Quarantined in Nanjing, China (8/24/22):
-Getting into China is still not easy. For me, the essentials I needed was my company invitation letter, work Z visa in my passport, and three different declarations for immigration and customs. Additionally, two rapid PCR tests, one within 48 hours of my departure flight time and another one within eight hours of it.
-Therefore, check-in starts as early as five hours before boarding and PCR testing 8 hours before because you’re in the same long lines with your fellow passengers of your flight every step of the way.
-Arriving in China was one of the most “what have I gotten myself into moments in my life.” MY VPN wasn’t working so I couldn’t access my international apps like WhatsApp or Google Translate, I had no data because I didn’t have a Chinese SIM, and the Wi-Fi wasn’t working at the airport. Immigration misunderstood me when I told them I was heading to Futian district they thought I was saying Fujian province. Only one person spoke English and very poorly. They took my phone when I tried to show them my e-papers and, instead, went through my text messages. To make matters worse, they were translating to their other colleagues and making jokes at some of the things they read like my poetry. Most unprofessional thing I’ve ever had happen to me in immigration ever. Finally, I just gave them the contact number of one of my HR staff and only after calling him did they stamp my passport and let me pass. I was the least one to leave.
-After that, I went through the typical procedures of an airport then are queued for a bus where you are taken to your government-picked quarantine hotel and assigned your room. Quarantine in China is a strict 7+3, during the time of writing, meaning seven days in a quarantined hotel where you absolutely cannot leave your hotel room, followed by three days of self-quarantine in your home which I did not have since I was brand new to China so I had no choice but to stay the full ten. The room wasn’t bad but the food was the worst. I am not a picky eater by any means but I ended up living off of rice for the most part. They had room service but they only accepted WeChat pay which I could not set up because it only allows Chinese banks so I was just out of luck for ten days.