The Moral Of This Story: Wash Your Hands Before You Lick Your Fingers!

June 29th.

So I’ve been sick the last couple of days. I feel almost (almost) good now, but don’t want to get out of easy reach of a toilet, so am ‘home alone’ again (never really alone here, there’s always someone). But that’s jumping the gun a bit…

Other than the crappy on and off Internet, the only other bad thing I think anyone had to say about the house where we were staying was how thin the mattresses were. Even though we had about a third of our party leave early, people were still sleeping on the mattress on the floor, they said it was more comfortable than the beds. I noticed that a number of the bed sleepers had doubled up on mattresses. Where my wife and I slept it was just thick enough that it wasn’t a problem, unless my hip was right on one of the metal bars.

When last we ‘chatted’ I was dealing with an incipient migraine. Thankfully, it didn’t clamp down until we actually arrived in Tacloban (after nearly 7 hours waiting at the airport!). We had to be out of the house in Cebu by 10 and only had access to one van, so had to make two trips. Since the flight wasn’t scheduled to leave until 4:30, we had a lot of time to kill. We visited one of those duty free shops and I found a liter of Drambuie for $40, which my boss agreed was a pretty good price, so I got it. I hope it isn’t counterfeit. There wasn’t much else to do. We did get some finger food, french fries and the like, which is where I believe the origin of my current constitutional problems arose.

We headed into the waiting area to wait (and wait (and wait)), but the airport had good and free wifi, so I spent some time responding to a friend’s email. That killed an hour (we exchange detailed emails) and I surfed Reddit a while, but my butt was killing me, so got up and walked around for a while. Not very exciting, much like every other domestic airport I’ve been in.

As we finally got close to the boarding time, we headed to the actual waiting area for our flight (a prop job, and one where they bussed us out to the plane). We had two oldies in wheel chairs and no elevators, so have no idea how they wound up down there with us, except they came in from the outside. It was noisy and I could barely hear anything, but eventually we deciphered that our flight was going to be delayed (shock!). I shrugged (and no doubt grumbled) and reached for my Chromebook figuring maybe Reddit had some new interesting tidbits to read. I had no sooner got logged on (you have to visit a non-secure (e.g., non-HTTPS) page to get the acknowledgement page before you can surf; quite common) when our plane arrived.

Happily, I can report that either this is a better plane or they’d fixed the AC problem from last time, as it was pleasantly cool when we boarded. Once again not with my wife, but at least it’s a short flight. The flight was fine. I enjoyed looking out the window and trying to guess where the places we visited were. Because our takeoff was evidently expedited, we actually arrived very close to our target time.

No rain when we arrived at Tacloban, thankfully, so could quickly deplane. We collected our luggage and headed home.

Oh, it seems we ‘borrowed’ someone else’s baggage when we left the Cebu airport as we arrived. I have no idea how they got the number to the house, but eventually someone answered it. We took it back with us to the airport and it even wound up following us back to Tacloban. Which I guess isn’t that strange, as it probably originated from Tacloban in the first place.

The Tacloban airport is being upgraded. Apparently it’s going to get a second runway (as I said before, there is ONLY the one runway, no taxiway or anything). The main reason seems (to me) to memorialize the Pope’s visit after the Yolanda typhoon.

Now there is a giant paved space and supposedly the start of a shrine of some sort where the Pope gave his address. Tacloban used to be a well taken care of city, as it was where Imelda Marcos  evidently spent her formative years. When Ferdinand was driven out of power, Tacloban fell on hard times. I guess the Pope’s visit caused the government to realize it’d been treating Tacloban like a red-headed step child and it finally got some more lovin.

