I think the last day was the hardest. When you’re almost there, you want time to fly and then it suddenly doesn’t anymore. The first days went by quickly, but the last one seemed to drag on forever. I wasn’t able to focus properly on working. And I wasn’t even able to figure out how long I could stay on in Jakarta after my quarantine. You have to fly within 72 hours from the time the test result was issued. It was ridiculous, I went over and over my calendar and at first was convinced I had to fly the night of my 6th day here. Until I realised that it was ok to fly on the 7th. What a nightmare! Maybe it’s the lack of oxygen…
And then the test result took so long to come. They told me I would get the result in the evening, but when I called reception at 6, I was told I would only get it in the morning at check-out. Are you kidding me? I never really got upset during the entire 5 days. Whether I had to call 3 times to get fish instead of meat or ask for other things that would have seemed logical to me, but apparently not to the hotel staff – it never really made me angry. But now, I just wanted to know whether I was free to go and organise my upcoming days. Enough of the waiting! When I insisted that I needed to know because I had to book my flight, I was told to call back at 10. The irony of it all was that I had been looking at an advertising for SWAB/PCR tests and a clinic outside my window for 5 days. It seemed like the solution to getting out of here was just across the street, but I couldn’t get access to it!
While I was calm and accepting the quarantine quietly during the first four days, I got restless and itchy feet on the last day. I really needed to start moving again. The little bit of workout or yoga didn’t do the trick. Even though I was looking forward to exploring Jakarta, I couldn’t bring myself to checking out the websites my friend had sent me. And then, just before dinner, I also realized that I forgot got practise my Indonesian. This is not something I usually «just forget». I somehow felt tired and sleepy all day, even though I’d slept well the night before. This was so not like me, as I am usually quite full of energy.
The day went by eventually, but I didn’t get the test result in the evening. Only the next morning – luckily it was negative. So, off I go to new adventures in Jakarta! Or at least a few steps outside, breathe the sticky city air and get a coffee somewhere not my room!
It’s been a special five days here at this hotel, confined to one room. Mostly smooth, sometimes irritating, never boring, only a little lazy, not as interesting on a deeper personal level as one might think and definitely not something, I would like to repeat any time soon. I first thought that it wouldn’t be that different from being locked down at home. I sometimes stayed home all day too and didn’t set foot outside. The difference is that it was my decision to do so. And I had a whole flat and a balcony that I could walk around in. I don’t like to be dependent on other people, and being in quarantine makes you 100% dependent on people you don’t know. I didn’t like that. But I’m sure I will enjoy being outside and on the island so much more now!
The next time you hear from me, it will hopefully be from Pulau Pef again. So long!
I never even dreamt of working on a remote island in Indonesia, but life has a way of taking care of itself…