Experience Returning To China During Coronavirus with Michael Michelini

Michael MicheliniImmigration, Lifestyle, Living, Podcast, Travel0 Comments

Mike was looking for someone else to share about their experience entering China during the Coronavirus lockdown, but ended up doing it himself. Now listen in as he shares the full experience from overseas to China.


Frequently Asked Questions on the China Quarantine for Foreigners

Question: Can I pick my own hotel, or do home quarantine?

No choice – had to go to this hotel

Didn’t get to choose the hotel, didn’t get to bargain on price. 240 RMB per night, 3 meals, can’t leave til April 5. This hotel is run by people in Hazmat suits and totally modified for this quarantine process.

Question: Is It safe to be around others who may have virus?

Well, no choice. But I am in my own hotel room. And no one is allowed to leave their room. Not sure how I could get in contact with a neighbor to get the virus

Question: Was I put in quarantine because of the country I traveled from (Korea, Philippines)?

It seems at this point, anyone coming from anywhere has to do this lockdown for 14 days in a government selected hotel. I had no symptoms and said no to every question about anything they asked. I feel perfectly healthy. They just seem to want to do whatever it takes to prevent it from coming in from outside China.

Mike’s Blogs on these stories:

1: Bohol Trip & Evacuation

2: Cancelled Flight to China

3: Drastic Times, Drastic Measures: Re-Entering Sourcing

4: Kicked out during coronavirus

5. Third Try: Cebu to Korea to China

6. Entering China Quarantine From Korea

Topics Covered in this Episode

  • How Mike Got to Philppines

  • Bohol Retreat

  • Escape to Cebu

  • Flight problems to China 2x

  • Final flight to China

  • Quarantine issue

People / Companies / Resources Mentioned in this Episode

Contract Mike Signed To Enter Hotel Quarantine

Mike on the Quarantine Bus from Airport.

Mike’s First Quarantine Dinner at the Hotel.

Episode Length 43:54

This will change the way international travel is done for the rest of time.

Watch out for another video coming out about entering China and being in quarantine.

Download Options

Listen in Youtube

Show Transcript


[00:00:00] Episode 299 of the global from Asia podcast. We have a special edition. I am going into quarantine in China because of the Corona virus. I really want to see my family, so everybody asks me. So I thought I would share the experience, at least the entering experience today. Welcome to the Global From Asia podcast, where the daunting process of running an international business is broken down into straight up actionable advice.

[00:00:37] And now your host, Michael Michelini. All right. The show notes for this one, and other tidbits and links for webinars and other things we’re doing here at globalfromasia.com slash lockdown lockdown. Okay. Just to make sure you’ve heard, we are going to have webinars for this whole coronavirus pandemic nightmare.

[00:01:02] If you want to check it out, I’ll be doing it live while I’m in the quarantine. Learn more and check out at our previous show, global from asia.com/masks and you’ll see different time zones and options for you to dial in with me. Live in quarantine, and we’re going to talk about the mask trading. I talk about this whole lockdown situation and more.

[00:01:21] Hope to see you there. Thank you everybody for choosing to download and listen to our streamer in our wechat official account or whatever way you’re listening to the Global From Asia podcast. I am your host, Michael Michelini, and I am on a bus preparing to go to quarantine in Shenyang city of Liaoning province in Mainland.

[00:01:44] People’s Republic of China. Don’t know how long are we sitting on this bus? It’s already been about. Five hours since I landed more than that. So we have a we chat group and people have been asking me in all these social media channels, what’s been going on and probably for a while, and it’s always content.

[00:02:06] There’s lots of contents. Talk about, we got masks from last week, still doing amazing things with masks. I mean, it’s a fascinating thing. As well as the tragic thing. Um, as well as, you know, the, these trade Wars before and protests, and now there’s viruses, a little bit of volcano, but there’s just so much talk about.  But today.

[00:02:27] We’re going to focus about quarantining of foreigners entering China in the coronavirus world. It’s just going to be me on this microphone. I have a lapel mic, my microphone. Honestly, the ATR 2100 I use for this show is in my Manila apartment. So, you know, podcasts are long form content. So I’m going to ramble.

[00:02:49] We didn’t get a guest today, so there’s no intro. It’s just purely me. And if, if you don’t want to hear me rambling, then you can skip this one. But I’m going to start from, start from being in Manila. I think, hopefully if you guys listen to the show, you know, I went to Manila to work closer with the Alpha Rock Capital as a partner there and do some work on the biz dev.

[00:03:10] It is, my wife went back to China because of the, uh, cancer her mother had, and it was getting very serious and she needed treatments. So in November of 2019 my wife told me after I came back from Taiwan to do a mento- when I was mentoring at MOX mobile only Accelerator in Taipei and come back and she tells me she is going back to China after the kids finish.

[00:03:36] This semester in December to spend time with her family and it’s up to me to go with her at all, a little bit or the whole time. I decided on a little bit, I only have a 30 day stay in China anyway. Unlike her 10 year business visa. So I went, figured I go there for Christmas and New year’s, but I wasn’t gonna stick around for Chinese new year, you know?

