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Catch flights not viruses {the start of HK contract #5}

In case you missed the first experience of me flying during a pandemic, read the blog post before this HERE first. Also, so sorry this is such a long post but it’s interesting to say the least! 

For attempt number 2, Disney decided to send me the same flight pattern, with some additional information and checking before hand, approving that I should have no issues stopping through Tokyo this time. On May 15 (almost a month after my first attempt), I once again took off to the Buffalo airport, and said my farewell for now to Mike (one tearful goodbye is already enough, did not really want to have to do it again, but here we are). 

This time, there were many more people at the airport. Checking in at the desk, the crew were already working on a phone call to Hong Kong immigration for another passenger attempting the same flight to Hong Kong as I was, so they were able to quickly verify with them that I also had approval with my work visa to enter Hong Kong. 

Moving on through security, trying to stay six feet apart from everyone else, everything went smoothly after my previous rehearsal a month ago. Once I got to my gate I checked with the front desk agent about relocating to a seat away from others, and once everyone checked in, she was able to do so, even though my flight was 90% full (again I say, where are all of you going right now!?). 

I boarded the flight, Lysol wiped my seat and the empty seat next to me, and awaited for take off. American Airlines has the policy that everyone must wear a mask to board, and while I appreciate that, I almost lost my mind at the amount of people who once seated on the plane, then pulled their mask down to under their chin. *face palm* 

First flight was Buffalo to Dallas, and while there was no one next to me, there was an adorable brand new chocolate lab puppy in the row across from me, who cried a significant portion of the entire flight. 
How does one take photos in a mask? Are ya meant to smile?

Arriving at my favorite airport, Dallas, I was starting to feel really anxious about not being permitted to board the flight to Tokyo again. I met up with Katelyn (who had been with me through the last adventure here) and Lindsay who would also be joining me at Disney. 

After my final chick-fil-a, we were called up to the American Airlines desk to have our passports checked. This is where the real panic began. I noticed a lot of the crew were the same as they were previously and I thought to myself there was no way they’d let us on the plane. The crew members immediately recognized us and said “Disney? You’re good to go”. I about passed out. What a relief from the stress of the last time. They even upgraded us all to our own row in three priority section of the plane located within nice proximity to each other. 

We boarded the plane, said our farewells to America, and got cozy in our rows for our 13 hour flight to Tokyo. Got as far as the runway before the plane had to turn around and come back again because it was reported our plane door was broken, turns out it was just ajar and they shut it and we moved on back out to the runway!

During the flight, the flight attendant noticed immediately how much water I was trying to drink on the flight and left me with a massive water bottle so she did not have to keep coming back (lol). 

I also was thrilled to see chopsticks again when meal time came around! 

I slept for the first four hours of the flight, trying to adjust my schedule to Hong Kong time, until I just could not rest anymore. I also was cracking up at what I looked like wearing both a mask over my mouth/nose and my eye mask. 

One of the hardest things about long haul flights during a pandemic is not really wanting to get up and walk around quite as much, which is so important for your body to adjust. Luckily, our plane flew a little lower than normal so the cabin pressure wasn’t making my feet swell up like they usually do. But alas, 13 hours later, we had made it!

Now in Tokyo, and upon exiting the plane, we were guided to show our passports, ID cards, and paperwork once again. We also had our first temperature check of the entire journey. The other two girls I was traveling with encountered a few roadblocks since they had not been to Hong Kong before and did not have a Hong Kong ID card. Eventually the crew worked it out and they were cleared to go as well. We celebrated with fancy drinks from the Tokyo vending machine, as one does. 
I was a little sad to say bye to Japan, but hopefully things will be better soon so I can come visit the most kawaii place on Earth again later.

We boarded our final, 5 hour flight from Tokyo to Hong Kong, and the plane was 110 degrees with no air flowing. 

Then in the middle of the safety briefing video, the power on the TVs went out and the lights began to flicker. The flight attendents continued the demonstration live, and thankfully the entertainment systems came back on.  Ironically what started as the hottest flight ever slowly became the coldest. 

When I first saw the familiar Hong Kong skyline come in view from the plane I literally had to stop myself from squealing out loud! We had finally made it! And again, although it is not ideal flying internationally during a pandemic... at least I had my own row on every flight. Step one was now complete, but there were still several more hoops we had to jump through. 

The first hoop was our initial health screening. The officers helped us fill out our immigration paperwork, check out temperature, and the most exciting, get our tracking bracelets set up. The HK government has a mandatory 14 day quarantine when returning from travel, and in order to make sure people are following the law, a tracking bracket is attached to your wrist, and an app installed on your phone, so the government knows you are not leaving where you say you will be, and they may get in contact with you. 

Disney set up our quarantine hotel for us, but knowing we can’t leave our room at all for 14 days is a little intimidating. Especially knowing you are being tracked on top of it. Crazy. 

Anyways, next hoop was more immigration and questions about where we are staying, how we are feeling, and explanation about having to record our symptoms and temperatures twice a day, and even provided us with a thermometer! 

From here we picked up our luggage. Also upon arrival, a good friend of mine greeted me from afar at the airport. What’s super special is Desmond is the last person I saw when I left HK most recently a year and a half ago, so it was incredibly special to see his friendly face as my greeting this time. Next we took the shuttle bus over to the Asia Expo Center to have our Covid 19 testing done. 

We dropped our luggage off and received a baggage claim tag and then it was back on the bus to another stop at the expo center for the actual testing. More paperwork, more questioning, not a lot of explanation, and then test time.
enjoy all my illegal photos, and hopefully I don't get arrested lol

The test itself was simple enough, while remaining socially distant in your little cubicle, all you had to do was spit in a little test tube and then they send it off. This test will only determine if we currently have the virus, not if antibodies are present. We will know the results by tomorrow. If it is positive you are taken to the hospital. If it is negative, we will taxi to our quarantine hotel for the next few days, and have another test done later in the week. 
bye test

 In the meantime for the first night in quarantine we have to stay at a government issued hotel until our results come back. Around 1am Hong Kong time, we finally got shuttled to our hotel. Feeling so close yet so far from actually being in Hong Kong...

We were provided dinner and checked in, taking the elevator up one by one. My room was super nice and very clean, and even had my own stage! Also, ignore the mess, I literally stumbled into bed like right away and tore apart my suitcase trying to find my pajamas. 

My only complaint was there being no soap in the bathroom... luckily I came prepared. I was super happy to get to take off my mask after wearing it for about 30+ hours straight however. 

The hotel provided us with dinner - some chicken, white rice, and bok choy vegetables with (very bitter) Oolong Tea.

I was finally ready to tuck in with my new buddy for the night and plastic wrapped pillows and get some shut eye.

The next morning (now Sunday, May 17), at 8am there was a knock on my door with breakfast. Inside was a croissant, an apple, and a dinner roll with orange jam, complete with guava juice. Guess it is a good thing I like bread?

Now, I am currently waiting in my government issued quarantine hotel for my Covid 19 test results to come back sometime this afternoon. If I test positive, I am taken to a hospital. If I test negative, I then take a taxi to a different quarantine hotel that Disney has set up for us to spend the remaining 13 days at. More updates to come.... be sure to subscribe so you don't miss anything!

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