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84 Days

This is something that I meant to write back in June, when we actually left the hotel and moved into our apartment, but indeed, after an 84-day stay, it was quite something to finally really start what felt like our new life here in Shanghai.

That 84 days was made up of an initial 2 weeks of quarantine in a government-sanctioned hotel — which we would have had to do even if we hadn’t landed on the day the lockdowns started across the city — and then the rest in a hotel that was selected by my workplace. If it wasn’t for the lockdown, that stay would have been for one extra week of quarantine time, and then a couple of weeks to give us time to find an apartment.

It ended up taking a bit longer.

Now I know that “living” close to 3 months in a hotel isn’t a complete novel experience, and is surely done by many who travel to places on finite work missions, but experiencing it within the context of a city-wide lockdown where you cannot leave the premises (we could leave our room and take “walks” to the lobby) is something else.

But as I think I’ve written before, it could have been worse. Our room was quite comfortable, we had access to food, and you do get used to having someone come and clean up your room on a daily basis. On the day we left, my wife even mentioned being a bit sad, as she had gotten used to life there, and had befriended a lot of the staff at our hotel.

But yes, as we kick off August, we’ve now been living in our apartment for well over a month (we moved in on June 20). As for what part of the city we ended up going to, that’ll be for another post.

By Jean Snow

Production Services Manager at Ubisoft Shanghai. Before that, half a life spent in Tokyo.