[00:03:59] This is not for me. I mean, I could hang out around and I don’t smoke. I don’t drink. I don’t really eat sunflower seeds and I don’t watch a lot of TV, whether it’s English or Chinese. So I decided to go down in Manila on my own and spend some time there, maybe half a year or so. Got an apartment, carried my microphone, my keyboard, my folding desk thingy.

[00:04:20] A lot of little gadgets, you know, it’s not huge. It was a check luggage and my clothes. So I was there for awhile. Volcano erupted. The corona virus started in China. I got on Yahoo finance TV. I got on Wall Street Journal. I got in BBC all because of this virus and the separation, my family and a trade war, all that stuff.

[00:04:38] So that was a little bit of an interesting time and then March 13th, Friday the 13th I had been planning Alvin’s editing this amazing show. Thank you, Alvin. We have an amazing team. Mindy helps make sure to show, show goes online or seeing everything. Sheryl helps. LJ helps. Stephanie helps. We’ve got a great team.

[00:04:55] More more than I could even mention, but we did plan this management retreat for months. Since I was going to be in the Philippines anyway, I wanted to meet our team that makes this show happen and also our web projects or marketing projects. Our content team there in Davao, there’s Cebu. They’re in different parts of the Philippines, so I flew in on Thursday, March 12th I guess that’s really when this, this adventure starts and you know, Mark Roca, the partner

[00:05:23] Managing director at Alpha Rock Capital’s like, Mike, I don’t know if you should go or you gotta be careful cause they’re talking about a lockdown. That record of our service getting, I think there was one case in Manila that came, that was found a few days before, maybe the Saturday before, honestly, but it was kind of getting people scared, but they didn’t start freaking out.

[00:05:41] And then about Thursday they started freaking out. On 12th and I was, I left to the airport to go to Bohol. It’s a beautiful little Island I had never been to before. There’s Chocolate Hills and beaches and Virgin islands and stuff, and we had the whole itinerary planned, Mindy prepared. So, um, I’m going to Grab, going to airport and Mark’s like, maybe you should go back to the apartment, maybe stay in Manila.

[00:06:06] I’m like, man, I booked flights and hotels for all these people. And then I was thinking back on mine. I’m like, actually the probably safer place to be if there’s gonna be a like an emergency in Manila for a little while, I could be down in the islands anyway. It would be nice. Right? That was the thinking.

[00:06:21] So the flight was normal. There was no lockdown at a flight. And I, uh, I went to, I went to Bohol. On March 12th let’s say this really, when this adventure really started and landed pretty normal. They had some form, some kind of like health for me. I had to fill out and then I think they took your temperature at the airport and then they had my name waiting for me with a private car.

[00:06:46] Mindy set up and I went to our hotel Friday, woke up to lockdown in Manila. Had been, had started on Friday the 13th, 2020, 10 days ago. Today’s, I’m recording this on the 23rd of March, so pretty fast the lockdown happened and then I had my keys to my apartment in Manila. I was even thinking about when back in my mind, I should have had a set to a friend.

[00:07:12] I didn’t have a set and the landlord didn’t even have a copy. I remember the landlord told me he didn’t have a copy, so I go with Alvin. Our amazing editor here, and we’ve met before, or at least once, maybe twice, Alvin, I think at least once. So we went to the, um, LBC, I think, some shipping company to try to mail my keys to Manila so that they can go in and get my stuff out.

[00:07:34] At least some of the stuff, like the hard drive that has all these podcasts backed up on and other things like that microphone, this lapel mic’s okay, I hope. It couldn’t mail a key. Locked down, they said they could take the key and put it in your warehouse for a month or however long the lockdowns can be.

[00:07:52] But they were saying lockdown in Manila being until April 14th so that’s a long time. Then Mark saying I should fly back to Manila right away. Uh, I was looking at flights and they were going really expensive or sold out, and then even Bohol, I think Friday, or maybe it was Friday, the 13th or Saturday, they started saying Bohol’s going to be locked down, and if you didn’t leave within a couple of days, you’re going to be stuck there for at least seven days.

[00:08:16] Meanwhile, I don’t see anybody wearing masks. I don’t see any emergencies, but everybody get nervous. But I think the girls came from, Stephenie and LJ, Mindy came from Davao, so they are all had a flight problem. Their flight had been canceled. They had to rebook a new one. Their parents are getting nervous for them.

[00:08:38] Alvin’s parents, he’s in Cebu, so he was going to go back early on Sunday. So basically what happened was, we stayed a couple of days, cut the trip short by a couple, maybe a day or two. I think we’re supposed to be on Monday and we got a little bit of rebate from our hotel and we’d go back, uh, all of us go to the airport and then I go with Alvin to the ferry.

[00:09:00] Also, if you want to see the videos of these, I have a pretty well documented in video form. We also, Alvin subs is a video blog at Mikesblog.com/vlog the vlog. If you want to see the videos, this is just the podcast. Just Global from Asia. I know I have branding issues, what name to use for what thing, but so we’re on the ferry and my wife’s sort of freak out saying I should come back and meet daily. It’s Sunday now the 15th of 2020 so some still had internet on my phone and I’m on a ferry Wendy’s like I should come back to China immediately.

[00:09:33] Sorry. Checking flights on my phone could find nothing for that Sunday. Couldn’t find anything where to, 16th I found a ticket for like $800 on Tuesday the 17th and I book it. I was kind of stressed.  It’s kinda a lot. I dunno. You think you know Philippines and China? Not that far apart. Usually it’s like $300 max, but I booked it and get a little budget hotel.

[00:09:59] Just do a self quarantine, get some canned food. Don’t really leave for a couple of days. Sunday and Monday. Tuesday I go to the airport in the morning, I think it was Monday night. The what day? 16th. They’d lock down or they grounded all the flights. I thought it was a Manila only thing, but I go to Cebu and a whole thing is shut down.

[00:10:19] The whole airport is closed. Everything says canceled. So you know, I freaked out. I mean, I also keep in mind, I don’t have much clothes or things on me because I only went for like a three day weekend to the islands and the whole thing, I’m going to go back to Manila on Monday morning. So I have two pairs of pants or shorts.

[00:10:39] Flip flops and my button down shirts, some basic bathroom necessities, things like that. So I’m carrying my stuff. Luckily it’s not a lot of stuff, but you know, just spend a few hundred pays on a grab to get there. Nothing. They just gave me a phone number to call. Honestly, I don’t even know if I’m getting that money back.

[00:10:57] I must be, but I filed a refund requests through my third party booking agent, Kiwi and a a find one night hotel nearby. Jump on a motorcycle. Take a quick motorcycle to this. Uh, Airbnb. Actually, I bought Expedia, but it feels like an Airbnb. I guess they’re trying to compete with Airbnb, not Expedia. I thought it was gonna be like a hotel, but it was like a private owner and blah, blah, blah.

[00:11:21] Got in. It was a pretty swell set up, but I realized there’s no more flights. They say there’s no more flights. There was next to airport. I heard no airplanes. I’m like in, and LJ on a team, it’s like, Mike, you got to go out and stock up on food. So I put my mask on. I also, my wife got me to buy protective glasses, protect virus from going to my eyes and their blood.

[00:11:42] They only had the, the black ones, like the the sun resistant, not the clear, you know, talking about these protective glasses you do in construction zones, but they look like they’re pretty funny. If you see, I’ll try to put it in the show notes, but I’ve been putting on some of my social media or wearing it in a lot of my video blogs lately.

[00:11:59] I stock up on food for the only one night at his place wondering if I’m going to extend there. I am still trying to get through a couple of my friends, you know, pretty active on Facebook, getting various requests. Cause I’m like, do I sell my stock in Cebu until April 14th that was the thinking. So I get a hold of a friend, another friend talking to different people.

[00:12:19] It’s really kind of got actually a podcast listener. I don’t think he’s actively listening now, but we worked together with this Hong Kong stuff and. Abdullraman, he’s really nice guy from Saudi Arabia. He, uh, he’s so kind. He picks me up. He’s like, don’t worry. Stay where you are. I’ll come pick you up.

[00:12:33] Cause the next day the Airbnb guy or an Expedia guy wanted me to book another night and I was just saying, give me more time. Try and get through the embassy. I can’t get through the embassy. I’m calling department of tourism. They’re talking about a military plane because you got, there’s no flights anywhere.

[00:12:47] Not even to Manila, nothing, no flights. Or maybe there are some international. I’m so confused. It was really confusing. Department of Tourism says a, they’ll arrange a military plane or trying to arrange military plane and I can go to Manila and then I can book international from there because there’s no international flights.

[00:13:03] So you know, I was going to maybe extend in this Air BnB place, but then Abdullraman picks me up. Hello Abdullraman, load up all my cans, go to his place. He has a whole spare room for me. Totally, totally. A dedicated room, bed, everything, you know, desk work area. He’s working on some product development in Cebu for a new product he has with a designer.

[00:13:26] That’s why he came from Saudi Arabia there and just randomly through another common friend knew he was there and I was there and connected us, even though we were already connected. Just reminded us, stayed over tonight, got some rest, started catching up on work. So much work. You know, anybody making content knows, and of course there’s everything else that I’m doing, you know, with Alpha Rock.

[00:13:44] Also some real chaos happening with Amazon shutting down new shipments causing craziness. I know there’s a. Pandemic, but it’s really, really crazy. So the next, after what area? We’re now on Thursday of last week, 19th 19th of 2020 so we went out to get some more cans and some more food. No, we’re kind of like planning our.

[00:14:12] Schedule or sharing what kind of food we like and stuff, or there’s this two bachelors in his place for like a month. It was fun time. He’s really nice guy. And then come back to the, uh, apartment building. Security. They don’t, I was, I came in the day before, no problem. On the 17, no. 18th come up with a taxi and they’re like giving him a hard on.

[00:14:34] Who am I. Front. Okay. Why no visitor, escalation, escalation, escalation, and then he tries to call the landlord, landlord. Can’t, won’t do anything. Goes to the management of the management company or measurement building that he knows personally can’t do anything. They didn’t even want me to go back to the room to get my stuff.

[00:14:58] They wanted Abdullraman to go to his apartment and pack my stuff and put it in his. You know, in my luggage and bring it to me in a parking lot. They didn’t even want to let me back into the building. He really worked hard. And finally they agreed to let me go back to pack myself cause I literally had unpacked like, you know, I don’t have that many things but you know, just podcast and the video is, I have like all my like little gear and wire set up cause I’m ready to just start recording and making stuff.

[00:15:23] That’s why I am, I’m a creator. I’m a blogger, I’m a content creator. That’s who I am. So I’ve all these wires and extension cords and cables and H, you know, a, you know. Zoom each sixes, you know, one and all these lapel, lapel mic just preparing, clean all of this stuff up, repack my clothes out of the drawers and they’re waiting to security’s.

[00:15:43] Wait for me outside. I’ll Abdullraman, learn how to use my camera record some of this, again, this is on Mike’s blog.com/blog probably should make a whole dedicated page with these, like there’s like four or five videos now about this fires encounter of mine, which I haven’t seen or heard of anybody that I know having it.

[00:16:01] And, uh, hope nobody does less. Nobody else gets it anymore. But it’s a fact as so many of our lives and businesses now with without encountering the virus. So, you know, basically he’s carry my stuff. And we have these three huge cans, bags of canned food. Cause I’m thinking I will be in this place for like

[00:16:20] Two bach-. No, actually we’re both married, but you know, kind of like bachelor life, you know, two guys, it places kind of like, he was kind of, Verisign was not so clean. I’m like, dude, it’s like me too, and we’re just like these guys and we’re just kinda like, you know, eat, eat junk food and not really junk. We eat food and watch.

[00:16:35] Maybe I was talking about movies. We’re going to watch maybe Rick, you got him on a podcast. Hey, you guys still get him on the podcast. He’s so kind. Really. Obviously didn’t charge me anything. And he spent a lot of, you know, I spent a lot of money with me. We were buying stuff and he gave me more cans and I had paid for these cans.

[00:16:52] People say so we had the taxi wait, cause he’s not in the mall really downtown area plus there’s not as many taxis cause this whole lockdown. Some taxis waiting down in the basement loaded up my cans. Get in the back seat. I don’t even know where I’m going. I just think of one of my other friends, Josh that said I could stay and help. Somebody else come in in a bus.

[00:17:14] Hello. Okay. Maybe we’ll go now. There’s four people on the bus. I don’t know. I hope it doesn’t develop this 40 person bus to leave cause this might be a long time, but I guess I get to make this podcast. I hope it’s good quality. Probably make a lot of content for next 14 days, but we’ll get to that later.

[00:17:31] So I’m getting kicked out. I actually started to get watery eyes because it’s 6:00 PM on a Thursday and I didn’t know where to go. And there’s even, there was even starting to be reports that are still true, but they canceled all the visas for foreigners in the Philippines. We were saying all these chats and like Slack with Alpha Rock and LJ with the Shadstone team.

[00:17:51] And all I’ve seen on social media is, I mean, we got all leave now, so just all this insanity, right? All this insanity. And the taxi drivers, I want to keep driving around me because I can’t get a hold of Josh because he works US time. He usually wakes up 6:00 PM he says, but 7:00 PM still wasn’t answering.

[00:18:06] I’ve got my three huge grocery bags of cans and I got my little, you know, electronic. My office, I call, it’s like this black bag of gear and a little knapsack of clothes with the GFA logo on it. So I’m sitting in the rest-, so I go into our empty restaurant. They were nice to me, honestly. Get some barbecue chicken, some water.

[00:18:26] I finally break down, just decided to get a freaking hotel. I just find one like walking distance from this restaurant, which is in the same area I think Josh lives in. Based on our conversation. He had said, he could call me. He said he had a route for me. Just didn’t know where his exact address was. All right, so let’s go forward.

[00:18:44] So I go to this little hotel and there’s some German couple that was really stressed out, chain smoking on the top of this like budget hotel, airport hotel in Cebu, Philippines. And they’re, uh. Saying how they finally got a flight, the last flight to Germany ever or something, or at least for a long time, 2:00 AM depart and they were talking, and I talked to this guy from New Zealand, it says he, his flight got canceled.

[00:19:07] He was in the airport to New Zealand, but because the lockdown there, the airline decided to cancel a flight, even though he was a New Zealander, he could go back, but the flight got canceled and he actually was nice enough to help me carry, go back to the restaurant and helped me pick up the cans and take them back.

[00:19:25] Which is really nice of him. So we got a little clip of him on the podcast on the Vlog vlog video blog video at Mike’s blog.com/blog look back in the March, 2020 archives whenever you’re listening to this and laughing at me. Stay over there. That night, March 19th Thursday night, later that night, Josh did wake up replies to me saying, Hey, sorry.

[00:19:49] I just woke up. Yeah, sure you can come here. This is the address. Not. But yeah, if you already booked a hotel, stay there and to come in the morning before I go back to sleep cause he sleeps before like around lunchtime and before lunch. So I enjoy a night’s sleep. Ah, if I may and may admit to you guys, I woke up in the middle of the night, that night swinging my fist, thinking somebody was robbing my hotel room.

[00:20:13] I dunno. What does that paranoia, I thought somebody breaking in, cause there was other reports of Alex from Alpha Rock saying he lived, he moved out of the city to another, like a house in Manila to be with another friend and he was hearing reports in that area of people breaking into houses. Because maybe they thought they could get away with it or maybe because they need food or they didn’t have a job anymore or that it felt like there’s enough police.

[00:20:36] So he said he had golf clubs that were ready in case somebody broke into their house. I think that’s why I woke up swinging in the middle of the night and hotel room really just feels like the world has gone crazy.  wake up Friday morning. Still do my 5:30 AM I think I’ve woke up at 4:35 AM now. Then waking up earlier without alarm, you know, do my morning work.

[00:21:00] Actually, I was on another podcast about the coronavirus. Danny Carlson caught me and Sharon in his podcast about, it’s more in the supply chain side, which is actually over now, China, and he’s like, it’s back to normal, but the rest of the world is going crazy now. So Friday morning woke up. Josh says, yeah, come by anytime you want.

[00:21:19] Maybe before lunch. So I do my morning work, make this content or other content I’m making. I’m basically making blogs and podcasts and videos and managing team that makes that for tons of websites. Kind of what we do for everything. Webinars, definitely make sure you register. If you want for the coronavirus webinar, I’m going to be stuck in my apartment, so I’m going to meet no apartment.

[00:21:38] We was talking to a hotel in China, so I’m going to do three this week for us time, Europe time in Asia, time. So that will be on globalfromasia.com/mask and I am still stuck in this bus. I just hoping more people can come in here so I can get out of here. But somebody walked by, they’re not going to get in and making a podcast for it.

[00:22:00] It’s a special edition. We did the mask one last week earlier, but yeah, if you wanna check out the masks from last week, we’re going to do a coronavirus webinar live. I’ll be doing it from the hotel room. Hello from  dot com slash masks you’ll see a link for the webinar. You’ll see a link for donating the masks or buying masks or tray masks.

[00:22:19] This is kind of what I do, and I’m not wrestling with quarantine issues right now. All right, let’s get back to a story. So Friday morning, Josh, I can come by any time I do my morning work and all this content, the webinar planning email newsletter on that. We try our best to make it a fun little newsletter.

[00:22:36] Anyway. Anyways. You know, I do my morning work. No problem. Check out a hotel, get a up, go to Josh. Just totally smooth. Meet him before he’s going to sleep. I could, I used to do that. I don’t know. I don’t know how I, he can do that. It’s really hard for me to sleep in the daytime and work in the nighttime, but he does it many years.

[00:22:57] We caught up a bit. But he says that the night before that Thursday says now he started to notice in his neighborhood that there he lives in a subdivision. So it means this. He just says, I don’t get to, I get worried about getting kicked out cause he’s just like his own house. And they start having those name, that nightmare about that guy’s hand he had down at the golf clubs cause people start attacking your house.

[00:23:14] So that’s another fear. The third that pop into my mind, but he said, don’t worry, he has a huge dog and he knows the people even though he’s an American like me or a foreigner like me. He says, don’t get to worry here about getting robbed. So he says that the night before they started going around, in a barangay, it’s like kind of like police or security trucks with plows, speakers saying only one person can leave a day and they can only leave to get groceries or medical supplies.

[00:23:45] That’s what we’re saying is Cebu Philippines, a subdivision in the kind of outskirts of the city, and this housing subdivision lives. Again, this is Thursday, March 19th so I’m there on the 20th and he says, don’t worry. Stay as long as you want. I brought tons of cans, stayed over, you know, caught up on work again, slept Saturday was my cheat day, but then I kept hearing these reports from the embassy called me, I think Friday, and says that I try morning saying, um, I can get a discount at the waterfront hotel.

[00:24:19] I walked on by the airport, they got a discount for me. So that’s my benefit from the embassy. And they said, just keep calling department of tourism for the planes or the schedules though I was getting people send me messages that America will stop receiving Americans if they don’t come back in the next, I don’t know, 10 days.

[00:24:39] You’re going to be stuck overseas for a long time. If you don’t come back in the next day. I dunno, maybe it’s a week or 10 days. So. Friends of mine are like, are we going to be stuck out of America for? I’m like, I haven’t been back in there, years anyway. I don’t plan to go back for a long time, so fine.

[00:24:52] That didn’t stress me out too much. So what happened was LJ on a team sent me a Facebook post from the UK embassy of Cebu that says there were flights going to Manila from Cebu and some other flights. They had selectively opened the airport for like five flights, but you can’t book online. You have to go there.

[00:25:14] So it’s Saturday morning. I told Josh, he’s still awake. I’m going to go to the airport and try to get this flight, but I’m not going to take my luggage. It says you actually have to have an international flight book from Manila in order to get the flight, but I’m like, I don’t trust this because I’ve got a processing refund already.

[00:25:27] I’m not going to buy a flight from Manila if I can’t confirm, we can go there. Lucky I did that. So I go to the airport with the grab and then I go to the Philippines air ticket booth to buy my ticket so that I can confirm that. And then I’ll, I was, I brought my laptop, I was ready to buy the thing on the international flight.

[00:25:52] If they could confirm, I would have bought it on any booking site. Get my number, go to the desk. What do you think? What do you think happened? This is a, this is a crazy one. They said all the seats on a flight were booked by the Mormons. A Mormon church. Hello. Also people are less friendly now. This whole virus thing makes you all not want to be social anyways.

