As I wrote the title for this weeks blog I was not in Bangkok yet. I was sitting on the 10th floor of my hotel room in Kuala Lumpur overlooking the skyline of the city. It’s beautiful. My stay in KL was quick and intrigued me to want to come back. Maybe another project? Who knows… Now that I am back in Bangkok it feels like I have not been gone for too long, it almost feels like I never really left. It was nice seeing everyone again and I am genuinely happy to be going back to work.
Monday. The sole purpose of my trip to KL was to deal with my Thai working visa. My work put me up in a hotel just next to the Royal Thai embassy and booked me an appointment for 10:30. It actually says on the appointment that you should come in 20 minutes beforehand and not earlier as you will not be let in. To be honest as the visa applications go, this was one of the smoothes. It seemed that a lot of people come to KL to get their Thai visas sorted so at the embassy they really do have a very efficient system. As I arrived 20 minutes before my appointment, I saw my name lit up on the screen and was ready to submit all the documents. If I would have not forgotten to bring the cash to pay for the visa, I would have literally be done in 2 minutes. The rest of the day we strolled around our area and had a little picnic in the park. At one point when I wanted to lay down on the grass to listen to the audiobook, I was approached by security, as it turns out, you are not around to lay on the grass, just sit. Funny right? They assume that if you lay on the grass you will sleep there. Not sure, did she assume we were homeless?
Tuesday. We woke up for breakfast and I started to feel that I was coming down with a bit of a cold. I kinda brushed it off as I had another appointment to pick up my visa and the flight in the evening to deal with. Before going to the airport we spend some time by the pool at the hotel. I was almost finished listening to the Pilgrimage. The audio track is a little hard to follow, but the book is good. KL airport experience was a bit of a disappointment, especially compared to Lombok, that one was super smooth. In KL you have to go through bag security just before going to your gate and for our flight they decided to change the gate in the last minute, so we had to run across the whole airport and do all the checks all over again just to be the last people to board. Cutting it close really. In Bangkok we were met with one of my colleagues and a production van to take us home – same place I stayed at last time. I also got the exactly the same apartment just one floor below. It literally felt like coming home. Pretty warm feeling.
Wednesday. The warm feeling I went to bed with overnight turned into a fever and a very sore throat. Due to the coronavirus outbreak my work requested everyone experiencing cold symptoms to report straight away and not go into work. So I did. Firstly they provided me with the thermometer, which was left behind my apartment door and I was told to self monitor for 24 hours. All communication was through emails and few times through the gap in the door. A bit crazy, but I understand the risks are real, I have travelled around and may have been exposed to somebody or something infected. As the day progressed I developed higher fever and was told by work that they will take me to the hospital to get tested. I must stay that the medical system in Bangkok I got to experience was of really high standard. It might have been a little on the slow side, but I guess it was due to all the extra precautions they had to take to deal with me – potential corona virus case. After a nurse in a hazmat suit took two swabs from my throat and nose to take to the lab I had a little chat with the doctor. He prescribe me a bunch of medication to treat my flu and said that I had to self quarantine for the next two days as this is how long it will take for results to comeback.
Thursday. Self quarantine day 1. I usually have no problem staying at home for the whole day reading or watching movies, but when someone tells you that you have to do it and cannot go outside it becomes so tedious. Human brain…! Anyway, so the day was pretty uneventful as I literally laid in bed all day, self monitoring my temperature. Had a lot of time to think about how we react to the outbreak. Honestly some people just try and turn everything to be about themselves, making it all about politics, tourism and economy. Yes, those sectors are affected, but how can you compare that to the human life? The virus affects “old and sick”, it’s not that deadly – I’ve read a headline of one of the articles. Yes it isn’t if we don’t care about the “old and sick”. I am not sure whether the news outlets run out of other sorties to cover, but plummeting iPhone and fancy car sales is really not a priority right now. Is it? I almost don’t want to comment how Trump is using this outbreak to help further his political campaign. Like really? Is his presidency more important than the lives of thousands of people who were are and will be affected by the outbreak. It’s mind baffling to me how quickly we turn to worry about money and power instead of health.
Friday. Self quarantine day 2. I was told that I will get the results a bit earlier. Think my work pressed on that, as we are about to start filming on Sunday. So around noon I was officially declared free from corona virus as my results came back negative. Better safe than sorry of course, but glad my self quarantine was only a few days. I spent the rest of the day catching up with work at the office and in the evening went out for few drinks with the colleagues. It really felt like we have never left.
Saturday. Morning in bed. Some reading and prepping for the first day of shoot on Sunday. Still up until now I feel like it’s a first day of school whenever I start a new project. The night before I prepare my clothes and lay them out for the easy access in the morning, I pack my bag and make sure everything what has to be charged is. What I try not to do is change things up. For example, these days I wear a rose gold ring on my middle finger and a matching neckless (both presents from my sister) and on my first day anywhere I always make sure that I have both of those things for comfort. If I wanted to change something up, I would wait few more days or whenever I am settled in and then maybe change a ring or a neckless if I wanted to. That goes for everything actually. On a very first day of work, new work and people is the only thing I want to be dealing with. I see it as hiking with the shoes I have already broken into. Nice and comfy for the new trek ahead.
- Kuala Lumpur. Really liked the city. Cleaner, slightly smaller version of Bangkok. Wish to come back here for work in the future.
- The way work looked after me with my corona virus scare. Made me feel safe.
- Seeing all my colleagues again!
- Going back to work.
Cheers with a glass full of a virus free elephant!