The Birth Of My Playa Name

This happened to me early in the setup week, and was a nice reminder of how serendipitous encounters often leave a mark on you at the burn. They’re usually full of warmth and enjoyment, and really are part of the magic. In this case, it was the birth of my first (given) playa name.

This was my fifth burn, and I came for setup. I flew in from London the Sunday before the event started, and was in full swing getting our camp built the following day. On the third night the team and I hit the showers late evening. I was still pretty heavily jetlagged so ready for bed as soon as we were done. I was driving, and going very slowly, very carefully. There weren’t many other camps placed by this point so as we approached camp I lost the markings, and drove in the general direction I thought was home.

All of a sudden we see a lady run towards the car (it was pitch black by this point by the way).

“Oh dear” I thought, “I’ve just driven through someone’s camp”.

I wound down the window to apologise, and as I said it,

“Oh not at all! I was just coming over to tell you that my campmates and I were just sitting out, and you just made us laugh so much just now”, with a smile beaming

“Oh, how come” I said, a bit confused,

“Well you were turning from the road over there into this one, and we were watching you slow down, then you stopped…”. By this point I kind of figured out where she was going with this and a smile began to appear on mine. “Bearing in mind there isn’t another moving car here for miles… you put your indicator on to turn into the road!”

We both laughed. Looking around, it was pretty empty, and nothing was moving in any direction we looked

“We figured you must be British”

I laughed more, said my goodbyes and laughed again as we heard the laughter from the lady’s camp, she’d just told them that I was British.

I thought nothing of it afterwards, but the next day, Cuzn Bob from our camp leant over to me as we were sitting together, and told me he’d been walking by at the time this had happened and got the story from that lady directly, and had already proceeded to inform our camp of my goof. And then, he proudly announced my brand new playa name…”Turn Signal”

by Turn Signal

About the author: Tales From the Playa

Tales From the Playa

Tales From the Playa are dreams and memories of events that took place at Burning Man, as told by participants. Submit your story here.