Going Places

Day 21: Threatening Atmosphere


What a weird time to be in the States, especially here in the South. I’m only starting to get my bearings here, but it’s already awfully apparent that we are not in Europe anymore, nowhere near. The general atmosphere is indeed way more pro-Trump I was even imagining and the folk here truly believe he is the next best thing since bread came sliced.

The attitude comes apparent in conversations – ones, which are mostly trying to avoid conversations about politics. People running around screaming for Trump are not the issue, the issue is that people don’t want to talk about politics here as freely as elsewhere. There’s a lingering threat on all discussions especially with people not immediately related to the production, and sometimes even within, that the conversation wouldn’t turn nice if we really went for it. And I’m not the most aggressive political agitator myself, but happy to state my opinion when asked or confronted.

There’s a threat of gun violence in the air just as well. Doing scouting means driving around places people don’t necessarily usually go, and everything but the roads is always someone’s property – the idea of “everyman’s right” is not a known concept here. If you wander in someone’s property, it’s perfectly possible to be faced with a gun-toting farmer. That’s the reason we always stay on a viewing distance but never enter places, unless without very specific permissions.

Beautiful Plantation grounds, with dark history of slavery over them.

Not to say that people would be threatening per sé. Yesterday, riding around the countryside we spotted a very interesting chop shop, a garage with old cars and all kind of interesting junk laying around the yard. We approached the place carefully and were greeted with the most nicest garage owner, whom with we chatted quite a bit about cars and other stuff. Turned out to be a guy who could easily help us with some of our specific props needs.

The whole Covid-19 is treated here with very fickle attitude. Restaurants and general stores, people usually adhere the mask policy – in stores, all the time, at restaurants before you reach the table etc., but to some, it’s still nothing but a big hoax. I’m interested to see if there’s a shift in tone now that Trump himself has caught the virus.

I try to be extra careful myself, wearing mask wherever I go, avoiding contacts, adhering the social distancing rules and splashing around with hand sanitizer as much as I can. So far, so healthy, but we all know the damned thing can catch you anywhere.

PS. One thing I don’t understand, coming from a non-air-conditioned country like Finland is… How can one live with these things, constantly humming, rattling, roaring, drying up the air, cooling the apartments to near freezing when outside temperature is constantly over 30 celsius… I’m yet to crack that mystery.

PPS. There’s a bar here at the studio village. As there’s only me and a handful of others, I don’t expect a lot of traffic there, but it’s a very nice little joint, which isn’t officially open but a good place to catch up with the folk over here.

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