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Center Camp

The first place I went to after getting some sleep the day I arrived at Burning man was Center Camp. I loved Center Camp, they even had a coffee shop there I was happy to discover so I developed a routine of starting my day with an iced latte and some down time there.
That was the only place I spent any money. The cost of a latte was $4 plus I always tip.
One other expense at Burning Man is ice, in case you want to keep your food and beverages chilled you know. Center Camp was also open at night, I made it over there for a late night chai a few times.



My latte!



How to describe Center Camp.....it is a large communal area where people gather to relax, get a coffee or chai, do yoga, sleep, talk, make new friends, they had performers and people that held speeches there too. There was also lots of art to look at and some political stuff to read up on. A great place to be in other words. You can easily spend hours there and not become bored.





It was on my second day at Burning Man while sitting down with my latte and a book at Center Camp that I met the photographer that took some amazing pics of me.....more pics coming soon. He also gave me an empty glass vial that I filled up with playa dust during the burn of the Man. Here I am with my glass vial, feeling happy to have it.



I also got a spiritual cleansing done by Neil. He and a girl were blessing and cleansing stuff and I got a cleansing too. How sweet!



I miss having my latte at Center Camp!

Package

So some might wonder if Burning Man is all about getting wasted and high. Well.....for some it might be and for others definitely not. I brought a whopping six pack of beer with me to Burning Man, drank two and gave away the other four. I also had two mouthfuls of somebody's gin and something mixture. And I was TIPSY and very happy. I am a light weight for sure.
Then I also found a very interesting package of something in the dust while walking around on evening, I picked it up, inspected it briefly and ripped it open. Whatever it was it looked like rock candy, so I proceeded to eat three pieces that tasted just like candy. YUM!



The candy also contained hemp oil and after a while my legs felt like heavy logs, I definitely couldn't dance anymore (although I wanted too), I kept on getting unexplainable but very fun laugh attacks and felt really, really good - like a total body buzz. When I finally laid down in my bed my heart area felt like it was on fire and I could hear the music outside in detail, I could also make out other people talking in the distance. Quite interesting. Looking back now,
I should had dragged myself to go and watch the sunrise on the playa somewhere......instead of laying in bed. Mountain High Suckers it said on the package.....some form of cannabinoid.



Look, I am no prude when it comes to drugs. I have tried various things but I do it rather sparingly and I don't just want to get wasted only to get wasted. I am trying to make something meaningful out of my experiences with drugs (usually, unless I unexpectedly find strange packages on the ground and devour the contents.... :-D ) and I have even written down descriptions of most of them.
I got offered all kinds of fun stuff to ingest at Burning Man but I didn't. I didn't feel comfortable because I wasn't there with people that I knew would be there for me 100 % if I needed them to. But next year I am planning to have at least one extra special night! I am absolutely for the legalization of drugs btw. People do them anyways, legal or not.
Making drugs legal would make it more safe just to mention one benefit. Plus, hello alcohol is just as much of a narcotic as anything. I know this, I have one beer and I can totally feel the effects. Also, just because something is available and legal doesn't mean that you are going to do it. I LIKE being sober. I don't even think about it. Drugs is something that you can use to enhance your life with, if you are smart about it. And learn from......get valuable insights about yourself and the world. That is how I look at it.



A Moment

I had many MOMENTS at Burning Man.....you know when you suddenly get overwhelmed with an emotion like extra happiness or sadness, just feel more alive and aware in that moment. Let me tell you about one moment in particular. I was out riding my bike and exploring the playa during the day, it was hot, I was thirsty. I came across two large containers, one filled with some sort of Gatorade or something and another with water. Cold. Some nice person had out of the goodness of their heart put the containers there for people to quench their thirst and get refreshed. Lots of similar random acts of kindness at Burning Man and totally FREE!



So I stopped for a drink, it tasted soooooo good. Well, after a while it was me and three other people there drinking. And we had a moment. A group of strangers that shared a few minutes of connection, conversation and a group hug. I was so moved that I cried a little and I know that at least one of the others cried too. It was......beautiful. It made me feel so happy and I will never forget that, I cherish that memory. We were all from different parts of the country, Kenai, Philadelphia, San Diego and San Francisco but we were there at Burning Man together and had a moment.










Arrived

It's been two weeks now since I arrived at the playa located in Nevada's Black Rock Desert. Burning Man is held up in northern Nevada just outside a small town called Gerlach. I left Las Vegas Monday afternoon and arrived at Burning Man around 1 am Tuesday.....then it took about three hours in a slow moving line to actually get through the entry gates to camp.
For one week I stayed at 7 50 and G......and I would gladly loooooveeee to be back there right now for another week because the fun was over before I knew it. The first thing I did after getting there was to hop on my borrowed bike and head towards something......I just wanted to SEE and FEEL what was going on and this is one of the first pics that I took. The Man, on top of his craft. I knew within my first few minutes on the playa that I was in for a great experience, I could feel it in my whole being.



What do you need to bring to Burning Man to get by? Well, the very obvious, you need shelter, water and food. I was lucky and stayed in a rather comfortable motor home.



But there were plenty of people there that stayed in tents. So that is also perfectly doable, although I think I would prefer some form of RV for comfort. And many make shaded and comfortable lounge areas in their camp by the help of tarps, flowing tapestries, pillows etc.
I already have a theme and color idea for the camp I want to make next year.
Another thing you need is a bike. The playa is large and it saves you a lot of time if you bring a bike. I am the kind of person that wants to see and do as much as possible. I encountered a few people at the event that basically only hibernated in their camp, took a daily trip to the porta-potties and then made a trip to see the Man burn, that's it. Eeeeeh what? I think you need to get out there and see what Burning Man has to offer, because it is A LOT.
Here is my bike. Note my very cute backpack. It got a lot of attention for being so cute.





This is Sarah aka Wonderhussy, being fabulous as usual. We shared camp. Camp ChakaLaka that you can see in the background of the pic. You can read her very fun, amazing and informative blog here
She has some great Burning Man stories up right now......! That is how we met a few years ago, through our blogs.



And here I am with Sarah, her sisters Anna and Eliza and some other person.



A lot of people transformed their bikes into moving artwork. There is lots of wonderful creativity at Burning Man.







Here are some random cuties, there were lots of cuties to look at too. ;-)



Here I am pedaling my way around the playa one night.



I have much more of my Burning Man experience coming up. I want to break it down in pieces. Besides it is latte time!







Brand New

Here is a brand new pic of me at Burning Man. I was lucky enough to run into a very nice person and also a great photographer while I was sitting by myself at Center Camp sipping on an iced latte. We started talking and a few days later he took some pics of me. The statue in the background was one of my favorite pieces of art at Burning Man, I called it The Lady, not sure if that is the correct name. More pictures of the statue another time and I have more pictures to show from the shoot too.
It is raining and windy out. I am going to get dressed and head out for my latte, a hot one today. Then I have errands to do and possibly work tonight.



Photographer Michael Helms.





Memories

So when I was at Burning Man I was lucky enough to borrow a bike for the whole time I was there....the chain came off a few times and people were nice enough to fix it for me each time. Well, after so many times of coming off I took the bike to a bike repair place, yes there were a few of those at Burning Man, nice people taking time out of THEIR Burning Man to repair bikes, for FREE. Wanting nothing in return. While some good hearted person was fixing my bike, another came up and gave me this Burning Man necklace that he carved out of wood, he said he made about 200 to give away. Thank You! Another time while I was enjoying my latte at Center Camp a group sat down by me, we started chatting and next thing I know I get this vial that was empty at the time but I filled it up with playa dust. I had been thinking how nice it would be to bring back some playa dust home as a memory and then a stranger gave me that empty vial. Unreal. One more thing, the stranger turned out to be a rather amazing photographer and he offered to take pics of me, of course I said yes and the pics turned out so good. I am very happy with them and I feel very fortunate and again extremely grateful.
So this evening I put my two gifts in the window with some incense and a candle, sending out happy thoughts and memories about the Burning Man that I got to experience. And hope to experience again.



One more thing. While waiting for my connecting flight in Seattle last night a woman got paged. Her last name was Gerlach. That is the name of the town closest to where Burning Man is held. She got paged twice, so I know I heard it correctly. Coincidence? To me it is a sign that I need to go again. And make more memories.
Of course some people will never understand Burning Man and think (wrongly) that it is ONLY some huge freak orgy where you get drunk, drugged up and run around naked and act like an ass. That would be more like Mardi Gras or any local bar. I went to Mardi Gras once, not my scene and guess what....I didn't show my boobs once. Burning Man has its share of naked people but it's not sexual, at least not for me. It didn't seem to be for the naked ones either. I am full of happiness and feel like I am radiating from the inside of my soul. When I hear people talk negative about something so amazing that they have no clue about and are not even willing to be open minded about, it makes me sad. Please do not destroy other people's joy!

