Honestly I am a little lost for words. The past few day have been as if someone had placed me into a washing machine and kept switching cycles without letting the wash be complete. At the moment of writing this I am sitting on a plane to Stockholm, perhaps when I post it, with a little bit of luck, I would have reached my destination in Lithuania. Once again I am glad I write this, because now I have a journey to look back too. And this is the story of how I got here:
Sunday. Hello, Sunday. Work feels like a nice routine once again. Crazy to think that I only have few more weeks left. Such a short stretch this is. I am fasting after my slightly boozey day off, but to be fair, the way I feel in my heart made me loose my appetite anyway. My boyfriend is flying home tomorrow and we have decided not to prolong our relationship at this moment in time.
Monday. At the moment work gives me a lot of comfort. It’s funny how all of the sudden people, who know nothing what is going on in my head reach out with little warm gestures. Location today is the old nasty looking hotel, which had to be disinfected for us to be able to shoot there. The scenes we covered were also very intense, but at the end of the day I felt happy about what we achieved. In the evening I went out for a very nice meal with my colleagues. It has been a while since I had this nice of a meal. The place was beautiful, food delicious, conversation easy and bottles of red wine kept coming. I got home slightly tipsy, but with a warm feeling in my belly. I needed this. Thank you friends.
Tuesday. Honestly as I am writing this, it is no longer Tuesday and I am in a pretty positive spirits. The day itself was not all that though. I woke up early and went to work. The warm feeling of nice food and wine from the night before had worn out and I started to feel flashes of longing and pain. The scenes on the day were also very heavy with emotion and in a way I felt like the actors literally screamed out some of those out for me. It was a long day with one hour of planned overtime, but in the end we were victorious. I am really looking forward to watching this show when it is done. Also this time round we are shooting in all sorts of different locations. That is pretty nice.
Wednesday. I had a recurring dream last night. Only just realised, that I had it once before. It was about me having a baby, two babies actually, they came from water, were very very small, one of them was too small and didn’t survive, the other one was a bit bigger and lived. One of the actors came to congratulate me on having a baby and asked what was it. In the dream I remember not knowing exactly, but I told him it was a boy and that I already have a girl. Now that I have realised that this dream repeated itself I am getting serious Alchemist vibes. Also I started listening to the daily Bible today, have a lot of catching up to do since it is already March. I also intend to read other holly books and it makes me feel as if I am on the right path. I am surprised I didn’t think of it before, but then again, I am not. In terms of work we shot a relatively lively scene in the morning, which was fun, with a bit of music playback and some quick little scenes for stitching bigger ones together. Overall it was a good day/night at work, even if i was sweating a river while shooting under the stars.
Thursday. And the second week of shoot is coming to an end. One more and we are going back to Europe. It has been almost 6 months for me here in Asia, so I am really looking forward to going back. With all the covid-19 stuff going on at the moment it might not be the best time though. Work wise things are also a bit unclear, that’s the disadvantage of self employment – no social benefits and sick leave. Also with travel bans now popping up like mushrooms after the rain, one can never know. I am glad that in this case I have no children or mortgage. On a positive note work is flying us business class to Budapest due to the virus. The shoot today had a lot of extras and if you remember back before Christmas there was one extra who I recognised from my tinder date over 2 years ago, so he was here today too as well as a few Russians I have met before. This job here really started giving me some strong local feels. Someone told me, that I have been here for so long, I am no longer just visiting – I live here. I like that.
Friday. I woke up late. I think it was 10 or 11 am. After work last night we went out for a farewell drink with one of the actors who just wrapped. Overall I had two old fashions. It is such a simple classic cocktail if you think of it (only consists of one alcohol – whiskey), but to make it perfect you have to stir it just enough, not too much and not too little, for it to keep its smoothness, also add just the right size of perfectly ripe orange peel, bitters or /and sweetener over the perfectly firm piece of cubed ice. It is an art form if you ask me. Talking about art forms. At the end of Thursday we were also told that we are no longer going to Budapest to film because Europe went into a little bit of a frenzy with a raising number of corona virus cases. I think it was the day she Ireland shut down all of its pubs. Mean time back home Lithuania has shut down all of its borders. None the less we all decided to enjoy ourselves a little and proceeded with the day as planned. We went to the Calypso cabaret show. It is normally packed with people and its pretty hard to get the tickets. Not today though. Either people were staying at home or they never arrived in Thailand, let alone went to see this awesome transgender show with beautiful costumes, uplifting humour and just the right amount of interaction with the audience. After we went for few more drinks and ended up in Soi Cowboy strip of bars. It is known as “the red light district” of Bangkok. We were curious hence we went there, but maybe it was already past the right time to go there as most of the places were closed or very very sad. In therms of work everyone was speculating what was going to happen with those scenes we were supposed to complete in Budapest. Originally we were meant to shoot everything in Thailand, but due to the need of French looking exteriors which were impossible to find here the European plan pas put together.
Saturday. I woke up even later. Since once again I went to sleep after 4 am. Also I got into a habit of writing my thoughts out in a slight drunken state after every night out so far. Maybe I will share it here at some point. Anyway. This time round I was definitely way more hungover as I have lost the track of my cocktails. Sort of like my life, the weekend started slipping from under my feet. I woke up to the email saying that we will not be filming tomorrow, because the team will go to scout some locations for the possible Paris scenes which we were to do in Budapest. I was pretty glad about it. Once I lifted my head off the pillow I realised it does not want to stay upright. Having said that it did not stop me from going out with my colleagues to this beautiful roof top to enjoy Bangkok from above. It was something. Also by this point I started thinking that perhaps after we wrap in Bangkok I should stay in Thailand as back in my home country everything is on a national lock down and they introduced a mandatory quarantine of 2 weeks for the nationals arriving from abroad. Oh and prior to that I took myself out for a fancy dinner. The day was going pretty well in a way. We as a team had a plan for what we will do and I started creating a little plan where I wanted to go.
