I was told that Uber Eats and Foodpanda deliveries are not allowed at government quarantine facilities, but having friends/family drop off food and supplies is okay.
Fruits are expensive in Taiwan
It seems to vary according to location.
Meals at a government facility
I didn’t chose the food package for my current quarantine. I personally am not a huge fan of Bian Dang. I’ve had many of them before in my youth, but now that I’m older I can’t eat as much carbs or fat.
With my current quarantine, I’m very happy that I decided to forego the Bian Dang. I purposefully chose my quarantine hotel close to other restaurants which has helped a lot. Delivery time is only 30 mins with delivery fee of 19 to 30 NT. There really is lots of mouth watering Asian food options. And if you don’t care for Asian food, McDonalds delivers 24/7. Food Panda also delivers from Carrefour which is a large super market chain.
Almost one year later and I find myself in the same situation. Same hotel, but different room. And mostly similar food (but I am getting ahead of myself…) - although I think they might have upped their food game a bit compared to last year.
(If you’re wondering why, see the other thread:)
But let’s start at the airport: Having been through most of the process already, it was really easy to get everything done. Still sometimes a bit chaotic, but compared to last year, everything seems much smoother. Some differences I noticed:
If you already have a Taiwanese SIM-card and fill out the quarantine form before arrival, you can skip most lines. No need to wait in the line with all the people who need assistance acquiring a local SIM card or need help filling out the forms
Be sure to note the “quarantine hotel number” - it saves you from typing in the address in Chinese
Wait time for luggage is quite long (a sign says at least 50 minutes because of luggage disinfection)
The spit test is quick and easy. Inside the airport, they give you the rapid test and a container for spitting inside. I just was a bit surprised that the actual spitting happens after you get your luggage. This means that you have to put your luggage outside in a marked area while going to the test station after leaving the airport. The test is done outside and there are instructions in English on how to do it. However, my cabin didn’t have the disinfectant one should use a couple of times.
There is still a paper form one needs to fill out before getting on the taxi. Unfortunately, the form needs to be filled out while waiting in line and while employees make sure that there are no large gaps in the line. So be sure to keep the address of the hotel ready and to write fast.
Everyone get’s a sticker saying “Quarantine” placed on their clothes:
The quarantine taxi (just like last year) didn’t accept credit cards - cash only, although all signs said that one can either pay by cash or credit card. Also, I didn’t receive any invoice - and the taxi driver took a picture of my “quarantine notice form” and sent it to some Line account. Not sure if that’s part of the process or just something that particular driver did.
Arriving at the hotel, I had already sent them a printout of the “quarantine notice form” via email. However, as I had created it using iOS which doesn’t allow changing the paper format, some part was cut off. Not sure if others experience a similar issue.
Checking into the hotel was painless - staff had no issue communicating in English and they gave me a room with a nice view on the 9th floor:
This time, I learned from my last stay and brought some towels - the disposable ones the hotel provides are really uncomfortable and don’t dry very well.
The room is not too spacious - but still provides a small desk to work on and an office chair. The large windows don’t open, but there is a small window which opens. Airconditioner is quite loud (louder than in the room last year, I thing) - shower pressure is fine and there is a Japanese toilet in the bathroom. Floor is vinyl - no carpet. There are a small fridge and electric kettle in the room, but no microwave. Instant coffee packs, tea and water bottles are provided along with toothbrush etc. - not much else, however. Communication with the staff is easy using the phone - so far, they all spoke English very well. Wifi works fine without issue and also good cell reception using CHT. All just like last year.
So far, I am on day 3 of my quarantine - on the first day, I received a phone call from the police asking me if everything is fine. Day 2, I received a text message asking me about my health. Today, I didn’t receive any text message. Not sure if there is some issue with the system or if they changed their approach.
Will go back to the topic and start posting food pictures in the next post later
I’m already doing whatever the opposite of salivating in anticipation is. I think my salivary glands just switched off actually, and my taste buds definitely just atrophied. Good luck!
I hope I didn’t keep you in suspense for too long then
So here we go:
Day 0, Dinner
That one actually looked really promising and tasted well too!
Or maybe it was just because I was already awake for over 24h at that point and quite hungry.
Seems like we’re off to a good start: Wet rice for breakfast - not just plain one, but actually came with an egg and some toppings. Still fine.
Lunch was also edible: Some pork curry. Nothing special, but fine too.
