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Need servers for Burning Man...

We spent 2 weeks the end of August through September working a food truck just outside burning man. Yeah, the artsy, crazy, dancy, drugy, hippie fest in northern Nevada. If you ask me to describe burning man in 1 word it would be weird. Good weird, bad weird, strange weird, awesome weird, weird weird. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Let’s start from the beginning.

While in Vegas we were searching craigslist for our next job. We had no idea where we were headed, so we searched so many cities and stumbled upon a craigslist add in medford, Oregon, looking for “food servers for thai asian restaurant outside burning man.” That’s

basically all it said, and when I told Brandon about it he immediately said YES! ​​Being from San Diego, we know about music festivals, although we’ve never been. We know the gist, skimpy clothes, drunk frat guys, shitty music, but hey those people spend money so lets serve some food! We headed toward Reno and made it to the SMALL, SMALL town of Gerlach Nevada, population 150. There’s a gas station, a motel, and a casino/restaurant all owned by some old man named Bruno. We had read about Burning Man and thought we were headed toward a Coachella-like festival in the desert with something they call playa dust. We prepared the RV by taping all windows and outside cabinets with blue painters tape to keep the playa dust out and used reflextix insulation to reflect the sun in hopes of keeping the RV cool on over 100 degree days. We had been talking with the restaurant owner over email who called their self Kwong. We had no idea if Kwong was a man or woman or if that was even his/her real name. When we got to the address Kwong sent us, it was an outdoor swap meet set up called the “Burners Bazaar”. We ended up working a food truck that served chicken wraps with peanut sauce, egg rolls and thai tea. Along with Kwong, who turned out to be an asian man- go figure, we would be working with Justin, a 21 year old, shy, jesus look a like who rarely wore shoes from Santa Cruz, Allysa, a 23 year old, blond dreaded, lives in her car, curious, artistic, full of life girl with a great family from Nevada City, and Rye, a 27 year old, dirty, douchey, judgy, wanna be from Boise who got fired 3 days after we started. Brandon, Justin, Allysa and I worked 5-10 hour shifts the first week serving food and hanging out in the food trailer.


None of us had ever been to Burning Man or even this close to Burning Man so it was awesome to experience it with newbies. Allysa was a curious girl, interested in hearing how everyone got there and why they were going to Burning Man so she made a ton of friends, ended up getting hired at 3 other shops during her off time and making some extra money. At the end of the 2 weeks, she met a guy from Oregon who needed a trimmer so she got her next gig from him. (I learned what a trimmer was that week). She was awesome to be around, a hard worker and her and I had some amazing conversations. It was cool to see how she viewed the entire experience just thirsty to hear people’s stories, where as I didn’t give a shit so it was refreshing to be around her. Brandon and Justin got a long great as well, they talked shit and Justin was a quiet, listener type so he just let Brandon talk and talk, it was a good pairing. Rye got fired because he’s a douche and tried to do things his own way instead of Kwong’s way. Kwong has been to Burning Man 8 years now, as the last stop before going in and burners first stop when they exit. He cooked all the food outside in giant pots and fryers and we just served it. He was quirky, smart, funny and overall an amazing guy. He valued hard work and made sure to let us know he appreciated us and how well we worked for him compared to past years’ employees. He was a big wine drinker, he brought about 20 bottles and let us know we can drink one each shift, his famous saying about drinking while working was “we’re all adults here” for some reason we all thought it was just so funny how he said it over and over again. It was hot as balls most of the time and we lived our days hanging out in the food truck bullshitting and making friends with some pizza guys from Reno. Brandon and I didn’t make any new friends aside from the 3 we worked with and the pizza guys, everyone else was just not our people. When you drink bud light, talk shit, don’t pray to anything and like pop music, apparently you’re not a burner. Even though we’re not burners, it was an excellent experience, we made a bunch of money and it definitely forced us both to get outside our comfort zones. We will be forever grateful to Kwong for all of his silly, asian wisdom and the fun we had those 2 weeks.

If you ever go to Burning Man make sure to stop 15 miles outside the entrance in Gerlach at the Burner’s Bazaar and look for Kwong’s food truck, Asia!

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