Nothing that happened the previous days had hinted the craziness that happened that day.
We already knew that 2 members of our group had H1N1, but the university was not sure what to do with us. So we just continued with our daily routine. After 1-2 days, someone from BLCU told us to pack our things and wait in our rooms.
They picked us up in AMBULANCES. Dressed in full body suits…
It was so surreal, most of us were laughing. We had to use the elevators to leave our rooms and reach the ambulances. I did not encounter someone else on my way to the ambulance, but others said that the rest of the students saw them with masks and run screaming.
First they took us in an underground place (like in the movies) and took our saliva.
Then they took us to the quarantine-hotel.
the “rules” that a previous guest had written up
We each got a double room all to ourselves. With Internet connection! Important!
awww, now I see I was reading The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. I totally recommend this book!
We were allowed to socialize, but they preferred if we stayed in the room. And we had to wear our masks if we were out of the room.
The schedule was simple: waking up at 7-8 to get breakfast (we had to eat in our rooms alone). Then I was sleeping again, waking up for our temperature checking (everyone out of the door and one staff member giving us thermometers)
waiting for the temperature check
Then lunch, socializing, again temperature check (I think, maybe not) and dinner.
the food was amazing… I still miss it
Everything there was free. Thanks to the US Embassy, we could benefit from various stuff they sent. Well, maybe they sent them for the US citizens, but no one explained that to us, and by the time we understood that it was the US Embassy that was sending them… well, there was no point to stop then, right? 🙂 It was cookies, chocolate, drawing stuff, games that we all played together…
the hotel’s garden 🙂
There were people from many countries there, but not that many in total, maybe 30 more.
I remember some spanish guys that were eclipse-maniacs. They came all the way to China to watch a solar eclipse. The best place in the world to see it would be Shanghai. Of course they got stuck in Beijing, quarantined. They had telescopes with them. But there were clouds (or smog) in Beijing and Shanghai, so no one saw the eclipse.
they came all the way from Spain to see the eclipse and ended up quarantined
At first we had fun. Then we found out the university kicked us out. We tried to talk to the embassy (no help at all). At first I wanted to stay alone and do a tour. Now I would do it without a second thought. But then I chickened out. Everyone else changed their tickets, most people were in a very bad mood, I got affected by that and agreed to change my ticket too. The quarantine had depressed us anyway…
Most of the time we stayed in our rooms, reading and watching series. I think I started Family Guy there. I think my friend watched Bones.
When the 7 days were up, we got our “diplomas” that said we are free to go.
I expected a different kind of diploma when I came to this trip
We said goodbye to the very nice hotel staff.
everyone was so nice
And we left for a hotel that my friend’s mom (travel agent) had booked for all of us.
We still had 1 day before we had to leave.