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Quarantine Reflections 2

Quarantine Reflection 2 - Digital Art

This is the second digital work done during the quarantine in Thailand with the second part of the story. The creative flow thus combines visual art and writing.

The Bangkok airport seemed besieged by the military, there were only soldiers and we who had got off the plane, a dozen people in all. And for a few hours we had to go through grueling checks, where they examined all the documents in detail.

Once the checks were over, people completely covered in transparent plastic that not even the apocalypse, took each person and her luggage to a different minibus, and each to her hotel. With the minibus dedicated to me complete with a glass barrier that separated from the driver, also protected in a sci-fi way, I spent 100 km of travel to the hotel.

The arrival at the hotel was also in science fiction style, where people who were also covered in protections from head to toe checked all the documents, and gave me instructions, more than anything else on what I could not do, they gave me a thermometer to check the temperature two times a day and they made me choose a menu for the next 10 days. Unfortunately I chose the Thai menu, so I never knew what was the food they were leaving outside my room door and it certainly didn’t look good.

That thermometer in some way had to be connected with the nurse, because if one morning or evening I forgot to test the temperature, I immediately received a message from the nurse “Please test the temperature!”

I honestly can’t stand hotels, for the most part so impersonal, at least I chose a hotel outside Bangkok and near the ocean, which had a room with a usable balcony, since in Bangkok hotels, not only you can’t leave the room but you could not even go to the balcony or open the window.

I was lucky to have Tom as a room neighbor, a nice English man I had already met at the Bangkok airport, with a great sense of humor. Married to a Thai woman, he had to be quarantined every time he returned to Thailand. We exchanged food, I gave him what I didn’t like and vice versa. And we could communicate outside the door when there were no staff around or even in the garden after a few days after having done the first quarantine test , when there was an hour of air. In fact it was just like being in a prison, let’s say a luxury prison, because I know very well that prisons are much worse, especially in Thailand.

Actually with Tom we organized small escapes in the garden late in the evening when all the staff had gone home, where we stayed to chat, sometimes even a very nice Indian gentleman joined, who said he overcame the quarantine with vodka.

The room was actually very nice, large and with a balcony overlooking the large garden, with many large tropical plants well cared for, many squirrels and birds and a large beautiful swimming pool like a river surrounding the garden and with lslands, anyway all swimming pools in Thailand can’t be used during the pandemic, I just dreamed of diving into it.

For the entire duration of the quarantine I had serious difficulties sleeping, the air conditioning even when it was set to minimum was very annoying and noisy, and if I took it off and opened the window, then maybe I was able to fall asleep but then I would wake up shortly after sweating in the heat, and then I had to turn the air con back on, and I went on like this all night. I practically did not sleep for 10 days, or at least very little and at times. In Thailand it is very hot, much hotter than in Hawaii, when I went out on the balcony I felt like entering a sauna. I would have slept on the balcony if it weren’t for the heat.

The food included in the quarantine package looked like hospital food, was not fresh and mostly packaged, apart from those rare times when I was given small portions of salad or fruit. Luckily Tom didn’t like fruit and vegetables and he left them outside my door, and I did the same by leaving him most of what they gave me.

In any case, the quarantine represented for me a period of profound introspection, transformation and transmutation, I call these phases of my life the alchemy of the soul. I released parts of me that no longer needed, and rebuilt my inner well-being. To help me in this process, the first day I got the staff to give me a yoga mat and I did yoga 3 times a day, which helped me a lot to recover my physical and mental balance, or I could got crazy.

In the meantime I was writing and drawing with the iPad, watching movies and drinking lots of tea on the armchair on the balcony, observing nature, plants and animals, and birds of all kinds. I chose that hotel for that reason and because it was close to the ocean, even if I couldn’t see it, certainly much better than a hotel in the middle of Bangkok traffic without even being able to open the window.

I have never seen so many species of squirrels as in Thailand. That is, in reality I only knew one species, in Italy when you say squirrel there is only one. There were squirrels of all kinds and colors. What differs most is the head, of various shapes, some have round ears that make them look like little teddy bears with a tail. Like lizards, there were lizards with the heads of dragons and others with the heads of chameleons and many others. And of course birds of all colors.

I have also used this period to quit smoking and have had to deal with the most disparate or desperate feelings, whatever. When I say alchemy of destruction and reconstruction, this is the case.

So reflections on the reflection, because when you are alone and you cannot go outside, you go inside and because in any case what seemed like a mission impossible, I made it possible with my desire and will to leave and above all to arrive, and come back renewed.

 
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