Friday, October 20, 2006

A beautiful day in Kinshasa

We start shooting tomorrow so today is it (or was it). Today was an absolutely perfect day with beautiful blue skies and hot sun. It’s the first time I’ve witnessed this kind of weather in the Congo in 3 visits. Apparently this is the norm during the ‘rainy’ season. Blue sky, sunny days interrupted for brief thundershowers. If this is the case then we’ll have great light to shoot with. As I’ve learned, however, nothing turns out the way anybody says it will so I’m not holding my breath with the weather.

Great sunset from the office window.

Finished my 5th week of my yoga challenge today and walked out of the office at 7pm leaving Omar, the local producer, to hold the reigns. It’s a bit scary for me to do this but if I don’t let him do it on his own he’ll never learn. Let’s see what happens tomorrow. Call time on set is 7h30. Who knows what will happen!

I had to change accommodation from a house in the hills which is too far to drive to and from set everyday (more than an hour during rush hour), so I brought my clothes into town and when I arrived at the apartments they are renting for me and the other South African crew my room key was nowhere to be found. I very quietly threw my toys and insisted that I be taken to the only real hotel in town where the only rooms available were $400 per night which seemed to galvanize everybody into action and I ended up staying in what I would graciously call a ‘passion-palace’.

So I went from this...

To this.... The décor is conducive to sudden rather dissatisfying bouts of passion with strangers.

As I was ushered into the room I almost fainted from a lack of oxygen. They had just emptied a full container of air freshener just prior to me entering the room. Gagging, I insisted they get me another room and no spray this time. The new room was marginally less garish (marginally) and I immediately had a bath. When I got into bed I discovered that the Aircon (mounted next to the bed and blowing directly onto my pillow) had only one setting so it was either 33 degrees or ice cold air.
Oh yes, and I also discovered why they emptied a bottle of air freshener into the other room, the aroma of piss was everywhere!

If I had the conviction of a certain friend of mine (Wendy, you know who you are) I would have burnt the f**king place to the ground. By this time it was 10h30, I had to shoot the next day and I needed sleep more than I needed to have another fight.

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