Namaste



Who missed their daily dose of Tatiana? :-) Well I'm back....almost. I am sitting on a curb at 2 am in Tonopah NV writing this with a rather spotty internet connection.....still hundreds of miles from Vegas. I am alive and I am HAPPY ! My Burning Man experience was more than amazing and I am so very grateful that I went. Much more about it all later after I download all the pics onto my computer etc. I just wanted to check in real quick and let you all know that I made it out of the Black Rock Desert......Namaste!

In Style



I have arrived in Vegas....I love this place....the air smells like rain and sage brush.....The first stop? Whole Foods for a latte and an almond croissant, stocked up on some food too. I am heading for Burning Man soon and guess what....I am going in style! Not sure about the internet connection at Burning Man therefore my next update might be in a week or so. Well....I have to go....until next time! ♥



On My Way

So.....let's start with a pic of last nights view that I saw while driving to work. SO pretty! That is Mount Redoubt in the background, an active volcano.



We had another sunny and gorgeous day today. Me and Chhaya went walking in Kenai,
I found a new place to take her, it is really nice and close to the beach. Then I had to get ready for my trip. I do not like traveling, I get anxious, everything feels like a chore, the packing.....then the unpacking, the airport, the flight. I also don't like returning to a messy house, so I always try to make sure things look nice before I leave. UGH...... And I hate leaving Chhaya , that is the WORST part. So I am already counting down the days until I can see her and my beautiful home again.......



I hope I didn't forget anything important. I got goggles, a dust mask and my head lamp,
I guess sand storms are common at the Black Rock Desert. My checked bag weighed 49 lbs. There are at least 61 000 tickets sold for this years Burning Man and the limit is 68 000. I will be in that crowd! I feel very happy, excited and a bit nervous..... :-D



I am writing this at the airport. Saw Dan Brown's new book Inferno . Getting that when I get back, it is too thick to bring with me on this trip.



Burning Man Ticket

My Burning Man ticket has arrived. This is really going to happen and it is happening next month! I have been wanting to go to Burning Man for so long and I am excited to finally be able to experience it. I think it is a place somewhere in the desert where you can run around naked, do lots of drugs, capture men and then burn them on a stake. Sounds like something right up my alley because I am such a man hater! Oh and a drug addict. Let's not forget to add that.



I actually got taken in to the office and reprimanded by the owner of the club last night. Because I basically very loudly (yes, I admit that I was yelling over the music) told a drunk, obnoxious and verbally abusive man to shut the fuck up and keep his money. This man, why he is even allowed inside the club I don't know. He always either arrives very intoxicated or gets to that point while at the club. He is very loud, has poor social skills and thinks that he can say and do whatever he wants because he waves around money. And he always challenges other guys to fight, one day somebody will knock his teeth out and rightfully so. Well, I don't like getting verbally abused and I am not going to comply with any of his demands. Why? Because I don't have to. Even though I work in a strip club. Newsflash to all you chauvinistic men out there! GO FUCK yourselves with a cactus!
I understand that the owner of the club makes money of pathetic alcoholics like this guy and that he does spend money in there on drinks and tipping the bartender and the girls on stage. I absolutely understand that. But what he has to understand is that I will not tolerate anyone talking to me like that. Ever. I mentioned things like pride and integrity during our talk. There is always a line when money is of no importance and my integrity is priceless.
That is what I said.
I understand that men do not always understand why I can come off as stand offish, in comparison to many of the other girls in the club, note that I am saying MANY, not all.
Some guys expect to get their ego stroked and their ass kissed no matter how they act or what they say. Because they have the money. Well, I don't kiss ass. Not yours, not his, not anybody's. Take it or leave it. And keep your dollars, I actually have plenty as it is. Go and talk to another girl and leave me alone! They always try to talk to me though.....even though I am "so rude". Booooohooooo!
To the owners defense I have to add that he and I had a calm and intelligent discussion and he started out our little talk with telling me what he does like about me.....I am an asset to the club, he wants me there, he thinks that I am very attractive and also that I come off as regal. So from now on you can all address me as Princess Tatiana!

Meaning of the name Tatiana " The name Tatiana is of Russian origin. The meaning of Tatiana is "fairy princess". Tatiana falls into the royal title name category."
Read more fun facts about Tatiana here