phone connection. I spent my first night in Whitehorse where I did not have any phone connection whatsoever and I actually cried a bit this morning because I was so tired, frustrated and just fed up. Whitehorse looked depressing and ugly, shitty latte too and a bunch of cop cars and cabs driving around at night. I guess all the drunk Canadians were taking taxis last night because getting a DUI is a felony in Canada. And if you have one you might not be able to enter the lovely country of Canada, in case you didn't know.....Now I am in a small village called Dease Lake off Highway 37, I am heading for Katwinga which is about a six hour drive away where I hope I will have phone service and might be able to shower. After that I will see how I feel and go for Prince George. I was lucky to be able to find a computer here in Dease Lake at the place where I had breakfast, Chhaya will get some bacon. I can't upload any pics cause my phone is not working. I HATE THIS DRIVE so far. My advice to anyone thinking about driving alone through Canada is - DON'T. It's BORING, it all looks the same.....endless forest, mountains and huge lakes, way too far of a drive, long distances between everything and the roads suck big time plus there are barely any signs telling you any valuable information about distances etc. The road from the border and into Canada was beyond terrible for a good stretch.....like WTF? Go ahead and do this drive if you have a driving partner, a comfortable RV or just like to suffer in general. YES, it is scenic, beautiful and majestic but after 500 miles of never ending forest, it's boring. At least for ME. I have seen enough trees and mountains now to last me for the next five years. Thank You Canada!
I can't wait until I am back in the USA again! Chhaya is bewildred by this whole ordeal and just as miserable as I am, imagine being stuck in a car for this long. The only highlight so far was that I caught a few minutes of the UN Assembly Meeting when I arrived here at the café, I watched Putin's speech on a muted television. I should be his travel companion, confidant and chess partner. Putin needs to call me already! I'm waiting......
I guess I should start driving again, the faster this torture is over with the better...... ;-)

On The Road

I am currently on the road in Alaska. Most likely I will be out of commission for a while starting tomorrow at some point since half of the time I don't have any cell phone signal in remote areas. So if you don't hear from me.....you know why. I am very tired but besides that OK, things are kind of chaotic at the moment but somehow everything will work itself out, I'm hoping. Chhaya is the best travel companion. I'm going to sleep now, looking forward to at least eight hours of good sleep. I'm a bit disappointed that I will miss out on the live coverage from the upcoming United Nations General Assembly on Monday that my Putin will be attending. I hope he will say something smart and useful. I will have to watch that after the fact. Time for bed now.








