Hello, last week in Bangkok. I did not expect you to come around quite that quick.
The time honestly flew by and I am so so grateful for this whole experience, new friends, new professional connections, the whole of the Thai crew and the Europeans. It was special. Big thanks to my agents for helping to send me here, if it wasn’t for their hard work making it all work out for me, I would not have spent those 3 months in the tropical country, while Europe gradually got colder and greyer.
Sunday started with very little sleep for me. I had a nice lay in the day before so just couldn’t fall asleep early enough to get the decent amount of hours in. The other night I had a dream about diving and my dive master badge (not sure if that is even a thing) excited and still cannot quite believe that in a week I will be packing up to travel to Indonesia for the next 2 months. Work wise it was a difficult day, but mainly because I was sleepy. The highlight of the day was the big green screen shot with two of the actors hanging on wires hooked to their underpants as part of a VFX sequence. Pretty entertaining.
Monday. We started the day in the dusty dungeon made to look as Indian prison. We had our usual director back in the morning and honestly I was not looking forward to the switch which was happening after lunch in a nicer location. One of the actors got me a present today. For a few projects now I was making a continuous effort to get to know actors a little bit more so I would like them as people and not see them just as actors who came to do their job and have mood swings making our work harder. I feel like my effort has been paying off and not in the sense of presents, but in a fact that I feel better around them and it helps with doing my job better too. Wish I had figured that out earlier in my career, but hey ho.
Tuesday. A pleasant ride to the new location a little out of Bangkok. I knew that we are filming on a plane today, but boy I got surprised. So I was left behind in the base camp and had to find my own way to the location and it is pretty exciting to be discovering new things when you don’t really have any expectations or direction for that matter. So as I was walking up as instructed to the 4th flour of this building various shops started revealing themselves, like 711, Starbucks, some electronics store. As I was going up with the escalator I saw a sign on the entrance to one of the halls saying “chef school” (interesting, I thought) and then as I was greeted by one of the PAs I entered our hall and saw literally top half of the plane sitting there with one side of it being made out of glass so you can see inside it. It looked like a big toy plane, but you could walk into it. As I did, it was all complete with economy seats, business class section, microwaves with which flight attendants use to heat up your food and a proper cockpit with the dashboard and all, which was made out of plastic, but close enough to the real thing I assume. I mean really I felt like being in a toy and I love detailed toys like this. Anyway, so as I have later found out this is a training plane of the flight attendant school. How cool is that!? Also I had time to go with the director and the dop for a little Starbucks run, which was a welcome moment since we don’t get to be in a non work related environment often and moments like these do a lot for my mental wellbeing, I was happy. Also being able to order one of my favourite keto coffees made me feel like home and I do miss home.
Wednesday. I stopped having breakfasts so I could go out for dinners with my colleagues after work. Also having breakfast at 6 or 7 am feels too early and lunch at 12 feels more like a breakfast to me. Really should have done the switch earlier. Had a pretty long sleep today, pick up for work being at 6:35 felt like a lay in. So today we are in a “nice house” as the location describes and well it is a pretty nice house. We have been here before, but goodness, last time I have not noticed the floor shaking this much! When I was sitting still and writing this, every step someone took just to pass by, I felt vibrations going all the way to my head. It’s pretty crazy, got me wondering if the floor was rotting underneath and we are all going to cave in by the end of the day? On a fun note we were filming people filming an interview. I like films about film crews and it felt a little bit like that. Had some nice chats with some of the Russian extras, being an extra in Thailand seems like a legit career as there are so many film productions going on as it turns out.
Thursday. Day of smiles and positivity. Everyone is tired, but still happy as if after a good workout. Pondering about life and what’s it like to work in this industry and how it feels after the job is over. Also I just found out that the French teacher on this project speaks fluent Russian. Funny that even on the day before last there are still new things to be discovered. As work goes it was a good day in the pool location. It was our last time here and after that the whole building gets knocked down so even if we needed to return in March we wouldn’t be able to. We had our crew photo taken during lunch which is a lovely tradition on film jobs I think. Second half of the day was a little busier as I had some eyeline thinking to do, I like those moments. In the evening I ran to the mall to get some chocolates for the crew, had a quick dinner/ coconut at Charlie’s and fell asleep on a FaceTime to bf.
Friday. As we were driving to location all of the sudden the city seemed nicer. Last days have that effect. I had a tea for breakfast on the roof top of this building we had our base camp set up in. Overlooking the pink haze of smog – this city became home. It’s strange that I always say that I don’t like the routine or it’s easy for me to move on from one thing to another, but when the inevitable end comes I feel like I really enjoyed the stability and the connection I made with the place. I was semi officially asked to come back in March, if all goes well with the dates and agents I will return. That’s a comforting thought. The day had a slow and hot pace to it. A lot of waiting around due to make up/prosthetic change, a lot of free time to ponder over the end of the project. The crew was super sweet to each other, I have given out my chocolates first thing in the morning and then after lunch others joined in with various sweet treats and after wrap some beer and champagne was shared. Most of us went to the unofficial costume warehouse party which was fun, complete with barbecue station, music and disco balls. After some of us swang by our Bangkok Garden apartments for a quick shower and dress change in my case and taxied to the place called “Sing Sing” which was a very western looking bar/ club. Quite pretty actually. Club area had a swing over the dance floor, but no-one was on it, as in, no one performed on it, so that was a little bit of a let down. Other than that it was nice to have some final catch up time with my favourite team and we wrapped it up with some healthy junk food at a 24/7 local breakfast place. A bit of the improvement from the week before. Although food moderation at 4 am is not my strong suit.
Saturday. I slept until almost 1pm and rushed to get to my final laser appointment at 2pm. After that I travelled to the suburbs of Bangkok to the Active dive gear shop which was small, but cosy. I think it is a family business as the shop seemed to be a part of a home. Two little Thai girls were running around the store and eventually asked to take a photo with me. That was very cute. What I realised being outside the store while waiting for the taxi, that I have not seen this Bangkok before. Suburban, green, full of one story buildings and clean? Even the air felt fresh. I am glad I managed to see this Bangkok before I left. I have been living in a farang bubble for the past 3 months and sort of felt that perhaps that’s what this city is like. Just so glad to see a different side to it. In the evening I went to my local mall in hopes to find some beachwear. That was not very successful, so I went to the movies instead. Saw the last instalment of Star Wars saga. It was pretty entertaining to see it on the big fancy Thai cinema screen. They really put a lot of effort into cinema experience here and for such an affordable price! London should really learn a few things!
So with this my Bangkok Diary has come to an end. A little anticlimactic I know, but in all honesty I just feel so tired and rather emotional to be able to come up with anything upbeat or cheerful. This journey was quite a ride and I would not change anything even if I could. The biggest love and gratitude to everyone and everything who made it this special! If you managed to stick around with me through this journey I promise there is more where it came from as I have decided to keep the diary going for my Indonesian adventures too. Wish me luck!
Stuff I found interesting:
- I reread my earlier posts from this diary and realised that gradually as I got more tired I started seeing less interesting stuff. Shame on me really. Need to be more attentive.
- Not sure if I mentioned it before but I am listening to Michelle Obamas audiobook. Really touching, inspiring and romantic. I am surprised I feel this way actually, because I am usually quite sceptical of people who talk about their lives in a book form. Not sure why. Also am I not doing the same?
- Got all of my dive kit ready. Still gets me excited!
- Coming back to Bangkok in March. Exciting!
Cheers with the glass full of grateful elephant!