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As I sit here in my mostly-packed-up room on my final evening of quarantine, my main emotion is thankfulness. I’m thankful to be getting out of here tomorrow, yes, but also thankful for so many blessings God gave me in this place. I love my wonderful city and sunset view up here on the 22nd floor, and the amazingly comfortable bed (it’s actually comfier than my bed at home!). I’m thankful that the room came with a desk and chair so I could easily use my laptop, and that the air conditioning works GREAT (I’m going to miss running the AC 24/7 at no extra cost!), and that there’s a fan and a mini-fridge, and enough cupboard/drawer space to put all my stuff away so I didn’t have to spend two weeks with it all over the place (those who know me well know how much that would have driven me crazy!). I’m thankful for the little luxuries I was able to bring or request from my apartment or that people sent as gifts: Dance Dance Revolution that’s been so perfect for exercise in a small space, an HDMI cable that’s let me use the hotel TV as an extra monitor, fresh fruit and fun snacks, coloring supplies, extra changes of clothes so I didn’t have to do (much) laundry in the sink, a coffee mug so I didn’t have to try to drink coffee out of tiny paper cups, even a baggie of salt to liven up the daily hard-boiled egg. I’m deeply grateful for the internet and the opportunities it brings to keep in touch with friends and family through email, Facebook, and video calls. And most of all, I’m thankful for all the ways in which God has shown me that I’m not alone. He’s been here with me in this little room all along, never abandoning me, constantly pouring out his love and grace and kindness and blessings upon blessings on me. THANK YOU, LORD. That’s all I can say. Thank you. I’m so grateful for the many gifts I’ve received from him and others these past two weeks. Thank you.

Breakfast: hard-boiled egg, slices of ham, greens, hash-brown patties, and a rice/pork/mushroom mixture wrapped in the banana-leaf packet.
Lunch: some kind of deep-fried, breaded patty on rice (I didn’t try it, so not sure, but I assume it was pork), soft squash, spinach, and stewed beef with broccoli, carrots, and turnips. I’m not sure what was in the center section, except that it was spongy and juicy and may have been a relative of tofu. I believe the drink is jasmine tea.
Dinner: chicken curry with onions and potatoes over rice. And of course greens, and a slab of breaded deep-fried something-or-other that I didn’t eat. (Seriously, TONS of breaded deep-fried something-or-others have gone to waste in my hotel room in the last two weeks! But at least they didn’t go to MY waist!)

And that’s it, ladies and gentlemen. This is my final night of quarantine. My luggage is mostly packed, my alarm is set for 5:00 a.m., and we check out at 6:00 tomorrow. In less than twelve hours, I’ll be home!

Over and OUT!

Did you miss any of the earlier posts in this series? Find them here:

Today I will give you a tour of my suite here at the HiOne Gallery Hotel! I bet you didn’t know it had so many rooms and facilities!

I hope you enjoyed the tour! In all seriousness, I’ve been pretty happy with my quarantine accommodations. Obviously, I’d rather be at home, but if you’ve got to be shut in a room somewhere else, this is a pretty comfortable room to be in. I have a lot to be thankful for.

Anyway, on to today’s meals.

Breakfast: it was a nice surprise to have dim sum for the first time here, not to mention the spring rolls, fried egg, and ham. Yum!
Lunch: fried noodles with bits of pork, topped by greens and a slab of breaded deep-fried pork. And more asparagus juice! That makes four cartons of it so far. I need to find someone who can stand the stuff to give it away to once I’m free. I’m certainly not going to drink it!
Dinner: pork with onions over rice, greens (bet you’re shocked!), tofu on green onions, a chicken leg on bamboo shoots, and … I have no idea whether the brown stuff at the top right is animal, vegetable, or mineral. Okay, probably not mineral, I guess. It was soft and slightly savory, slightly sweet, and slightly spicy. Turnips in the soup.

I’ll close with this picture from earlier today, when it was rainy and foggy. As much as I’m looking forward to going home the day after tomorrow, I have to say, I will definitely miss the view from my 22nd-story window!

City in the Mist

See the final post in the series here (once it’s live):

Did you miss any of the earlier posts in this series? Find them here:

My fun activity for the day was decorating my eggs. Yep, with hard-boiled eggs showing up in almost every breakfast, I haven’t always been able to bring myself to eat them. These two had been living in the fridge for a while and needed a new purpose in life. I don’t claim to be particularly artistic, but I enjoyed turning them into art. Now if only I had somewhere to display them!

The next big event that happened today was the field trip! We’d been told the taxi would arrive at 10:00 this morning to take Floyd and me to get our PCR tests. At 11:30, right after lunch was delivered, someone from the front desk finally called my room to say the taxi was there. I stuck my uneaten lunch in the fridge, put on my shoes, picked up my purse, put on my mask and face shield, remembered at the last minute to grab the key card to my room, and stepped out into the hallway. Wow, what a weird feeling. I found my way down the hall to the elevator and made it down to the lobby after just one mixup where I temporarily got out on the wrong floor when someone else got in (you forget how these transportation devices work when your only transportation device for twelve days has been your feet in a pretty small area). There were about four people manning the front desk, which seemed weird in a hotel where no one goes in or out except after twelve days, and then again after fourteen days. They had me leave my key card with them and pointed me to the taxi waiting just outside. And there was Floyd! I can’t tell you how wonderful it was to see him in person again!

The taxi took us to a little hospital about 5 minutes’ drive away, where we had to wait outside the front door. Then a pink-clad nurse came out and filled out paperwork, asked us medical questions, took our blood pressure, and checked the oxygen levels in our blood (all outside the hospital door). She took our passports and health insurance cards inside, along with our payment (150 NT each; about 5 U.S. dollars). I got a kick out of the fact that she sprayed our money, passports, and cards down with disinfectant before she took them.Then we got directed to a tent set up in the parking lot where the scary man you see below was waiting to do scary things to us from the other side of a window. I will spare you the details except to say that it was more painful and lasted longer than the PCR test we had to take before we could fly to California at the beginning of the summer, and this time they stabbed us in BOTH nostrils.

Then we stepped back into the waiting taxi, which brought us back to the hotel. I wished he would drive more slowly or take a detour. We would gladly have paid for a VERY LONG detour, if the driver been willing to spend the afternoon driving around the city! Alas, no, he was under strict orders to bring us right back to our hotel. It was really hard to say goodbye to Floyd as we trudged back to our separate rooms. Harder than when we parted ways at the beginning of quarantine. Stepping back into my empty room alone was more difficult than I had expected, too. My quarantine experience really hasn’t been all that bad, especially compared to some people’s. But leaving Floyd behind and shutting the door behind myself hurt. At least I only have two and a half days to go!

Here are today’s meals:

Breakfast, hard-boiled egg, steamed bun with pork inside (tasty!), two sausagey sort of things (probably purposely designed to be completely taste-free), garlicky bok choi, and fruit and veggie juice.

Lunch was mostly cold by the time I ate it, since the field trip taxi arrived just as I was about to dig in. I did manage to scarf down a few bites of the scrambled eggs with tomatoes (bottom right) while they were still warm; they were delicious! Later I enjoyed the greens and pieces of stir-fried pork with some of the soft squash from the middle, along with some rice. Didn’t eat the deep-fried, breaded pork slab. It isn’t worth the calories even when it’s hot, let alone cold. And the barley drink is never worth it either, in my opinion.
Dinner: ham strips on rice; sour bamboo shoots; the usual greens; a stewed mixture of pork, carrots, broccoli, and turnips; and green beans. I believe the soup had bits of soft turnip in it.

See later posts in the series here (once they’re live):