Forgot to take a picture of the dinner somehow
First food that was really “meh”: A “wrap” (it had some lettuce and chicken inside), salad and a yoghurt.
Lunch was meatballs (not a fan of meatballs in general). “Meh” again…
Can’t really complain about dinner: Chicken leg (which was a bit dry, but still tasty).
Woke up really hungry (and too late to order delivery), so I ate the hot dog and the cereal (small pack of milk not pictured) quite fast - not really focusing on taste (that was probably for the better!).
Not a fan of that kind of seaweed - and the chicken really tasted much worse than it looked like. Maybe just some kind of seasoning I am not a fan of…
Fried pork you say? Wrong! It was fish. Served with a tiny amount of asparagus, an egg wrapped in bacon and some cabbage with rice. Some more fruit today (most days, one meal comes with one piece of fruit which I don’t always fit in the picture).
Day 4 (today)
Woke up in time to order a breakfast from UberEats (not pictured to keep the thread focused). Really delicious sandwich with bacon, eggs, lettuce and some hash browns. But probably even more unhealthy than the hotel food
I was looking forward to a nice bowl of beef with rice - however, that one also fell in the category “looks better than it tasted”. Waaaay to much fat on the meat and only a small amount of vegtables.
Nope, the meat was really hard and also consisted mostly of fat. Also, it had a taste I didn’t like. Just ate the cabbage and some rice…
… and was really glad that I kept the hotel breakfast in the fridge. Toast with egg, a slice of tomatoe and tuna. I like the 711 sandwiches more.
Now feeling quite hungry again. Already planning on ordering delivery for breakfast tomorrow…
These are all better than what I feed myself daily
What I’m really worried about is the blatantly excessive packaging involved with these COVID meals, and the obvious threat the pandemic poses to the global climate emergency.
What happens to all of those billions of syringes and needles used in the vaccination campaigns,
not to mention the quarantine food packaging.
The vaccine shots themselves require production of massive amounts of vector/media/resources that involve plastics, paper, and metal packaging of the single use variety.
The energy used in production and disposal are obviously a major threat to the global climate emergency.
And we can add this excessive food packaging on top of that.
I see what you’re saying about waste, but I suspect in reality all this stuff is a drop in the ocean compared to the true magnitude of the problem. I’ve edited a few papers on things like that and I’m always a bit surprised by how much of it is out of the hands of the consumer when you look at the data. I remember that @nz also wrote a few interesting posts on the topic a while ago, probably in this thread.
I wouldn’t be surprised if the net effect of the pandemic has been way carbon negative, and I suspect all these things like vaccine production, disposable masks, quarantine food packaging, etc. have been offset one or two magnitudes over by stuff like dramatically reduced air travel, lockdowns, supply chain issues, and so on.
I’m not saying we should all go make an effort to choke more turtles with surgical masks, but I do think the situation is probably far too dire for this stuff to make a significant difference either way. (It would be nice if the human race collectively did something about it before things really go to shit, but I don’t see much cause for optimism in that regard, so… )
Hey is booze banned at all quarantine hotels? What if you bring it in your luggage?
I had some in my luggage and no one checked. If you have friends in Taipei who bring you care packages, most will not open the packages. I delivered my hubby a nice selection of his favorite food and craft beers. He stayed at the AT Boutique hotel. They were great about taking things to him right away so he got food while it was still hot.
I was going to say these are 100 times better than the food they give in Australia when you are in quarantine and in Australia it’s $2800 per person AUD.
Time for an update!
UberEats for breakfast - hotel breakfast were some noodles with egg and broccoli.
Dinner: That one was actually quite nice - the watermelon was an even nicer touch:
Day 6 started with an UberEats flop
But luckily, the hotel served a breakfast burger from which I took the egg and the tomato. The result was not that bad.
Rest of the day also wasn’t really my taste:
Ordered an McDonald’s burger for dinner because I was starting to get really tired of that much rice every day.
UberEats for breakfast (I think the hotel server wet rice)
Lunch was seafood pasta (strange, but edible):
Also received the quarantine care package from the government (quite late this time - luckily, a friend had already brought my a thermometer. When I asked the hotel on the first day if they would provide me one, they just told me to wait for the government package):
Dinner wasn’t spectacular either, but still edible:
Off to a bad start: The onion rings mostly tasted like fat and were really soft. At least the chicken burrito was a bit filling:
Not sure who combines fish and sausage - but otherwise it was a nice one.
