A Vietnamese Quarantine

Vietnam takes this pandemic incredibly seriously and has had remarkable success dealing with COVID-19. One reason for this success is that quarantine in Vietnam is no joke. I stepped into this room in the dead of night 12 days ago and will not step out of it again until my two-week quarantine is complete. It’s rumored that there is a COVID-controlled oasis on the other side of these walls, so I am more than happy to sit contentedly in my room and aid the effort.

I cannot go outside, nor can I step into the hallway. I have a menu in my room and leave a daily order form on a table outside my door. A hotel employee rings my doorbell when my meals arrive and although I run to the door to catch a glimpse of another human, they’ve always disappeared into thin air. I have a balcony from which I can watch the quick construction of a house next door and somewhere, there lives a rooster intent on waking me at 6am.

My figurative window to the rest of the world.

Quite honestly, quarantine is great. I’ve made excellent progress on my stack of books and Netflix queue. My mother, a talented quilter (Pleasant Street Quilts), always encourages me and my sister to have some hand-piecing projects to keep our hands busy, and I’ll have quite a few quilt blocks to show for my two weeks in quarantine. I workout. I nap. I Skype. And while I will be happy to start my tour in Ho Chi Minh City, I will be sad to once again set an alarm in the morning and wear real shoes.

A few batiks from my current Moroccan-inspired hand-piecing project.

Living that strenuous quarantine lifestyle.

I’ve been in the Foreign Service for a few years now, and one defining characteristic of all diplomats is that we’re always on the move. Our belongings are often in transit or storage and we live out of suitcases for months at a time. I think it’s important to make every house – or quarantine room – a home, even if we’re only here for a few weeks. So despite having just two suitcases, both teetering dangerously on the brink of being overweight, I packed a few small things that remind me of home. They make all the difference!

Some of my favorite things! Pictures of friends and family, letters from Paul, my favorite tea, as well as lovely gifts from some of my favorite people.

Today is Day 12 of my 15-day quarantine. Later this week, I’ll fly to Ho Chi Minh City and see me and Paul’s new apartment for the first time. I will go to work and put my pens in a proper desk drawer. There will be people at restaurants and kids in school. I’m thrilled.

4 thoughts on “A Vietnamese Quarantine

  1. Great to see your post and to learn about your next assignment. Sounds like a wonderful country to be in. Love the batiks you are working with and the food looks amazing. Congratulations on your engagement! Enjoy exploring and getting settled in your new apartment.

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  2. Hey Gigi!! So good to read about the new development and yes they are numerous and exciting.
    I would say that if you feel down again, your blog will be a good exutoire and this is why we follow you, in good times about your travel adventures and in bad times to remind you that we are still at awe with your life.
    Hugs from NYC. André
    Congrats on your new Vietnam post and looking forward to reading more!!

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  3. What a strange little moment in time! My turn is coming soon enough… I’m glad you’re forging ahead into the unknown and reporting back, so I know what to expect!

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