Yeah, I've heard people having these grand adventures and interactions with random strangers they've met in other camps too. That hasn't really happened to me either. Outside the Meet and Greet, I've rarely interacted with people I really didn't know already; were it not for this forum, I'd probably have never met them, or have continued to talk to them. It's just how things are for me. Of course there were people I'd share a joke with or engage in conversations, but they were the kind of conversations you have while waiting in line to some scheduled event. I've had longer and more engaging conversations with people I've sat next to on planes.abkiwi wrote:The White thing that I mentioned was an observation formed from the collective responses I had gotten from the few white people I talked to. All they could talk about was the many lovely people they had been meeting and how wonderful everything was. Meanwhile, I look at my bag of gifts, still almost full. I was both jealous and sad that interactions came so easily to them, while I struggled. I have an outgoing personality and generally have little trouble meeting people, but it was a different story at Burning Man.
In my recollection, I don't think I've ever had a more extensive conversation/interaction with someone at Burning Man outside of people I know or people in my camp. The people in my camp could also be considered strangers too the first time I met them; so maybe that somewhat counts? I've actually had more person-to-person interactions (outside the people I know) at my regional burn than anytime I've been at Burning Man. It's one reason I like both events about equally. Am I missing something in the experience of it all? Perhaps, but considering that I don't know better, I'm not one to judge. I still have a great time, and don't regret who I met or did not meet. Maybe you had different expectations.
So from my view, I don't think your experience was really an exceptional one, except for the fact that you're probably more outgoing than many of us. While there is definitely that welcoming and open feeling, it can be lonely out there in BRC. People are still the same social animals they are outside the event, and generally cluster together with people they already know -- or congregate around services or events.
Did race play a part in your interaction experiences? It may have, but I don't think that's the core reason for your experiences. I think it's just the social nature of the event. With those other people talking about their great interaction experiences, it could have been from a variety of things: who those people were with; the situations they happened to fall into; mutual interests in some sort of art/event; or even how "approachable" those people may have seemed. Approachability comes from all sorts of perceptions: a feeling of openness, gender, costumes, how busy someone looks, the frequency that the person smiled -- and yes, even race. I think it's a combination of things, not any one particular feature.
If you return, perhaps attend the ePlaya Meet and Greet. It's a lot of fun, and you meet people outside your face-to-face group of friends (for me anyway). The time I went, I thought I'd say my hellos and leave after an hour, but I ended up staying a few more talking to the people I had only seen as avatars on the forum. For everywhere else in the playa? Make the most of what you can. The playa needs more people like yourself who want to openly engage strangers.