The collected writings of a Renegade Tourist

Tag Corona Virus

Pandemic Travel 2: The Return

About two months ago I posted about my experiences of traveling by flight during a global pandemic. Now I’m back in Taiwan and since the pandemic situation has changed a bit since last time, I think I should write a bit about how it was to return home to Taiwan.

As you probably know, the corona virus situation started becoming worse in October. Because of this, Germany went into a partial lockdown which meant a few things. First, places where people gather such as museums and most restaurants closed temporarily. Second, rules regarding mask usage and social distancing became stricter … Read the rest

Königstrasse, Stuttgart, 5:07 pm

I'm on what I believe is the main shopping street in the city, it's wide but free of cars with shops and restaurants all along the sides. Despite being a fairly sizable city, all the shops are closed; the lights are on but the doors are locked and not a soul inside. Out in the street there are a few stragglers but otherwise it's deserted. At this hour, when the light has started to fade but the street lights have yet to turn on, the feeling of emptiness becomes profound, like the entire city is dead. And there, for a few moments, I flash back to the deserted airport with its long corridors and waiting halls nearly devoid of people. In the back of my mind I know that this is normal for Germany, but for a brief moment I can't help but think that this is due to the pandemic.

Pandemic Travel

I recently changed jobs and because the Taiwan branch of my new company is just starting up, management has decided to send a bunch of us to the head office in Germany for training. Under normal circumstances this wouldn’t really be worth posting about but as everyone is well aware, circumstances right now are everything but normal. Simply put, I’ve had a chance to go traveling internationally despite a global pandemic. This is something that I think is worth posting about.

First of all, we are ten people in my team, I am the only European, the rest are Taiwanese. … Read the rest

Taoyuan Airport, Terminal 1, 9:30 pm

I have just left the passport checking counter and I’m walking towards my gate. I turn a corner and walk a few meters down the corridor, idly remembering what it used to be like here, and that’s when the emptiness of the place hits me with full force. There were a few other passengers at the security checkpoint, and at emigration there were the border controls officers who checked my passport but here I am all alone. The long, wide corridor with its conveyor belt walkways and information sign hanging from the ceiling, normally so busy, is completely devoid of … Read the rest

Chang Gung Hospital, 8:45 am

Only one of the doors is open, the rest have been blocked, and a line of people are moving through it at slow but steady pace. Just inside, in the space between the two sets of doors, is a table with a line of automatic disinfectant dispensers. One by one the people in the queue get a squirt of disinfectant, a faint smell of alcohol rising into the air, and rub their hands together. They pass by a temperature check station, an IR camera on a tripod hooked to a computer, and into the entrance hall of the hospital. Inside they are met with a row of folding tables, set up like a temporary barrier. Each table holds a computer and behind it sits a nurse in purple gown, pink hair net, surgical mask and transparent face shield. The people spread out between these checking stations, handing over their ID cards as if they were at the passport control at the airport. Those who pass the ID check get a red stamp on their hands, almost like a nightclub though far less lighthearted, and are finally let through. I myself get the admittance stamp and can enter the hospital to do what I came for, I can only speculate about what happens to the ones who don't get it.

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