As I sit here in my quarantine hotel room, in Yangon, Myanmar (Burma), I can see Kandawgyi Lake and General Aung San Park in front of me and the Shwedagon Pagoda to my right, I am thinking, “this time last week I was sitting, in the sunshine, at Da Ponte restaurant, with a crowd of ladies from our Club, having lunch!”
Less than 48 hours later my husband and I arrived at a very quiet Tegel airport about to experience the new International Travel! Checking in with distance, wearing a mask and being handed a visor when boarding. Then being served a drink by a stewardess in full PPE and mask!
Arrival in Doha, normally a bustling, busy place, was instead a very quiet and calm airport, however, our next destination KL was even calmer – ghostly quiet. We had 15 hours at the airport hotel and at last could take off the mask in our room. Dinner in one of the very few food outlets open, no shopping, but a few hours sleep.
In KL we boarded a UN World Food Programme relief flight for Yangon (Rangoon). 46 passengers were left behind due to not having the correct documentation. Myanmar is taking this virus very seriously as we are experiencing, and are very strict with foreigners entering their country!!
In Yangon, we landed into a new world. We were greeted by a small army of officials all dressed in PPE. Our temperatures were taken and then on to passport control. Thorough checks of all documents and then finally, through to waiting colleagues and taken to our hotel. At the hotel, we were directed to the garage and met by staff in PPE and our temps were taken again! Escorted to our room (46 hours after leaving our hotel in Berlin) and have not left since!!
But, I must give credit to Myanmar for trying to protect its citizens!
Breakfast is delivered and left outside our door. “Knock knock” and as if by magic, we have two plastic bags full of food and the person who delivered it disappears down the corridor in a flash!!
The whole floor is full of Quarantine people but the only clue are the plastic bags full of food or empty containers outside their doors. Who is behind those doors I have no idea. It is quiet all day long apart from the banging of a door now and then.
So, how do you pass your day in Quarantine? The first few days were quite relaxing and we took advantage of not having much to do much after packing up our home in Berlin followed by a very long flight! However, the surrounding walls start to close in and the view outside not quite so interesting (thank goodness for our balcony!)
Now we have our routine!
Leisurely breakfast, wash up, which means pack all the plastic containers back into the plastic bags they were delivered in. Bit of housework, make the bed, fluff up the cushions. Take temperatures and send. No room service at all so any washing is done in the bath, and new sheets are delivered twice a week and we make the bed ourselves. All keeps us busy.
In the middle of Burmese Days by George Orwell, which I read years ago but enjoying it again. Daily YouTube fitness programme and viewing Estate agents keeps us remarkably occupied.
Ordering our evening meal has become a new fun challenge as we find a new outlet in the city everyday, order and it is delivered to the hotel! The joys of technology! But, I am beginning to crave doing some cooking!
However, this is a new world and Covid-19 is most certainly dictating it. Flying back to Europe will always be a challenge, the risk of the infection going up is always there.
Now I plan more day-to-day. So much is out of my control, and I do not want the disap- pointment.
On a lighter note! The one thing I do make sure of is that I have a cuppa in my lovely present from my Mahjong group at least three times a day!!!
Keep up the good work ladies, keep our Club running, volunteer, get involved and reap the benefits of so many friendships.
I thank the BIWC for the past three and half years and helping to make my life so interesting and social and for giving me the opportunity to meet so many wonderful people.