Creepy

I picked up a hitchhiker the other night. Maybe not a big deal for some that do this on a regular but for me it is. Why? Because you are picking up a stranger that can turn violent and psycho in an instant, that's why. I was driving home from work and it was around 4 in the morning and it's cold at night here in Kenai now. My car was covered in frost when I started it I remember and the temperature hovered around 28 degrees. So I'm driving and I passed up a guy with his thumb out. I was not going to stop at first, the roads here are dark and at that early hour there is almost no traffic either. So you are basically on your own. But then something inside of me felt bad for him, it was cold and I did not want him to freeze.
Before analyzing it anymore, I put my foot on the brakes and stopped the car. I think I have picked up two other hitchhikers in my life, while being alone in the car and a few more when having another person with me. Anyhow, I gave him a ride to where he needed to go with no incidents. It felt good to help somebody in need but I feel like picking up hitchhikers, especially male hitchhikers when you are a girl alone is risky. That's a real fact and nothing made up. Too risky for me. I mean, if something happened to me my Mom would probably die from grief and then I have Chhaya to think about. I did offer a girl walking alone on that same stretch of road a ride a while back, it was after work too for me and it was raining but she declined. She probably was scared of me. LOL. Because you never know so I do not blame her a bit. Better safe than sorry.
I've been to Burning Man three times now and never had any creepy experiences with guys on the Playa until this last Burn. Sure, guys want to dance with me and stuff like that......and I usually turn them down because I don't want unwanted touching. My experiences with guys on the dance floor is that they will inch closer and closer until they basically have, or try to have their you know what against my body and no thanks on that. I call them dickthrusters.
If I like you.....I don't mind being close. But that does not happen often. Anyhow.....so it was the last night of the Burn and I was at Planet Earth dancing. A few guys asked if I wanted to dance but I politely declined. I mean, we can all dance TOGETHER as a group at Planet Earth, that's how I feel. When Planet Earth closed down I decided to swing by Center Camp real quick before heading for another place to dance. I sat down at Center Camp and got busy with looking through my camera when one of the guys that asked if I wanted to dance with him at Planet Earth comes up to me and asks me if I knew what time it was. I told him I did not know and then he asked me if I were the girl from Planet Earth and I was like......ummmmm, yesssssss. So then I got up to leave but I noticed him still hanging around in the background. I got on my bike and after about a minute biking felt weird, it turned out my rear tire was flat. Now I had to walk with my bike across the WHOLE Playa from Center Camp to White Ocean. It was really cold and dark, not many people were out at all since it was like 5 am Monday morning and basically Burning Man was mostly over. So this guy followed me across the whole Playa but at a distance, I knew it was him because he wore a distinctive looking hat. So in my mind I am thinking......what should I say if he approaches me......what if he tries to touch me or do anything bad? Why is he following me? All these thoughts raced through my head, it took at least 20 minutes, if not longer, to walk that distance and he just kept following me. That is creepy! To clarify here, I have no problem talking to guys. I don't mind human interaction but when a stranger deliberately trails behind me in the dark and I am all alone.....yes, that made me feel weird. So I got to White Ocean and it was done, no more (ugh) but close by I heard some good beats and headed over there, sure enough the guy tagged along. I parked my bike and three people on a couch asked me if I wanted some Tequila and an olive. I sat down, had an olive and I started to tell them about the creepy guy. So the girl I talked to, her name was Amber by the way......asked me to describe him and right then he walked past us and just staaaaaaared. She (Amber) and I stared back at him and he ended up leaving. I sat and talked with these nice people for a while and then I got up and danced.
Did not see the guy again. I can't help but wonder if he was the one that arranged the flat tire. My tire was fine from Planet Earth to Center Camp, he followed me to Center Camp, most likely saw where I parked my bike.....oh and that small black thing (valve cap?) that is on the tire was gone too and I knew it was there the day before because I checked. I don't know.....that was just weird.
My Playa bike.



So while talking about this subject, getting weird vibes from guys and such, I want to mention the BLISS project. This year the third and last art project in this installation was featured at Burning Man. A statue of a woman standing called R-Evolution. The BLISS project is to raise awareness to the feminine and to respect women, to end violence against women, objectification etc. The person behind this (Marco Cochrane, yes a man) found out that his best friend when he was a child (a girl) had been raped. She was only nine. This horrible event stayed with him.
I love the meaning of the BLISS project. I did not get to see the first statue in 2012,
Bliss Dance but I saw Truth Is Beauty and this year's R-Evolution and they were both AMAZING. The meaning behind the BLISS project is something that I care a lot about. Women's rights to exist without having to fear for safety. Women's right's all over the world in general. No matter what we wear and where we are.
Me a couple of years ago on the Playa with Truth Is Beauty behind me.




Last Moments

My 2015 Burning Man recap is coming to an end.....So how did I spend my last moments on the Playa? DANCING......I spent hours dancing this year and that is exactly what I wanted upon arriving there and what I wanted I got. It was perfect! I think this was my best Burn so far actually, every year it gets better somehow even though it seems like it can't get any better from the time before. Since I did not attend the burning of the Temple this year because it makes me sad I decided to take a freezing nap instead. Then I forced myself to get up at around 10 PM or so and got dressed to go and enjoy the last night of fun. I biked past the Medusa Madness and saw that it was turned into a dance area! The dj was inside the Medusa head and people were dancing underneath the snake heads that were spewing out flames of fire. Of course I joined in! It was great. Amazing energy. After about two hours or so I went to Center Camp to warm up with a hot chai before continuing my night.



