So, this is quarantine. I arrived in Jakarta yesterday and was brought to a hotel in the city centre that I was allowed to choose from a list of official quarantine hotels, provided by the Indonesian Covid-19 task force. I have never actually been to Jakarta before, as I usually just transit here to fly on to Sorong. I may spend a few hours at an airport hotel, but I never go to the city centre. This is why I was actually not dreading this quarantine that much as I was hoping to see a little something of the city on the way to the hotel and maybe even have a view from my hotel room.
When I arrived at the airport, I was greeted by typical (at least in my experience) Jakarta weather – grey clouds and heavy rain. But as soon as I entered the taxi and heard the familiar sweet pop song playing on the radio (that I usually frown upon when my Indonesian colleagues play their music on the island), I strangely felt back home. While still hoping that the weather would be better when I will finally make it to the island again…
My room is on the 8th floor, so I have a pretty good view on the city. I’m supposed to be in the city centre, but as I don’t know my way around here, I have no idea what the endless mishmash of sheds and skyscrapers represents and if there’s anything of interest in there. But I will have an extra day after my 5-day quarantine ends here, so I’m looking forward to exploring the city a little.
But for now, I’m confined to my 26m2 hotel room. It’s quite nice actually, though not quite the luxury the website promises. And 5 days is not a very long time, so I wasn’t worried about how I was going to survive this quarantine. Since the PCR test that I had to take before flying was negative, I don’t consider myself a real threat to other people. And yet I’m treated as if I were dangerous to anyone getting in contact with me. Which of course is the protocol they have to follow, I know. But I don’t understand why my food has to come in plastic boxes just because I’m in quarantine. They will have to touch the plastic just the same as normal plates after I touched it. It just means more plastic waste… I addressed it to room service – let’s see if my complaint will have an effect on future meals.
As expected, my room doesn’t feature windows that can be opened. The only way to get «fresh» air is the air conditioning. This was my biggest fear: how to survive the A/C, because I hate using it. But if I don’t, it gets hot and humid in here. So, I switch it on from time to time, to cool the room down, while trying to avoid catching a cold, which would be a less than ideal condition to fly to Sorong in a few days. Strange how my worries and behaviour changed during the last months. I was never someone to worry about my health when travelling. I just assumed, all would turn out well. And it almost always did. But now, even a small cold might sabotage my travel plans, so I have to be extra careful.
Being someone that needs to move regularly, my other worry was the fact that I would not be able to go for a walk or jog and just sit around for 5 days during this quarantine. Luckily, I have a smart watch that tells me to get up every once in a while, and walk around a little. And my plan is to work out in my room later on. I’ll tell you tomorrow how that went.
I am also supposed to have another PCR test later on today. First, my information was that this test would be done at the airport on arrival, but apparently, this has change now. So, I’m hoping this 2nd test within a few days (I’m starting to get the hang of it…) will be negative too. Until then, I’ll just be sitting at my little hotel room desk, working, texting with the outside world and skyping with some friends to pass the time.
Talk to you tomorrow!
I never even dreamt of working on a remote island in Indonesia, but life has a way of taking care of itself…