Another DoorLost in the middle of the Another Door art installation
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Today is my birthday.
For better or worse, my age now has a zero on the end again.
Ironically, Burning Man is one of the few places on earth where such a thing has little meaning.
Most of the rest of the United States treats it as a major rite of passage.
People consider birthdays like this as a time to reflect, and then get really depressed when reality doesn’t match up with dreams set a decade or two ago.
Burners, by contrast, believe the mismatch means people should just find other goals to pursue; ones suited to current reality.
Authentic self expression within a community can happen regardless of age or circumstance.
If someone told me I would be here a decade ago, I would have asked what drugs they were taking.
Temple of TransitionThe most spiritual place at Burning Man, and one of the larest artworks at the festival
My tent cover really proved itself this morning.
I got to bed near dawn this morning.
I woke up after noon, in the hottest part of the day.
My water is cold enough to drink, too.
Veterans warned that to succeed on the playa, a participant needs the ability to make intelligent adjustments, along with proper preparation.
Something always doesn’t go as planned, and dealing with it can sour the experience heavily.
When I compared this to how the trip as a whole was shaping up at the time, they pretty much agreed with me.
I had my first changes today.
The alkaline dust is doing a number on my feet.
Enough burners have this problem that it has a name: playa foot.
I applied a little vinegar to neutralize the alkalinity, and then cleaned with baby wipes.
I’m going to wear sneakers from now on instead of sandals, which should help keep the dust away.
The more serious problem is feeling queasy.
I’ve camped enough to realize this is an early sign of dehydration.
I need to carry
Inside the TempleInside the central tower of the temple. A gong from the Gamelatron sits on the lower left.
and drink much more water during the day.
Thirst is caused by the imbalance of water and salts within the body.
In a dry desert, people sweat both water and salts, so thirst doesn’t appear until it’s too late.
Even worse, the sweat boils off so people don’t feel sweaty either.
I need to get in the habit of forcing down water constantly.
Thanks to these issues, I’m not really feeling festive today.
Skipping a birthday in some places is grounds for psychiatric counseling.
In Black Rock City, it’s a personal preference; people celebrate what they feel is important.
I feel this milestone is important, but I should handle it when I can give it the engagement it deserves.
I’ll celebrate tomorrow.
During breakfast, I got another lesson on the reality of life on the playa.
When I travel, I love the great outdoors, modern art, historical sites, good food, classic roadside attractions, and long drives in a convertible. Preferably all at once. The nickname is a tribute to a wise traveller in the Hitch-hikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, who proved that all you really need to cross the galaxy (and beyond) is a towel.
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