In which I am ever so thankful for phone calls from my mom and friends!!
Late afternoon, 2 June
I now have company. Two retired teachers and two recent high school graduates in China on tour have been quarantined. All were sitting within a few rows of me on the plane. Ironically, I had switched seats with a girl when we boarded so that she could sit next to her friend. Her row wasn’t quarantined.
I feel especially bad for my fellow quarantees. They’re here for just a week, and will spend it all in the not-so-charming confines of the Yanxiang Hotel. I hope they have trip insurance… One advantage I have is experience living in China. Things that would have sent me into a tizzy two years ago now just make me smile. I also speak enough Chinese to facilitate processes that are difficult in English for our handlers. This must be a baffling and maddening experience for tourists on vacation. I think that, if I must be quarantined (must I?) that I am in the best possible position: I’m still getting paid, and I’m only missing out on work, not the trip of a lifetime.
I called American citizen services at the American Embassy just to file a report with an officer. They were incredibly nice on the phone, but were quite straightforward that there was really nothing they could do to change the terms of the quarantine.
Evening, 2 June
The quarantees continue to trickle in. And they continue to complain. Loudly. In the hall. Yes, we all know this sucks. No, you can’t do anything about it. And no, I do not know what it is that they served you for dinner. A masked man delivered Snickers bars and laundry soap, yay! I’m off to take a bath for the first time in two years…ahhh, the beauty of a bathtub.
A cover band is playing Brown Eyed Girl and Sweet Home Alabama outside my window (bringing the city a taste of tired Americana?), and we're all on "flower watch." Every time a masked person wheels more flower arrangements down the hall, new inmates arrive. I'm tired of meeting people for the night, and am going to turn in with a book.