[00:26:21] Oh, I saw this whole group of Mormons and I’m carrying my video blog. Cameras like Nikon DLSR, and then I was going up to him like, Oh, you guys are the Mormons that booked the whole plane, and they’re like, we said, no journalists. We said, no media. I’m like, I’m not media, man. I’m a, I’m a blogger. No, I know a camera.

[00:26:40] So I couldn’t even get him on a video blog, but they bought the whole plane. Cebu Pacific, Philippine Airlines is PPAL, they call themselves PAL. They, uh, told me to go to the main counter of the airport and put my name on a list and then there might be a 5:30 PM flight that day. And if I put my name on a list, they will call me if it goes.

[00:27:06] So I go and I do that. Man, it’s ghost town. I’m telling you, this airport was nothing. There was a seven 11 and a Starbucks open. So I go up, put my name on a list. It goes at 11 they don’t take credit cards. I’m running low on pay. So honestly, cause I’m planning to leave, so I didn’t get, peso goes at 11, I mean Starbucks to take credit cards.

[00:27:24] So I kind of went nuts. I usually don’t get Starbucks, but I bought like a vanilla strawberry shake. You know, I bought a cinnamon roll. Some kind of crazy honor thing. I never saw this stuff at Starbucks. It’s like all this food now and then put that on a credit card and call that grab back actually to grab, kind of told me to cancel it cause he wanted me to pay in cash, but we bargain a cheaper rate.

[00:27:45] So I was like, whatever man, they usually use a credit card, but with all this chaos, what does it matter anymore? So I called him up bargain. He wants you to charge the same rates. I bargain him down. I bargained him down because I’m like, dude, you just saw me. Drop me off. You know, I didn’t get flight hook, you know, help me out.

[00:28:03] Help my brother out here. So bargain 300 dare, two 50 back five 50 pesos. Oh, is that $10 whatever, 10 $11. It’s not the end of world more than they see annoyance. Go back to Josh’s. It’s my cheat day I’m gonna eat all this stuff. I’ll be waiting in McDonald’s from me didn’t know how to even order McDonald’s, but he got it off.

[00:28:23] Some grab food thing Chow down Saturday, talk to my wife and uh. She’s getting more and more nervous hearing reports in the Philippines about the increasing numbers, and I’m also in Josh’s baby room. I kind of feel bad. He says the kids usually don’t sleep in there anyway, but they’re sleeping on the couch and I just feel really bad.

[00:28:43] But that also was bothering me. So Saturday network one day, and I usually sleep earlier, but it’s like 10 11 o’clock and I would chat about flights. She’s sending me flights, I’m sending her flights. I’m just not sure what happens if I go to Korea with a 20 hour layover. If I go to China, I asked her to send trip, customer support, and I passed out.

[00:29:01] I wake up Sunday morning, March 22nd, and she booked a flight for me leaving that day, yesterday, actually 1:30 depart. So I wake up at 5:30 check my wechat, and she had booked a flight, sent me the receipt. I got to get to a flight, but I don’t got anything else to do. I mean I do my content and my planning for the week, but stuck at Josh’s, started to be 100% locked down in all the Philippines anyway.

[00:29:26] And this, she said she booked it cause she says, the trip said it might be one of the last flights for a while. So book it and, or she booked it and gave me, so I, I have so many cans. Everybody’s laughing at my video blogs about all the cans I have, but so many cans, I leave a bunch with Josh’s. A little thank you.

[00:29:47] At least let me, let me stay there a couple of nights and coming to McDonald’s take some, because I, my wife bought 15 kilograms of check luggage and I’m like, why did you do that? I have like two sets of clothes and my laptop, so at least I checked all the cans. Not all but a bunch. I calculated it based on the weight of the can, can, we didn’t have a scale, so I just calculated how much each can weigh and did math to figure out the weight.

[00:30:12] He gave me a duffel bag and dumped a whole bunch of canned goods, tuna, fish, beans, chili, nuts in there and take all this to airport. Can’t get a Grab yesterday cause of lockdown. I think there’s this, says no Grab available. It’s like waiting three minutes to try again. No, Grab it. I’ll try again. Three minutes, nothing, nothing, nothing.

[00:30:31] Can’t get a normal taxi. I’m carrying this bag of cans, stuff, bag cans, my backpack in that Global From Asia canvas knapsack. I just basically beg a motorcycle guy to take me to the airport. It’s like a 15 minute ride. I throw the cans in front of his legs. He says, no, no, cannot fit here. Throw it in between me and him in the back of the, you know, between, gave us that space.

[00:30:57] Anyways, and then we ride. And I was doing a video blog recording of him when I was kind of getting in the back and then he starts to go. So I quickly throw my hand on the back of the seat to hold me from falling off and a holding of recorded video blog DLSR and right. Are you enjoying what you’re hearing here at Global from Asia?

[00:31:19] Want to connect with me and others even more? GFA vip.com is your place is Arcola from Asia? VIP is network for community events. Masterminds, private forum, special deals, and more. We do regular live calls and other sessions. To get you guys on the fast track to grow your business, check it out today www.gfavip.com.

