The Playa Provides

The playa provides is a common maxim among burners, and I have witnessed it in action personally. There is a huge amount of serendipity that occurs at the burn. Probably because everyone there is far more open to giving, receiving, helping, meeting people, new ideas, etc... Some chalk it up to some form of karma, but whatever is the root of it there is definitely some kind of magic that frequently occurs.

It takes many different forms ranging from simple things like stumbling across someone gifting ice cream while you are daydreaming about ice cream to more improbable things like meeting your soul mate while feeling lonely and depressed. Often it is more mundane things like finding someone with the exact part you need after something breaks.

No Mooching

This doesn't mean is that you should show up totally unprepared and expect everyone to take care of you. Although that's been done - it will quickly get you labeled as a sparkle pony. Burning Man is about radical self reliance so come prepared. Folks will usually be glad to help you out if you forget something (it is a gift economy after all), but constant mooching will not make you any friends.

My Favorite Playa Story

Late one night a young woman spent several hours in our bar. She apparently had a great time and said she liked our bar so much she would come back with swag the next day, and that it had her picture on it. Thinking that putting a photo of ones self on swag for Burning Man gifting was rather odd, I asked why it had her picture. She replied that she was famous on Youtube.

This instantly triggered my snark gland so I told her that I'm rather famous myself, and in a fit of gross exaggeration said that half the people in Black Rock City knew me - by name. I could see the doubt on her face, although she didn't actually call me on it.

Another hour passed and when it started getting light out we all decided to go next door and toast the sunrise with some picklebacks. So we are standing there in the street and there wasn't another soul moving the entire length of 4:00. Suddenly a guy comes around the corner of G and is walking down the opposite side of 4:00. When he was almost directly across the street he looks up, sees me, yells Brand X! (my playa name), and comes running over.

Much to my surprise and delight, the first words out of his mouth were "I know you from Youtube". The look on her face was priceless, we all chatted a while, had some picklebacks, and as usual I missed the actual sunrise. She never did return with the swag though.

The funniest part of it all is that I've never posted anything to Youtube, although he probably knew me from my this web site. This couldn't have gone better if I had scripted it. I doubt I will ever have a better BM story than this.

Sometimes the stars just align for you. The Playa truly provides.