Several months ago at the Anarchist Book Fair a tea-sipper told me about the Really Really Free Market, which takes place the last Saturday of the month in Dolores Park. The concept is fairly simple. The RRFM is a participant driven free market place, with everything from goods to music. No barter. No Money. Just Gifting. Why? Community, reusing, recycling – basically for the people and the planet. Check out their site for more info.
My friend Sara and I showed up early to get set up. We realized a couple days before that the Dyke March was going to be happening at the same time, so we were prepared for both. The shier size of the Dyke March (wikipedia says over 200,000), over-powered the area where we thought the RRFM would be in Dolores Park. Sara made up a huge batch of (mostly) organic hummus, which we walked around and shared with sliced day old bread and whole loaves with people sitting in the park. We had a sign that said “Free.” It was a funny experiment, and Sara and I observed that when one person in a group says no, the rest of the people in their group says no, but as soon as one person says yes, more people in the group will say yes too. It’s the same way with tea too. People were also curious why we were doing what we were doing, so we got a chance to explain what the RRFM is all about (even though we had never been to one), and that it was taking place at the same place and time as the Dyke March, even if they couldn’t tell. And even we couldn’t find it!
When our sliced bread dwindled, we headed back to the bus for the day, welcoming people to share our space and sip some iced tea. Sitting there sharing stories and tea with people, a Friend named Alex showed up, who ended being the person who had told me about the RRFM originally. I guess the RRFM was actually happening across the street and an interaction began between them and the the tea bus. It was great!
Wonderful people kept stopping by all day. Couchsurfing people, RRFM folks, Om Shan-tea peeps… People kept telling us all day about this Free Farm Stand run by a fellow named Tree. When we were shutting down in the evening, an older fellow came by and asked what we were doing and why, and got excited. It ended up it was Tree and he told us to come by the next day to host a tea party at the Free Farm Stand if we’d like. Wow, San Francisco is full of amazing folks!