[00:31:48] Okay. Sorry. I, uh, filled up my phone storage. So I’m talking about being on this motorcycle and I’m recording a video blog as I’m doing it. And. It’s eight minute long clip of me just driving through nowhere, like no taxi. There’s a way, I think a count of one or two taxis and a whole ride mostly is tricycles and motorcycles in this, you know, Philippines like hots and jacks and Saturday.

[00:32:17] I can’t wait for that video blog to go online. I can’t wait to see what Alvin puts together for that one. All right. So anyway, we get to the airport. I’m talking about the end of the world. It feels like this Tom cruise movie we always running around that vanilla sky or something maybe whereas nobody and nothing in the roads.

[00:32:34] But the funny thing is the motorcycle guy sees the sign. It has a motorcycle icon with us. Cross says no motorcycles allowed on the ramp. So he’s tried trying to kick me off the motorcycle and Santa. He took me to the airport and I got to walk up this huge on-ramp to the terminal. Like. Hey dude, there ain’t nobody here.

[00:32:51] I need help to carry this stuff. You got to help me out here. So he agrees and we drive up the ramp and now we’re, you know, just, you know, I don’t, you know, airports have those ramps, right? They go up into the terminal, just nothing. You don’t see airplanes, you don’t see cars. You’re just driving in the middle of the road.

[00:33:14] We get to the, uh, entrance of terminal two of the Cebu international airport, and then these freaking modern day cops or security get, give them an attitude saying, Hey, you can’t come here motorcycle or allow here. So I’m like, I defend a guy. I’m like, Hey guys, he’s helping me. There’s nobody here. I told him, do it.

[00:33:34] It’s me, blame me, blame me. And then they’re like looking at each other like, not sure what to say. I’m like, give blame me. And then I didn’t even have change. I got a thousand pesos. It was a 1 50 peso, which is like $3 right? Nobody had changed all these. Rude security guards to have a chip on their shoulder.

[00:33:54] Nobody had changed for me to pay the motorcycle guy, but I found a $5 bill in my passport pouch, so I tried to give him five bucks, but he didn’t know. He was, couldn’t tell if I was ripping him off. The guy helped me out. They’re like, no, no, that’s more than 150 pesos. Well take it, take it. So I gave him $5 and he leaves, and then I’m walking into the terminal.

[00:34:16] And there’s still nobody. Then he starts seeing these stranded foreigner, like look like he was sleeping there or something, like just like 20, 30 foreigners, like on the outskirts of it. And they tell him to get in line. But luckily I didn’t listen to them cause they’re allowing us to buy a ticket. I already had a ticket, so I went the other entrance and then I, uh, there’s some technical stuff, but basically I went through.

[00:34:45] And then waiting in line to check my bags. I, I read, put the bags in and then I, uh, they’re, they’re scared of me. They’re like, sir, your visa is our business visa or giving me certain question. And I was at the counter, the Philippines, you know, the china air. I never even heard this airline before China Air and their, um.

[00:35:10] Trying to give me a hassle. So luckily I had my whole work permit and I showed him that I showed him a marriage certificate. I show my wife Wendy, my wholly foreign owned entity, my Chinese company, she had some important exports engine company limited, a Shenzhen company that’s are just bombarding them with documents and papers and proof and shops.

[00:35:26] I don’t have physical scan shops. Finally they let me, you know, check in and then there were nights they’re on a vlog video blog, and a. Basically, uh, I went in and I went through security and then it get to Korea, get to Korea. That Sunday night, last night, wasn’t sure if I can leave the airport because I don’t want to get stuck in quarantine 14 days in Kor-, in Korea, but they said 24 hours is okay.

[00:35:56] Okay, guys, don’t blame me if this doesn’t work for you, all right? I’m just telling you what happens in March 22nd, 2020 but they said you can leave the airport. If you have a connecting flight in less than 24 hours. So I did. So I went out of the airport, I took a free shuttle. My wife booked me something off Ctrip that doesn’t look like another kind of Airbnb on some Chinese platform, and I got a good night’s rest because you need your rest and you’ve got to look healthy because they said, if you’re getting shiny look, say you’re going to be in big trouble.

[00:36:30] Would make sense, right? So I get a good night’s sleep last night, Sunday night, my flight’s eight 50 and my flight is 8:50 AM depart or 23rd, 2022 Shenyang China, my wife’s hometown, where my wife and kids have been for the last few months. So I, um, go back. It wasn’t actually painted about to go into the Korea airport.

[00:36:57] I, uh, I had my quarantine card and other things so I can get back in the airport pretty smoothly. Wait for the flight again. Empty airport, like looking like the world, like a war day after a war or like, I guess a pandemic.

[00:37:16] So waiting there for the, uh, Gates open. Just a handful of people for this flight. No other flights seem to be anywhere. Load up, get on a plate and coming. You know, it’s about a two hour flight or so. It’s confusing as a time zone difference between Korea and China, but it’s felt by a couple of hours.

[00:37:35] Land Monday, March 23rd 9:45 AM local time. There was no other planes. I mean, there were dock planes, but there’s no planes landing, no plants taking off. No planes, nothing, just just parked ones like longterm bargaining or whatever. Nothing. No people, nothing roll up to the gate or whatever. You know, that tube thing comes on some plane.

