So there's been a longer break than I'd planned between the Hong Kong post and now this Cape Town/ Brussels/ Ivalo update. I guess I've been busier than expected. I'm now back in Singapore and was nailed by the flu in a bad way. Boarded the flight from Amsterdam to Singapore with a fever on board (yes, I was one of those irritating people who was ill on board a flight!) With all the travelling and lack of sleep in the past month, of course something was bound to give. I was ill from Christmas Eve all the way till Monday this week.
But I digress. Moving onto Cape Town.
Oh how I love thee, Cape Town. I had after all spent a good 2 years living here. On our flight from Joburg to Cape Town, guess who we bumped into who was also on our flight? PUBLIC ENEMY.
They were into the 6th month of their "World Tour". And they were flying in economy, like the rest of us plebians. HAHAHA! One of my workmates was sat next to their "Chief of Security" on the flight and got his namecard. HA!
Flava Flav, remember him with the big clock around his neck?
He was still wearing a huge-ass clock around his neck with a snake-skin PVC jacket and matching snake-skin trousers. IN PUBLIC, ON THE FLIGHT IN ECONOMY CLASS! HAHAHAHA! It was quite the sight to behold. At the conveyor belt, he came up to one of my super-hot workmates, looked at the suitcase on her trolley and said something along the lines of "I think you've got my bag on your trolley".
My super-hot workmate, bless her, had NO CLUE who Flava Flav was (she's that young), and thought he looked like a dodgy junkie who was trying to steal her stuff. She quickly shot back at him "Well mister, not unless your name is _______ like it says here on the bag tag, I don't think this is your bag!"
HAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHA! Take that, Flav! Super priceless.
Here's something you're probably waiting for: A HANK UPDATE! He's all grown up and such a cutie. I guess he's always been a cutie, he's just triple the size now.
He makes a super-lousy guard dog coz he's cuddly and affectionate with EVERYONE. Super sweet!
Seeing Hank meant I also met up with K, the first time we'd seen each other since splitting up. It was nerve-wracking at first, but I'm glad to say it was good seeing him again. It reassured me that we had made the right decision to split up, I gained deeper clarity and the closure I needed to move on with the rest of my life without looking back. Yay for me!
What a difference 7 months makes, eh?
There's nothing like the African summer. We made a pitstop on Camps Bay Beach.
And while we were shooting on a nature reserve with limited access, the rest of us who weren't allowed up while they were shooting decided to hang out by the lake in Silvermine.
Would you believe that's ALL the pictures I have of Cape Town? I guess I spent all my free time meeting up and hanging out with old friends, I just didn't have time for photos! I took a yoga class at a new studio that two of my old yoga teachers have opened up... and it feels like yoga is EXPLODING all over Cape Town. If you're ever there, you've gotta check out these new studios: Jai Yoga, Yo Yoga, The Yoga Life.
From Cape Town, we flew back to Amsterdam then took the train the next day to Antwerp. We're sat in a cafe waiting to get to our shoot location in this cafe. One of my workmates is also a published cartoonist, so he was having fun on the cafe walls.
All the other pictures I have in Brussels are boring ones of us at work on set, so I'm not posting those.
Next stop: Ivalo! It's in the Arctic Circle in Lapland, Finland. The weather when we arrived was -16 degrees Celsius, and on the last 2 days, it dropped even more to -30 degrees Celsius. The scenery when we were landing in Helsinki (Ivalo's another 2-hour flight North from Helsinki):
Check out what's on every single Finnish menu: Reindeer. (I was very disturbed that this was a reindeer CALF)
When we finally arrived in Ivalo, we were pleased to see we were staying in little log cabins. Very cosy!
Because of the hardcore weather conditions, we all rented heavy-duty ski suits, snow boots and gloves from the local ski lodge.
There is only 3 hours of daylight, between 11am - 2pm. This is probably the brightest it gets, around 12.30pm.
So we learned from the locals and piled on the alcohol.
On the back of a skidoo in the middle of the night. How very James Bond!
Check out these 2 doggies who came to check out what we were filming:
It got so cold that we were warned to keep our hair covered under our scarves. Any exposed hair could get frozen over and the urban legend is someone had a frozen ponytail break off when she touched it. Moral of the story is: If your hair freezes over, just don't touch it! Go indoors, let it thaw out into water before touching it.
My hat and scarf are black. All that white is just ice from the moisture of my breath. CRAZY!!
That's the moon at 2pm:
And more shots of the moon at 11am, when we were leaving for the airport:
Helsinki was blizzarding as we arrived, and as we left for Amsterdam.
And when we finally got back, it seems the rest of Europe also got snow-dumped on! We needn't have gone all the way to Ivalo for snow when check out the landscape on the train from Amsterdam to Brussels!
It was a pretty extraordinary trip, to have experienced African Summer and Finnish Winter all within a span of 20 days. Every single one of us fell sick once we got back - the extreme weather changes, multiple travel, intense work stress and lack of sleep probably just got too manic by the end of it.
I'm lucky to be able to catch my breath a little in Singapore before heading out to Mysore next. Stay tuned for more updates!