Some nice people stopped me as I was on my way out and we started talking. They asked me where I was going and I told them that I was heading for Planet Earth to dance and they came with me. They had never been there before.....



I stayed at Planet Earth until closing, they actually stayed open a bit longer because people did not want it to end. I LOVE that place......OK!? Here I am until I could not be there any longer because it was over. OVER!!! NOOOOOOOO!!!



It must had been like 4 or 5 AM by that point but I was craving more music so I decided to head over to my other favorite place, White Ocean. Across the whole Playa. Well, then I discovered that my back tire was flat. That was my second flat on the Playa this year. A few days prior I had a tack stuck in my front tire but I quickly got it fixed at a bike fixing station. Well, there were no more bike fixing stations around the last night. So I walked. (And I got followed, my first creepy experience on the Playa but I will write about that another time). Only to discover that White Ocean was closed......!



But there was another dance area still open close by. And it was bad ass. Great sound and great beats. I danced non stop for a long time and watched the sun come up. It was beautiful and magical.





Hello sun!



The next day I helped clean and make order. Got my own stuff packed up, dusted off and ready to go. I collected MOOP (a perfect occupation for me actually, I should become a trash collector).



I watched the sun set behind the mountains......with a sinking feeling in my body.



Driving out I was sad. Actually the sadness started creeping on the last Saturday because you just KNOW that the end is near. I have been talking so much about being sad that Burning Man is over and having Playa depression that some people might wonder if I live a miserable life outside of Burning Man. Just to clarify, no I don't. I am extremely grateful for my life and think that I am a happy individual in general but it is AWFUL when Burning Man comes to an end. At least for me. I feel like that's where I belong. For me and many others, although it may sound like a cliché - Burning Man is HOME.



A couple of days ago I made a Burning Man memento and filled it with Playa dust that I collected by the Man after he burned down. I also sent a few out to people that I spent time with on the Playa this year.



Well, that was it my friends. Until next time......because the Man burns in 347 days!

Playa Barbie 2015

OF COURSE I had to get my picture taken in the Playa Barbie box. I love that pink box.
So this is Playa Barbie 2015 BRC Limited Edition. Very rare collectors item, only one very desirable and exquisite object exist known to man. ;-)
Couldn't decide on which pic to choose, so here are a few. Sorry to make you suffer through this......but I love my Playa Barbie pics!











More From The Playa

Here is a collection of more from the Playa......
I talked to God. THANK YOU God!



Danced at the Distrikt with new friends.




One more in front of the Man.



A nice person gave me a bracelet. Thank You!



I got the official Burning Man stamp.



The person that gave me the bracelet showed me his new art. Branded into his skin.
That's dedication!



Biking home one day I passed this dog and had to have a pic.



I went to the Orgy Dome. But only because I was curious and wanted to see what was going on in there. Once inside, after a long wait, I couldn't stop giggling. It was a short but fun visit.



I watched my friend and camp mate Sarah Jane aka wonderhussy put on her genius show where she served refreshing Vagina Coladas mixed by pussy power. We all know that there is no force stronger than pussy power, right?





A library. I didn't bring a book and I craved reading. Of course I got to read, the beautiful phenomenon with the Playa is that it somehow delivers everything you need to you. Amazing.



I ate well.



I locked and unlocked my bike so many times that my fingers got kind of raw. But I miss biking there so much.



In fact I still miss Burning Man terribly. I miss everything about it. Well, perhaps not the porta potties.....but everything else!









I so hope that I get to go again next year......!


The Burn

It's been two weeks today since the Man burned down to the ground at the Playa. Two weeks went by already! That means I am two weeks closer to next Burning Man, the countdown started in my head as soon as I left the Playa. All I can do now is live a good year until the next time. Here are pictures from the burn. The Man was 60 feet tall this year. He lit up neon green and pink after dark. So pretty. It's really something......you have to be there to feel the experience. Here I am with the Man the night before the burn.



