People, my people, how have you been? It seems like forever since I’ve written to you. Hey, I missed you! It’s been the most bizarre 10 days, I have so much to tell you! Where to begin, where to begin??? Hmmmmm… I think I’ll split it into two posts – Pre-Boom and then the festival itself. I really wish I could’ve posted while I was there, but it just wasn’t possible… So here we go…

Pre-Boom

Siggy organized a ride share (remember, internet organized hitch hiking) for us for the 12+ hour drive from Spain to Portugal. Luckily the people we found were going to the same festival, so we could make it all the way to the festival grounds with them, as opposed to getting to a nearby city and figuring out another ride to the festival. Yay, score!!

We waited patiently at a corner café in Bilbao, Spain for our ride to arrive at 3:00 pm two Friday’s ago. Two and a half hours late, our ride share arrives, driving an old dirty, RV camper. When I first saw it, I had flashbacks to the Vacation movies where Clark Griswold’s crazy cousin Eddie showed up with his dirty RV… Anyone remember that movie? Anyone? OMG what have we gotten ourselves into??? I’m going to be in an RV camper for the next – who knows how long- with strange men in a strange country, on the way to a festival with a bunch of “drugged up hippies”… Red flags, red flags, red flags…. Oh shit…

I look at Siggy with my most sincere, “Oh shit” look… She is jumping up and down with excitement, and says, “Oh, I’ve always wanted to ride in an RV – this is going to be so much fun!” Ummmm, do they not show CSI or Criminal Minds in Australia where Siggy’s from? Are you freakin’ kidding me, we could end up kidnapped and buried in the Portuguese desert somewhere, never to be seen again… This is a really terrible idea. 

We soon meet our Italian drivers, Marco and David, probably in their early 30’s – they organized the ride and own the RV. Marco is a handsome, dark skinned man with dread locks – his hair reminds me of one of the vampire characters from the 80’s movie, The Lost Boys. Davids’ look is more goofy, crazed scientist, with a funny little partial Mohawk haircut….Ok Eryn, just sus’ out the situation and see how you feel… Don’t pre-judge them…. They both seem like decent down-to-earth people, maybe this is ok… Then we meet two other guys, one is a hitchhiker from the Netherlands they picked up along the way, and the other guy was from France… They’re both young, mid 20’s, I’d guess… Oh, this is great… Two cute girls riding in an RV with 4 men that are complete strangers to us… Where’s my freakin’ pepper spray??

My red flags are flying high and I am on alert, but still trying to keep a calm face and just roll with the situation… They do all seem genuinely kind and harmless. It’s ok Eryn, trust your instincts… they all seem really nice… Yeah, but Ted Bundy was charming and charismatic too…. No, no Eryn, it’s ok, it’s ok… Siggy and I load into the RV, throw our bags into the corner with the rest of them and sit at the little fold out table with the Dutch and French dudes. Marco and David sit up front and we begin our journey south…

I sit observing my surroundings and the new people I’ve just met… I feel like Jason Bourne checking all exit points, locations of possible weapons, potential dangers inside the RV, etc.   Really Eryn, this is ridiculous… Just calm your thoughts… Chill babe… You’re fine…

Cigarette butts burn in the coconut shell ashtray on the table and the guys are munching on some stale carbohydrate crunchies – the Italian version of Chex mix… Familiar images of Indian symbols and the Hamsa Israeli symbol for protection adorn the walls of the RV… Yeah, these guys are ok… No worries mate… Relaaaaxxxx Eryn…

Hours and hours roll by and we rotate positions regularly, all moving about in different locations of the RV, tired of sitting in the same place and getting to know each other. As the night gets later and we all get more comfortable with each other, the conversation turns to drug use and the upcoming festival known for it’s easy access to drugs. David asks us if we want to buy any DMT… What the hell is DMT??? I am so ignorant to the drug culture… “Ummm, no man, thanks, I’m good…” I listen on to their conversations though, eager to soak up information on the different types of drugs and their lifestyles, so different to mine… How cool to have access to someone who knows so much about all these different drugs – not really my scene, but interesting… Awwwwe and they really are proving to be nice guys… But I’m still on guard…

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P109066720140802_132755Finally, Siggy and I decide to try and get some sleep… We take the small open bed in the RV and sleep together since there’s limited space. Plus, I want to stay together just in case something creepy happens… I have my pepper spray buddy, look out!! Siggy falls asleep quickly, but I find my brain is too active and I am too nervous that something will happen… What if these guys start doing some drugs while they’re driving? What if they come back here and start making the moves on us? What if we’re pulled over and drugs are discovered inside the RV, will we be locked up abroad like the TV show? What if the guys are stoned and we get in an accident and die tonight? Stupid, stupid, stupid, Eryn.. So many crazy scenarios play out in my mind… Whqt if? What if? What if?

