Riding the waves of changing flights, rules, regulations and seemingly unachievable requirements – here I am! Deep exhale… it’s done! And what a wonderful treat to be allowed to have a brief visit with my daughter before ascending to the seventh floor of the Ximen Citizen Hotel (one of the many designated quarantine hotels in Taipei) for this very personal retreat. Life has been incredibly kind along the way and, as my dear friend Eroca said, managing the mind likely (surely) has been the hardest part of this trip so far. It’s time to relax. Have fun. Find out what stories come next.
It’s been a bit of a cliff hanger all the way to Taiwan Immigration today. Let’s take a step back to leaving Seoul Incheon this morning. Super chill, no issues whatsoever, and just a two and a half hour flight to Taoyuan airport. The plane carried maybe 20-25 passengers (how can they afford that?) and the flight was comfy and uneventful. We were greeted by friendly and helpful airport staff assisting us in filling in the required online health form, directing me to get a local SIM card (also required for quarantine), and once all that was accomplished and accepted, ushering me towards immigration. And that’s where the officer mulled over the documents and test dates, brows furrowed. I chimed in that my first flight from Vancouver happened two days earlier on October 6, produced the flight itinerary, and voila, the way was cleared. Phew…it’s done, I made it!
The rest is easy. A comfy taxi takes me from the airport to the hotel where Kaya is already waiting for me. We’re allowed to have a brief visit, which ends up being a little longer. Upon meeting me and noticing the yoga mat Kaya has brought along, the hotel staff decide to give me a larger room so I can exercise. Sweet! Am I willing to wait 20 minutes for it to be ready? You bet! Meanwhile, my tech wizard daughter helps me set up LINE and Ubereats on my phone and introduces me to the basics; we chat about this and that, it’s super sweet. And then it’s time to go… and close the door behind me. Twice a day my temperature will be taken. There will be calls from health care workers. There is a list of do’s and don’ts.
I’ve settled in, made myself comfy, had my temperature taken, done some Ubereats shopping and am absolutely delighted discovering that I can open the windows! Unexpected and so good! I can see the sky and clouds and a few trees amidst the buildings. Google translate helps me figure out the aircondition remote. I’m already having fun people watching, listening to life going on all around me. Suddenly super loud drumming and firecrackers, some more instruments joining in – it’s a procession about a block away, I catch a fleeting glimpse as they disappear down the road. Oh yes, I think I can do this for the next 14 days… and I’m sure there will be more surprises. Stay tuned for my quarantine diary.