[00:38:01] They know, so we need to wait for the police or the customs to check the plane and come on. Right. They come in. Those hazmat suits like the white suits, like, like those, uh. Movies and just walk them down and take a check in our papers cause we had so many papers they gave us like multiple bolt, like big papers, small papers, card papers, important papers, quarantine papers, travel papers.

[00:38:22] Anyway, all these papers and they’re like, I don’t know how, but they never asked me anything on the plane. Some people said they were looking for specific people that came from specific countries to talk to them and measure them first. I don’t know. I don’t really know how to choose. Some people left earlier.

[00:38:39] I stayed the whole time that it took all of us off. About two hours, about noon, we can get off the plane. Then we line up and then there’s multiple different like sessions and you go through, I guess it’s like first session was like questioning your temperature. Um, you know, where he’d been way coming here.

[00:39:04] How long have you been here? The next one was of course, costumes. Next one’s like registering for like a hotel or where do you live while you come here? Again, calling the people that you say you’re going to see. So it was my wife. So she’s talking to them. They’re just verifying everything. And uh, here’s the last part of this.

[00:39:20] I forgot to mention, wasn’t a Korea I had to take off. They came to me and my flights I started with last year back. Can’t find it. How can I look forward to the chili and the peanuts? I kind of stocked up. Yeah. I picked up this stuff. I liked some nice spicy tuna can and I was getting used to eating bomber man.

[00:39:40] Give me a quarantine without my food and if they get whatever they can give me. So what happened here? Let me think. Somebody walking by hoping and take out on a bus. Still just five of us on his 40 person bus. All right. So I guess it’s about two o’clock now. And then they had some, the guy waited from me, I get out of the ranger hotel place or whatever to baggage claim and that bag is clean.

[00:40:09] They’re like, Oh are you, I’m like the only foreigner, I forgot to say. I think I’m besides like Asians, like just Koreans and some others. I’m like the only white skinned or non-Asian skin person in the plane. I mean, it’s a local city. It’s not a hotspot for foreigners in China  so, so I guess he could just recognize me and he asked me if I was Mike

[00:40:30] He is me, said he’s making me fill some kind of form. He asked me, I show him a picture of the duffel bag. Josh gave me the, had the cans and took a picture of that talks to one my wife on. We chat about it Chinese. And then I’m like, wait, no one, maybe I don’t need to go to a hotel. So I kind of go for the exit and then they’re waiting.

[00:40:51] They’re waiting at that exit. You know the, the normal exit where you get taxis being up. That’s like, you’re at this district. I mean, district. Okay. So they have like groups of like buses. So they put you into the bus that’s based on district or the area you’re going to that for that hotel. Cause my wife had talked to them and they booked a hotel closest to my family or whatever.

[00:41:14] I guess wherever you want to be for me is my family. So basically that’s, that’s kind of up to this point. So they took me to this bus stop and as soon as bus, no, it’s almost 4:00 PM I think it was like two 30 I got there. So I’ve been here for an hour and a half. I had, luckily I brought some peanuts on my carry on, cause I haven’t eaten anything.

[00:41:33] I had like a snack, a salmon sandwich. I just ate the salmon cause I don’t need the bread from Korea air at like 9:00 AM cause I haven’t eaten. So I’m kind of half joking. But I said, uh, you know my limited Chinese, if they have a lunch for me or lunch cause it’s like 2:30 when I got in his bus and they’re like kind of like chocolate.

[00:41:53] And I’m asking my wife and I said, yeah, like, well, how well we’ll manage her. Funny oh I was just like, I’m hungry. I didn’t eat lunch. Do you have fried rice? And they’re just laughing at me like, Oh, your Chinese is good. And I’m sitting, I’m lucky I had some peanuts. I did eat some peanuts, but so. That’s my story.

[00:42:13] So 14 days it’s going to be my be here for my birthday, but, uh, supposedly to let my family visit me, I hope. But, um, that’s the story. So what is 14 days? Let me look it up on the calendar here. It looks like April 6th or so. So my birthday is April 2nd but it looks like I’ll be stuck here in this hotel. My wife says it’s a nice hotel.

[00:42:40] I don’t even know what’s the price. I know people ask me how much I got to pay. I think I’m told I have to pay. So that’s the deal. That’s the story. That’s where we’re at. Right. Thanks. But yeah, the next few episodes we’ll be doing it from my quarantine room. Maybe I’ll do some extra shows. We also have other webinars, so.

[00:42:58] I would recommend check it out on the show notes or, um, other places. You might find global from asia dot com slash masks for the webinar and a donation and deals where there’s a group buys there. And for this show, quarantine is a hard one to spell. So let’s say lockdown globalfromasia.com/lockdown for episode two, nine, nine.

[00:43:28] Thank you for listening and I hope you enjoyed this one and I hope this hasn’t happened to you. To get more info about running an international business, please visit our website www.globalfromasia.com that’s www.globalfromasia.com also, be sure to subscribe to our iTunes feed. Thanks for tuning in.

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Tags: asia, career, china, Coronavirus, entrepreneur, immigration, lifestyle, tips, travel

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