Finally, after hours of agonizing over the endless tragic possibilities, a peace sort of just washes over me… My mind surrenders and I release all the worrisome thoughts, knowing that it is totally out of my control. What will be will be… If God sees this as my time then it’s my time, right?? Would it really be in my control anyway? How much do I really trust in God? Where is the line between protection and fate and everything being out of my control?   Whose control is it in anyway? At this point, if something bad is meant to happen tonight, won’t it happen anyway, whether I’m in some tragic RV accident, or some crazy event in a shopping mall in the U.S.? Or am I being negligent and irresponsible by allowing this situation to occur in the first place? Statistically you obviously have a greater chance of incidence in this RV, Eryn…  

Siggy and I have conversations often on this topic, as I tend to be the cautious voice of reason with my westernized, skeptical logic, and she tends to be the all trusting naïve soul that thinks we are protected and safe in any situation… I wish I was more like her, trusting everyone and everything, but my brain has been sculpted, molded and shaped in an overly cautious fashion for 37 years now…

I mean, this is not like in your hometown when you choose to do something a little risky, with people you know close by that can help in a crisis and 911 just a phone call away… We are all alone out here in the world with only each other to depend on… Where is the line between where God and the universe and greater powers will protect us and when is it putting ourselves in compromising situations that could bring us into a dangerous situation? How much do I really trust in God? I’ve always said I believed in God… It’s like I’ve talked the talk, but now I’ve gotta walk the walk… Just trust… But, ok, were the Jewish people in Auschwitz trusting in God? (Sorry that’s probably too serious of an example) But bad things happen to good people all the time… Geez, I just don’t know, I want to believe everyone is good and that we’re protected and we’ll be ok in any situation, but… I’ve seen too much CSI and evening news programs…   

Luckily we survive the night without incident, whew and again it’s another lesson that my worrying accomplished nothing and was a complete waste of energy…. Not only that, but it totally took away from me enjoying the experience of meeting these new cool people because I was placing judgments on them from the minute I saw the RV to the second I stepped onto the dry, dusty Portuguese earth.

We finally make it to Idanha-A-Nova Portugal where we are meant to spend the next 9 nights at the Boom Festival with 40,000 other festival participants. The plan was to arrive there early enough to get good spots for our tent and the RV so we didn’t have to walk miles to the dance tents and all the events. It was a good plan, except that they didn’t allow people into the property until a day later, so there were hoards of us camping outside the festival.

Siggy and I pitched our tent right near the guys RV, knowing we’d ride in with them the next day. It was a relief to be out of that RV and in our own space finally… Albeit, a small space in a tent… It was ours… Psytrance music blared from someone’s stereo in the distance, ok, I’m diggin’ this… FYI – Psytrance, or psychedelic trance is electronic synthesized music played by DJ’s, with high tempo riffs and complex layered tunes… I kinda liken it to techno on steroids if that’s more familiar to you… But I’m sure real psytrance fans would have a better comparison – that’s the best I’ve got… There is a consistent thump, thump, thump at the core of psytrance, that continues all through the night as we try to sleep. Doesn’t the CIA use loud, continuous, blaring music as an interrogation method? Yes, I’m sure I’ve seen that on Homeland…  I tossed and turned trying to tune out the music and find a comfortable spot on the hard earth to sleep… Grrrr… If this is what it’s gonna be like, I’m in for a long week.   

Now that I’m on the other side of the festival, and had some time to reflect on those 24 hours in the RV, I’m embarrassed and a little ashamed at how I internally questioned everyone and everything in a situation that turned out to be fine. When I analyze my skeptical thoughts, I do realize that most of my judgments were fear based, so I’m letting myself off the hook a little bit… It’s not that I judged them for who they were or the lifestyles they led – I really am not bothered by whatever life choices they have made and the lives they live. I was just fearful for my own safety – and Siggy’s… And maybe they were valid concerns – or maybe I was just being an overly cautious skeptical American… It’s made me question our upbringing though in our American culture as I see how different Siggy the Australian is, and I see that I have been molded by the environment and affected by the television we watch and the negative stories broadcast in our 24 hour news society…

Sometimes when Siggy puts me in situations where I’m outside my comfort zone, I feel like I play the role of the big sister, a little bit wiser to the world, trying to keep us protected… But maybe Siggy’s really the wiser one with her pure trusting soul… I would love to be like her and free myself from these untrusting thoughts… Wouldn’t it be nice if we lived in a world where we didn’t have to question these things and the people around us? Maybe such a utopian society exists… Hmmmm I wonder…

So, tell me… How many of you would trust in the protection of higher powers and would’ve gotten in the RV????  I want to know!! 🙂

Stay tuned for all the adventures of Boom Festival…

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