Sunday. I woke up late. This time the night took us to Nana Plaza otherwise known as “adult playground”. One would think that those places are a little sketchy or not so good on hygiene, but before you even enter the “playground” (sort of like a big courtyard with various bars and strip places) they took your temperature and provide sanitiser. Everyone is taking corona situation seriously here. Well done. Anyway we spend the first few hours of Sunday at a place delicately called – “Spankies” and I must say it is probably the best this sort of place I have seen so far. The girls were pretty and more importantly happy. Every 15 minutes they had a different show going on which was not necessarily all about nakedness, it was in between humour and sexiness or flirtation. Also there was a see through shower room where one of the girls was always having a sexy shower. To be honest I must really give it to them, the girls were great at showmanship and in a way it felt very empowering. Also there was no entrance fee or any other scam, you only needed to pay for your drinks which were also very reasonably priced. The rest of the day went pretty good too. I took myself out for a Thai meal, then I decided to go to the cinema to see the Bloodshot (waste of time by the way). Just before, I got an email with the call sheet for tomorrow. All was good. Almost at the end of the movie my Thai phone started ringing. I didn’t pick up obviously, but once I got out I was greeted with a bunch of emails and messages about the show being shut down and all of us having to evacuate as soon as. It was proper panic. I was asked to literally make up my mind in 10 minutes where exactly I am flying, because borders in Europe started to shut down. After a little phone conversation with my mom, we agreed that I will stay in Thailand as travelling into Europe and then going to a country in lock down might not be the best solution for me as I am in a bit of a risk group with my asthma. Also by this point we started hearing of other film production going into unpaid hiatus. Joys of freelance life kicking in the butt. Through all that I decided to go to this rehab/retreat in Chiang Rai – north of Thailand called “New life foundation” and do some rehabbing/ volunteering and sit the virus out here, where my money could last me much longer than in Europe. Later on we had our mini spontaneous wrap party as most of the people were booked in on the flights first thing in the morning – talk about closure.
Monday. We came back home by a tuk tuk blasting 70s hits around 2 am. I sat on the balcony for another hour or so writing my heart out. I don’t think that I cope with change as good as I think I do or maybe this change just came all too quickly and unexpected. I spent the day booking myself into the “New life”, doing some essential shopping to prepare myself for it and went for another dinner with those who were leaving in the evening. I stayed up until 4am having various life update conversations with friends and family, because although I decided to stay it was still hurting that I could not come back and the situation in Europe was getting worse what seemed by the hour. Over all I felt more at peace finally and was looking forward to getting out of Bangkok and literally starting a new life.
Tuesday I was woken up at 9am by a phone call from the office urging me to leave Thailand. By that point everyone knew that I was staying and what plans I had. I was not quite sure where this was coming from, but apparently overnight Thailand had 32 new cases of the virus and the government was planning to shut its borders, because most of them came from foreigners fleeing Europe. Thank you guys… Also I had an email from the producer of the Thai company we were working with saying the same thing. He is German who was been living here for many many years and hearing him say that I should really go as the economy is collapsing by an hour seemed very real. Also I noticed that local people started wearing masks more and would hesitate before entering the elevator with me. It seemed that in one day the country I felt home has rejected me. Of course I understand that those are some unorthodox circumstances and this is the pandemic we are dealing with now and we are all in this together so I shouldn’t moan this much, but then again when if not now.
Wednesday. So this brings me to today and my flight back home. I am still not sure what is going to happen with me when I land. I know I have to be quarantined for the next 2 weeks. I know that I should be alone, but where? I also know that Bangkok is going into quarantine as of today too. I might be on one of the last flights.
Looking back at everything, it is what it is. I feel like during this relatively short time I had an opportunity to experience the whole rainbow of different feelings and emotions. That is a good thing. I am also happy that at some point in the future when I am out of the quarantine I will be able to see my family and friends again. The restaurants, gyms and cinemas will also reopen and I will be able to enjoy those things then. Eventually everything will settle and I will work and travel again. The world is changing as we know it and I want to believe that something good will come out of it. I choose to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but I am also very curious to see what it’s going to be like walking down that tunnel. Good thing I do not have to do it alone as we are all in this together. One for all and all for one.
- Recurring dream. I love interpreting dreams in general and something that is recurring is that more interesting. Anyone good with interpretations of dreams?
- One of my friends asked if people in Bangkok are as panicky about covid-19 as people back home. I said no, but then wrote a list of precautions my work is taking to make sure we are safe. Precautions should not equal panic. So this was what work did for us on a daily. Measure temperature on arrival to set and place a sticker after they did and you were ok. Provided hand sanitiser on every corner. Like seriously. I am surprised it did not end up in a shot. Catering crew wore masks and gloves at all times and food was served from over the plastic wall.
- The whole job was one big highlight. I really do love doing it.
- I had some of the best nights out and dinners with the nicest bunch of people.
- Although we haven’t finished the show there is still hope that we will resume it and I get to work with those guys again.
- I had some warm friendly support from friends and people I have not heard in a while. One for all and all for one.
- I got a gift from the production which warmed my heart. It was a care pack of masks and sanitisers as well as the device I used for getting video playback onto my iPad. The exact same one. Firstly it’s awesome that I will have my own, but also it has a sweet sentimental value with all its little bruises.
- Not an actual high light, but sending all the love to all of my colleagues who I could not say goodbye to. I wish I would have take more photos of you guys. I wish I have known it was our last day together.
Cheers with a glass full of a brave, loving and strong elephant!