The freaking migraine mostly held off until the drive back from the airport, then clamped on tight. I went straight to bed, around 6 PM, then had to get some pills when I peed around 8 or 9. Then slept until around 3 AM and awoke, thankfully, without any headache. Much of our party went off on a day trip to another beach. Maybe I can get some writing done today…

Nope. I wrote that above optimistic line as a way to keep track of things for later. An hour or two later I was huddled under a pile of blankets, with the AC off, shivering. Fortunately, that only lasted an hour or two. Except getting up to pee (and later, leave different offerings to the porcelain god) and get some fluids, I think I almost spent the entire next 24 hours in bed. Toward the afternoon, I started to get a headache. Not a migraine, but painful nonetheless. I couldn’t find any more pain killers in the copious bags of drugs my wife brought, so huddled in misery, moaning (weird how the moaning would help, but only for a few seconds at a time). My wife finally got home and got me some drugs (I didn’t have the energy to go to the first floor to ask some from my father-in-law). That allowed me to sleep through the night (well, except for visits to the toilet). Yesterday I was much less bad, but still weak and when pills wore off, feverish again. That afternoon I decided to just let the fever run its course.

A totally untested, unresearched theory of mine is that the drugs (e.g., aspirin, Tylenol, ibuprofen, etc.) just delay the inevitable, you got some suffering in store and taking the pills just delays it. Full of crap or not, I decided to forego the pills until I felt my fever episodes had ran their course. That lasted until about 11 last night, when I wound up with a headache again, but by that point I had shucked my fleece jacked and pants and was just in shorts and a TShirt under a sheet, so felt my giving in was worth it. I managed to sleep soundly the whole night, I’m happy to say, waking up after dawn.

Most of the family has gone off on a short road trip, one I would normally go on, but I don’t want to get too far from a toilet, so declined. Today is supposed to be a big deal, as it’s the official fiesta for Tacloban. Two days ago (when I was most miserable) there was a parade of all the schools outside (we’re right on the main drag). All the schools had to vie who had the loudest drums. Since I was sure the fiesta was later, I assumed, for a long time, they were practising, but it would get louder, then quieter, louder and quieter, so I eventually shambled out to take a look. It was quite impressive, and, of course, loud as hell, but worth the few minutes I was able to watch before I was too tired and had to head in.

It’s hard to believe we’re ⅔ through our vacation already. And so little writing or reading. I reread most of my directing book and reread about half a book on directing actors, managed to almost finish my synopsis for my murder mystery sequel and finished 80% of the edits to Treasure Hunt, but damn. Two weeks and that’s all I got to show for it. I’ve already asked an editor to take a look at my sequel in mid July and only have 10% finished.

I started looking into getting permission to film at a location (as opposed to guerrilla filming) as if I use it for a night shoot I need to set up lights, which are obvious and likely to attract attention. The park seems OK with giving permits… but they want a million dollar insurance policy. I haven’t asked for a quote yet, I need to nail down a few more things, but it seems the normal cost is $1,500-2,500 for the sorts of things I’m doing. It may be, by doing much on my own property, that I’ll get a discount, but only time will tell. Aparently there is also a common clause that _all_ people involved be paid at least minimum wage, which I feel sure I can’t afford (hence the offer of ‘reel, beer and pizza’). I’d like to have that extra coverage, but I’ve been told, by filming much (or all) on my own property, that my normal liability insurance will cover if anything happens. All reasons why I wish I could find a producer to work with.

I discovered that one of my sources for research on Treasure Hunt wrote a screenplay back in the early ‘90s (or maybe even 90) about the Angel of the Shenandoah. The woman, Jessie Rupert, had a very interesting life, if even half of what’s said about her is true. Anyway, I asked the woman if I could look at her script, with the idea of producing and directing it if I felt called to it. While a period piece, thus more expensive, I think it would be a very nice transition piece for me to work on before I try and tackle my Dominatrix movie. Initially I thought it would be easy to get local support and maybe be able to build a budget as much as $250-500K, but it seems, even though Jessie was popular at her death, she remains a source of friction to a lot of the local historians.

Since we’ve been here, we’ve jogged exactly once. So much for doing extra exercise! There’s no place that isn’t smelly with car exhaust (and other things) to even go for a walk in the afternoon (without driving somewhere, at least) and when we were in Cebu I had no idea of the area so didn’t want to risk getting lost. Besides, I stick out like a sore thumb and all. Not many 6’1’’ goofy looking white guys around here 😉 This illness, though, might have knocked off a few pounds, though that’s not the way I recommend losing weight.

OK, now I’m going to try and get my ass in gear for some writing to actually further my professional goal of becoming a writer/director…

Author: Tfoui

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