While trying to get a ticket for the Burningman festival, I get caught up in a phone scam. I meet a couple who walk in with me at the gate and the ticket they sold me is fake. Security throws me out, and a man sympathizes, handing me money which includes English pound coins.

I decide to wander to the 6pm side of the city. I see R and J at a poorly secured border. I walk over the shabby fencing and walk to an area that looks like a Middle Eastern souk (market). I see dark-skinned soldiers with long clubs and machine guns. I look over a wall and see an art installation that is a flock of huge, edible pink flamingos. I walk by New Orleans style bars and Munich style beer halls. A strange steam punk contraption appears over another wall. I go closer and look for Bishop Joey.

Wandering more alleys, the path narrows and crowds with revelers. I come out to another Burningman entrance! Outside the festival (again), I watch busloads of uniformed American soldiers exit with fanfare and enter the event for free with crowds cheering and applauding.

I wander to the 9pm side of the city. Over there, I see the LA skyline looming over crisscrossing freeway overpasses. This side of Burningman is empty. Several citizens walk by talking about the rumor that nasty winds blew down Larry Harvey’s statue of the man.

I walk back to 6pm and step over the shoddy fencing again. My phone rings. Answering, I have an elderly woman plead with me to stop calling her. I tell he I am not calling her, but we both discover that someone from the ticket scam is using my number.

Jan. 10, 2012 (Marin Co.)

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