Quarantined in a Foreign Country Part 1

Moving to Hong Kong has brought all sorts of weird experiences. I didn’t know the weirdest experience of all would come outside of HK in a country nearby.

In March, I got the wonderful news that over two years, I would finally get to go home to California and see my family again. It felt surreal. I didn’t think it would actually happen with all the Covid rules still being enforced in HK – I thought there had to be a hold up or catch.

However, I did it! I made my way to California, saw lovely family and friends, and had a lively two weeks. After that, my parents and I made our way to Bangkok for a nice vacation, as I could not go straight back to HK anyway. For those who are unfamiliar, certain places like Hong Kong still have strict travel rules that really restrict your ability to simply fly to-and-from. Recently, it was not allowed to travel straight from the United States to Hong Kong (and the UK, South Africa, Canada, etc.). Therefore, people would do “wash-outs” in different countries after traveling to these countries. Thus, Bangkok!

We had a great time. Saw tons of beautiful temples, ate loads of delicious food, and enjoyed enough downtime, as well.

After about 10 days, my parents made their way back to California, and I prepared for a few more days before I finally got home to Hong Kong.

And then I got Covid.

I have no clue how I caught it. My days after my parents left (who fortunately did not get sick) were very low-key. I got my nails done, went to a yoga class, and got dinner at a few restaurants. All while being safe and keeping my mask on. But I still felt a fever, and I got the positive PCR test. I found out that instead of going home, I was going to the quarantine hospital hotel (“hospitel”, they call them) in a foreign country.

Luckily, the experience itself wasn’t that bad, but I still can’t believe it happened. Taking multiple trips to the hospital in a van and getting sent to a strange hotel I couldn’t leave was never on my bucket list. After getting two Covid tests, blood drawn, and a chest x-ray, I was sent to my new home in which I lasted three days.

While I was there, I worked a lot.

I ate interesting, but not bad, meals.

And I got to look at a pretty view.

After about two days, I was called to say that my test results came back in great shape and that I should take one more Covid test to make sure I was okay to leave. I did, and I was sent on my way. I felt good-humored about the whole experience and ready to move forward, AKA fly back home. I booked a flight to leave four days after I got out of the hospitel.

I did not get home until three weeks later.

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