Went back to Singapore for almost a month for some personal matters, it wasn’t planned and it’s wasn’t for any joyous occasion. Still, I’ll like to note down some experiences, thoughts, and emotions that went through during my journey to and back of Singapore from United States.
Took a morning flight back to Singapore and was surprised by the number of people still travelling in this pandemic, I guess life just goes on, though some people are really dressed in protective gear from head to toe. Can’t blame them tho. We got to layover at Japan, Narita, and honestly we were a little excited – it’s the nearest thing to getting to travel to Japan. However, there were only some stores open, welp better than nothing.
Stay Home Notice with ParkRoyal @ Kitchener Road
Of course we have to serve the Stay Home Notice (SHN) of 14 days in a dedicated hotel. Luckily we left Singapore in late 2018 so we don’t have to fork out the $2000/pax for the mandatory staycation.
After collecting our bagages, we were ushered to corner of the airport to register where we waited for a bus that took us to our hotels. We don’t have options as to where we want to stay, I think there’s a rotation system within the dedicated hotels and different batches of flights are brought to different hotels. Some people got Swiss Hotel and some Ritz Carlton but we got ParkRoyal Kitchener ): Welp.
Ok before I start ranting here’s a list of things you better have with you just in case your hotel doesn’t provide – mine provided only the bare necessities.
- Shampoo and body wash – You’re gonna stay in the same place for 2 weeks, and you have no idea what shampoo they provide you with which may suck and dry your hair out. Luckily Singapore have super developed delivery services like Grab and Food panda that delivers groceries too, so the biggest problem you’ll face.
- Detergent (Dishwasher and Laundry) – I’m not even exaggerating. ParkRoyal gave us a set of utensils each and want us to use it for 14 days, no problem with that, very environmentally friendly , very much kudos. But can they at least provide dishwasher with it ??? We had our family members sent us some, but we forgot to ask for sponge and used hands to wash it throughout lolol. Yes, hotel not AirBnB, so no washing machine. Yes hotel have laundry services, but ParkRoyal was charging 5 pieces for $20 dollars ?! You bet our cheap ass got our family to send us detergent and washed our clothes in the basin lolol. That’s also when I kind of appreciates Idaho’s dry weather, NOTHING DRIES IN SINGAPORE, ESPECIALLY NOT IN A POORLY VENTILATED HOTEL ROOM. I heard Swiss Hotel provided free laundry services tho, welp.
- Lots of entertainment – Don’t forget your HDMI cable. Thankfully we brought along our Switch and its dork, computer, books, my studies, hard disks, and a HDMI cable. These kept us very entertained with me almost completing Hyrule Warriors and we binged watched Alice in Borderland and Sweet Home. 14 weeks felt more like 5 days for me. You might even want to bring along a yoga mat if possible.
I think that’s about it. Oh, you should download Grab and FoodPanda too! They can deliver food to the hotel and the staff will bring your orders to your room.
3 meals were served daily without fail (though I’m pretty sure they forgotten about us on the 3rd day and we starved till I called front desk asking for food). This is FREAKING fattening, the foods were fine, but the consistency of it plus the constant orders coming from grab and endless bubble tea I’m currently the heaviest I’ve ever been my whole life. Yes, became fat before I was released back into wild. Very sad.
We were ushered in to our rooms after close to 3 hours wait in the hotel lobby after a near 24 hours flight journey. The lifts were key operated where only the staff can bypass the control panel and bring us up. We were not issued any keycards, meaning if we were to leave the rooms, we can’t re-enter – discouraging us to leave our rooms. Of course no one was allowed in to our rooms, just imagine how dirty and messy a room can be with 2 weeks without cleaning supplies. We had to eat on our beds because there was only 1 wall facing desk. However they will provide you with extra sheets and duvet cover when requested, so that’s what we did and we changed our sheets ourselves.
OH YA, if you’re a smoker, sucks to be you. You won’t be able to smoke cause there’s no balcony and there wasn’t any option for us to choose a smoking room for this hotel. Some other hotels have balcony tho, so it’s really up to luck.
We had to do the Covid swb test on the 11th day of our stay which is mandatory for all travellers coming into Singapore. We had to pay for the test ourselves but got a pleasant surprise that the test was $128 instead of the reported $200. It was my first time doing the test, wasn’t as terrible for me I just teared a little. It’ll probably be worse for people with sinus issues.
That’s all I can remember for now, will update if I remember anything else.
After the 14 days SHN we had 11 days to do whatever we want before we head back to Singapore. Yup, spent more days in the hotel that actually be back Singapore, welp. Anyway, you bet I made the fullest use of it LOL. In the 11 days, I finished the government issued Singapore Re-discovery Voucher and went to USS, Sanrio Characters Island Lights, Gardens By The Bay, and Zoo (in pouring rain). HAHAH. Had a lot of fun and met most of my friends that I wanted to meet. It was a tiny blessing amongst all the chaos of 2020. Will spare you the details of a Singaporean touring Singapore.
OH AND I GOT TO WATCH 2 MOVIES IN THE THEATRE!!
Got to experience the trace together app, and having to ‘check-in’ everywhere and making detours to the monitored entries and exits, even though social distance were hardly practiced. Quite an experience I should say, to see how the entire country adapted to a pandemic, and how we successfully keep it under control proving that it is very possible if people cooperate. (Can’t say the same for every country) Also not forgetting the sacrifices and hard working-ness of the front liners and delivery persons that allowed the rest of the population to rest easy which I feel is very commemorable.
On the 2nd of January, we took the first flight back to United States > Narita > San Fran > Boise.
Even though we took the pre-departure Covid test, no one from any side of the immigration requested for our Covid results. Japan not asking for it is kinda understandable since we are just passing, Singapore too since we are leaving the country. I’ve tried not to ask what U.S. is doing since Trump. No state required quarantine for Idaho too. So here we are, back in our U.S. home and trying to unpack as much as we can and slip into our normal routine before December 2020. Time to get my shit together for a final sprint for my final year here.
P.S. Omg why is Covid not gone yet. 2020 gotta be the worst year ever for me. Can’t wait for this thing to be over and people can live their lives.