And the night of the burn.







My new friend from Brasil.





The next day there were pieces of the Man burning still.



Facial & Massage

I drove to Anchorage yesterday to fix my phone, while I was there I had a facial. Wonderful as usual. This is how cute I looked in my hydrating mask from Korea.



I love every minute on that table, even through the manual and sometimes a bit painful extractions.



Anastasiya that does my facials is the best. Her face massage technique is amazing, she has THE touch. I have worried a bit about where I will be able to find a good esthetician when/if I move from Alaska. Finding a good one is not easy, there are many out there but I think at least half of them have no clue of what they are doing and I don't want them to touch my face. Well, it turns out Anastasiya has the perfect new esthetician for me. Another Russian lady created her own skin care line that Anastasiya actually uses. She lives a bit outside Portland. I love Portland!
So now I have somebody that I can go to for facials outside of Alaska. I'm relieved. I go for facials maybe twice a year, I would go at least three or four times a year, or once a month even if I lived in the same city or at least close by my esthetician. I LOVE facials and massages.
So today I actually had a massage here is Soldotna. A Thai massage, I never had one of those before and I loved it! I got my feet and calves massages (I love that) and the rest of me kneaded, bent, stretched and told that I'm "tall, small, perfect and flexible". :-D
The compliments worked because I booked another session.







My Center Camp Time

I start out every day at the Playa with my precious Center Camp time. I love going there and sit down with an iced latte or chai that I savor every sip of, relax alone or with a friend.....think, reflect, plan the rest of my day, talk, read, watch people. I love that place. ❤ This year Center Camp celebrated 20 years on the Playa!





So yes, you can actually buy some stuff in Black Rock City. Beverages at Center Camp and also ice at the ice stations.



I think my little Fjällräven backpack is my official Burning Man tote now. It's the second year for it on the Playa now. The first year I used my Deery Lou backpack. But Fjällräven is Swedish like me and has many useful compartments for my stuff plus is CUTE!



I love the flags flying at Center Camp, they flap nicely in the wind and the colors are so pretty. The whole place is just NICE. Next year I want to take a long nap there. Many people sleep there, very calm and soothing energy over the whole place.



This is me on my last visit to Center Camp this year, I was so sad that this was the last time for a whole year. Nooooooo!





So I'm subscribed to a Burning Man newsletter that is called The Jackrabbit Speaks . Here is some of the latest......this is the first newsletter since the Burn.

"Welcome back to... some semblance of reality and normality (whatever that means to you)! Don't worry, the feelings you're feeling are okay, no matter what they are.
That Burn was something else, huh? A week in Black Rock City's no breezy vacation. Last year's torrential rains were replaced by this year's cold temperatures and major dust storms like we haven't seen in a while. Also, there was an overwhelming infestation of non-bugs all over the place. It was unbelievable how many bugs there weren't.
So yeah, what you made happen this time... wow! From the Totem of Confessions to R-Evolution, Dream to Love, it was absolutely incredible! And of course The Midway around the Man! There was such an artistic abundance. These pieces drew people together, provoking discussion, participation, even impromptu performance.
And while the media loves to fawn over who was on a Segway at Burning Man, we know full well that the real celebrity is YOU, the people who make Black Rock City the world's most incredible crucible of creativity and wonder. Thank you for bringing what you brought, and doing what you do, and being who you are."

There is even a link to an article about how to cope with post Playa depression. I'm not the only one feeling super sad that Burning Man is over and that I'm back in reality. Post Playa depression is real and I suspect that majority of the people attending Burning Man feel it to some extent. Here is the link but I am crying reading it here at Coffee Roasters. Good I can hide behind my hair!

http://antranik.org/dealing-with-post-playa-depression-burning-man-i-love-you/