That one was actually really good! Lots of bones, but really nice taste of the meat. Finished it all. Bonus (not pictured): More melon today.
I don’t know - breakfast is really not the strength of this hotel…
UberEats for dinner (SushiExpress):
Still quite a “weak” breakfast - the fries were completely soft and soggy:
Lunch wasn’t a highlight either (the meat was really hard and chewy):
A bit too much oil on the chicken for my taste, but otherwise fine:
Oh, and that day I received a text message in the morning that I should take the rapid test between day 10 and 12. I decided to do it on day 11 and ignored the text message. At around 2pm, I received a call from the police asking me if I had taken my rapid test yet. I answered no and they told me to do it now and they would call me back in one hour. Luckily, the text message was in English and included a link to a video on how to take the test.
I also asked about the PCR test - they told me it would be done on Tuesday (Day 12) and they would call me with more information the following day.
The first day I actually liked all three meals! Or maybe I am just getting used to them:
Also, as promised, the police called me that day and told me to be ready at 9:30am the following day. A taxi would get me and drive me to the testing station. I should bring my passport, ARC and NT$500 in cash to pay the taxi. Also, I should wait in my room until called by the front desk.
Day 12 (today)
I quickly finish my breakfast (yeah…) :
And then wait for the call. At 9:35am, someone calls my cellphone. I answer, but they only speak Chinese. They hang up after trying to tell me something which I don’t understand.
AT 9:45am, I call the reception of the hotel and ask about the taxi. They tell me that it hasn’t arrived yet and I should stay in my room.
At 9:55am, the taxi has finally arrived and I leave my room (somehow feels almost illegal at this point) to go downstairs. The taxi driver (wearing a full body protection suit, FFP2 mask and a face shield) takes my temperature and sprays me with disinfectant. He also takes a picture of my quarantine form. We drive for about 15 min and I get out to take the test. It’s a large container with a waiting area in front - I am the only “customer”, however. I show my NHI card, they seem to type in a lot more information than there is on the card and also take a picture. Then they hand me the test tube and send me to the testing station on the other side of the container.
One employee outside tells me to sit down and takes the test tube. Another one uses the swab in my left nostril. It’s really uncomfortable, but not really painful. The deep throat test I took in Germany was much more uncomfortable. Afterwards, I am ready to go - the other employee sprays the plastic gloves at the testing station with disinfectant (so they are in fact disinfected between “customers” - I remember someone was worried about that in another thread).
Leaving, my nose was still a bit uncomfortable and I had some strange, alcoholic smell in my nose but the feeling quickly disappeared after some minutes. No complaints.
I returned to the taxi - the taxi driver sprayed me again with disinfectant. We drove back to the hotel and had to sign both taxi invoices. However, just with the taxi from the airport, the driver kept both and only accepted cash ($140 + $150 = $390 in total). I was back around 10:45am.
Lunch wasn’t bad - I was a bit startled that the fish still had quite a lot of bones inside although being fried…
Dinner not a surprise - neither especially good, nor especially bad.
Just two more days to go now…
All good things come to an end - and some bad things too, luckily! Just 1.5h and I am finally free again.
Well, actually - I’ll still stay the night because I’d rather still get a good night’s sleep instead of carrying all my luggage around after midnight.
But here’s the remaining ones:
Ordered some UberEats because the breakfast sucked again.
Lunch was seafood risotto - well, more like rice with seafood. Rather meh.
Couldn’t complain about the dinner, though.
Tuna bread and sugar cereals - the breakfast really is the worst meal of the day on pretty much every day…
Lunch and dinner were both fine, however.
That concludes this year’s food diary - looking back, I think they actually improved quite a bit compared to the year before. Only a few meals I truly didn’t like (mostly the breakfast…) - mostly were still fine and some even quite nice. In total, I had only 8 food delivery orders and only spent a bit more than $1000 on those, so total quarantine cost was still below NT$40,000.
I truly hope that I won’t need to gravedig this thread next year and quarantine will be history by then…
Just checked into my hotel a few hours ago. I got in right in time for breakfast. The breakfast was McDonald’s McMuffin, tea, and a hash brown. I took a picture but i used too high of a setting so the size is too big. I’ll update at lunch
Did you choose McDonald’s or did they choose that for you?
If the latter, which hotel so i can avoid it?