Westin Brisbane
Westin Brisbane, a pretty good place to spend 14 days mandatory quarantine

I had a bit of fun live tweeting day 5 of our enforced hotel quarantine at the Westin Hotel Brisbane the other day.

Here are some of the highlights:

There is a Nespresso machine in the room but they only supplied 4 pods. Our friends delivered a couple of boxes of pods so coffee fix sorted for a while. [I also order a few boxes direct from Nespresso, sweating on these now as supplies running low].

There are teabags plus a few sachets of instant coffee in the room too. Peasants.

When we’re done eating we put everything in the paper bag and leave outside our room.

It’s pretty depressing eating out of polystyrene takeaway containers with plastic cutlery while sitting on a bed every meal. Also most of the hot meals arrive lukewarm at best.

We’re allowed to order in Uber eats if we want or have Woolworths grocery deliveries. The hotel can’t guarantee prompt room delivery of food items but say they will do their best to prioritise. We haven’t ordered out yet, feel bad about wasting food, plus we never know in advance what we’re going to get so we can’t pre-plan meals we’d prefer to skip.

We can also have care packages delivered from friends which is nice.

We don’t have any face to face interactions with hotel staff but when we deal with them on the phone they definitely treat us like guests and not inmates.

In fact when we had to change rooms due to fridge not working we ended up in a room with a bath and the hotel dropped off some bath soaps etc to apologise for inconvenience. Nice touch.

[Also, today they knocked on the door and dropped off a lovely slice of red velvet cake for Lisa’s birthday. I think the Red Cross guy who rings to check up on us must have given them the heads up. Nice work, team].

When we did that room swap, we were escorted by two armed police with full PPE.

We’re not allowed out of the room for any reason, not even to walk up and down on our floor to stretch the legs.

I’m now up to 4 x 25 pushups daily as part of #100pushup program. Tomorrow is my weekly benchmark test, aiming to improve on 50 consecutive pushups with good form (or as good as my fat guts and dodgy shoulders allow).

[Spoiler alert, I improved to 54 consecutive push-ups].

10.45 am – just took delivery of our ‘every 4 days’ room refresh. Sheets, towels, TP, instant coffee, toiletries. We need to change the bed ourselves (‘we’, who am I kidding, Lisa is already on to it) and bag up linen to leave outside room.

A package also arrived for Lisa from her family in NZ. It’s Lisa’s birthday tomorrow and no one on the planet enjoys birthdays more than her, so it is going to be a bit of a bummer for her. Lucky she has me to cheer her up.

11.15 am – Phone call from Red Cross, checking on our mental health and overall welfare. Also checking if we have any Covid-19 symptoms. This is the second call from them so far on our stay.

11.30 am Phone call from one of Lisa’s friends from NZ

11.45 am Spanish lessons on Babbel for me and Duolingo for Lisa. We’ve pretty much practiced every day for the past 15 months and I still struggle with anything harder than ‘dos cervezas por favor’.

Not sure how long I’ll keep the lessons up for if we don’t have any travel plans on the horizon any more.

We were supposed to be in Cuba right now followed by Panama and Nicaragua. Seems a long way away now. Wonder if we’ll ever get back?

Pasta salad with three small falafel disks. Quite tasty but not much protein, on top of the zero protein breakfast and zero protein dinner last night. Starting to think about Uber Eats options…

Heartening to read Kerry Stokes got an exemption from mandatory hotel quarantine after arriving back in Australia via private plane. Good for you mate.

They also have Foxtel with a couple of movie channels.

When we were in Mexico we carried around our own Chromecast which was a great move, as everywhere we stayed had great wifi plus HDMI port TVs. We were able to stream Netflix from our own account to the TV. Definitely better than watching Mexican TV in Spanish.

Thoughts on mandatory isolation

We are 100% in support of the need for a strict quarantine for people returning to Australia from overseas. We also feel lucky that we have ended up in a comfortable room in a beautiful hotel with meals provided, all on the taxpayer tab.

Thank you

We’d like to thank Australian Embassy staff for arranging the repatriation flights out of LAX plus all essential service workers involved in our journey thus far: customs and immigration officials, air crew, bus drivers, hotel staff, delivery drivers, caterers, police and army.

And especially our family and friends who have been super supportive in checking up on our welfare.

A sad day – we’re coming home

Check out our favourite Hidden Secrets of Mexico

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