Bojack Comes Back

Howdy all y’all.

Been back in Taiwan for just about 30 hours now, after having spent the last five weeks in Singapore and Austin, TX. Still jet lagged. This is Day 1 of 14 home-quarantine days to come. Should bust out on May 15.

I can tell a long story revolving around mistakes made.

Thanks for all the wells wished my way the past month or so.



OMG, the horse man lives! Welcome back!


Thanks to my better half, yes.

Good grief, these quarantine people are insufferable already, and it’s only Day 1. LINE awaits …


Welcome Back!


Good to have you back, @bojack!

Please do!
We all can learn from each others mistakes :nerd_face:


Well, the first mistake was not prioritizing the registration of our US marriage in my wife’s household here in Taiwan.

I was happy to get out of Taiwan every three months to visit other places in Asia. Made me a little soft, I think.

Anyway, on the 90th day of my Dec-Mar stay, March 18, I left TPE bound for Singapore arrival at 14:30 that day. Was due to return the next day, March 19.

However, a funny thing happened while I was in the air. Taiwan’s CDC suspended Taiwan’s visa-exempt program, stranding me in Singapore. Found about it when I purchased a SIM card landside in the Singapore airport and my phone erupted with LINE messages from my wife. Too late to book anything returning to Taiwan before 00:20 on March 20.

The nightmare began …


They are doing their job. There’s a reason why the situation in Taiwan is currently stable.



This sounds epic. Maybe it deserves its own thread?


Living in Taiwan?
General discussion?

Anything but this thread…I try to stay away from it as much as possible. :astonished:


They are indeed, and they’re doing a fine job of it.

I am constitutionally offended, not actually offended. It’s a knee jerk reaction on my part. Bitching about government overreach is one of my favorite pastimes, as you may know.

Anyway, I can and do appreciate government that’s done well. And Taiwan is doing a bang-up job here. I am 100% behind their actions (I actually have a lot to say about this that may, or may not, be said later).

To begin with, EVA Air were fantastic in LAX. Boarding an international flight to Taiwan is completely different than it was five weeks ago. For one thing, there’s significant paper and app work involved. For another, there were, by my count, 13 EVA Air staff members present at the gate at LAX. I had never seen more than 5 (possibly 6) before.

The landing system was smooth, with minimal barking by airport staff airside at TPE. There was a “brief” interview to get though, then a longer one to be entered into a terminal (with English speakers there to help). Then a stop at the CDC desk where I got info about my quarantine conditions and paperwork, and information about booking a quarantine taxi back home.

With a new special-entry visa in hand, clearing customs did take longer (I think the interview lasted about ten minutes or so), but the customs folks were very friendly.

About 3 hours after reaching my new home in Hsinchu (wife rented - and kitted out - separate digs in my absence), I got a call from the popo. She was very nice, and I sat for another interview. The popo visited me personally about 90 minutes after that, to take a snapshot of me and to deliver a bag of food. About 90 minutes after that, I was given instructions to download a tracking app (again by the local police). And at 6pm yesterday, I got a call.

For the next 14 days I no longer control my phone’s mic, camera, or GPS functions. That’s a small price to pay, imho, for the results Taiwan has achieved so far. And while I like a good bitchin’, I will be the first to say that Taiwan has done a bang-up job by me so far.

Zero complaints.


Possibly. It’s definitely a saga.

Will think about it.


Make it happen! :grin:

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Greater Forumosa looks like a suitable one :wink:

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Too late.
You started, now you have to finish it!


Second mistake is related to my being a cheap bastard, one who sometimes has to work overtime to spend an extra penny that can save me far more moolah later.

So I actually had a shot at booking the same trip on March 17, 2020, returning on March 18. Woulda got me back here before the curtain descended.

The whole nightmare could have been avoided, but the hotel was US$89 that night. If I booked Wednesday, March 18, instead it was US$81. And I had the extra, 90th visa-exempt day to spare!

Sigh. This is a personal trait that came back to bite me later, too.

It’s a process, this learning thing. Workin’ on it.


My god, this is me to a T. :open_mouth:

How long did the whole rigmarole take? I mean, like how early did you have to arrive before your flight? Oh, and condolences for LAX.

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Good to see you back and safe and healthy ! Good that you got out of S’pore which is in lockdown now. I was in nearby Malaysia a week before you were in Singapore, and worried about Taiwan entry closure so hurried back.

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Every passenger had to report to the desk to pick up a QR code that browsed one’s phone to a CDC website used for subsequent contact tracing (obviously if you had the app already, then I’m not sure you had to check in at the desk).

On my phone the app refused to let me enter my nationality (it was frozen on Taiwan as the only choice), so I had to manually fill out the same paperwork.

Every passenger now scans their own boarding pass (true for US domestic flights as well). If you used the app, then I think the app info was also scanned in (parallel), so not big time waster.

For me, I had to scan my boarding pass and then hand over a page (from 3 I had to fill out by hand) to an EVA Air agent.

What has really added time to everything (even grocery shopping in the USA) is the social distancing. So everybody is queued up in the loading chute to board, six feet between us all, while one or two passengers at a time are allowed in and find their seat.

Anyway, the flight took off at 00:10. If memory serves EVA started boarding Zone 1 at 23:25.

It was actually pretty smooth. I have far worse time-waster horror stories to tell about Austin.


So if you don’t have a smartphone you’re shit out of luck? Brave new world… :open_mouth: