Since the world has been hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, daily life for nearly everyone has been changed in one way or another. As an international student with family abroad, visiting home for the holidays has become even more complicated and at times, dangerous. For most international travelers, new restrictions due to COVID-19 means they must undergo a 14 day quarantine in either an isolation facility or hotel. While this might seem overly strict, the countries best handling the pandemic can attribute their success to such policies. Singapore, where my family is currently located, is one of these countries. Read this article to learn more about Singapore's handling of the pandemic.

As soon as I landed in Singapore in November, I was immediately put on a bus and driven directly to my quarantine hotel, not interacting with anyone besides my fellow travelers and the bus driver. Upon arriving at the hotel, I was instructed to stay in my room at all times, only opening the door for my food deliveries which came every three days. Every afternoon I used a Google Form to order my preferred meals for the following day, typically choosing from four options, two of which were vegetarian. The options changed everyday and ranged from South Asian curries to Italian pastas to Cantonese dim sum. 

Natalia DiCicco

A Bread Breakfast

Breakfast was served between 7am and 9am, meaning if I was not awake early enough, my breakfast would be cold or soggy or usually both by the time I got to eating. Above was my favorite breakfast and most ordered meal during my 14 days: an assortment of different breads and pastries. Other notable breakfasts include dim sum, stir fried noodles with a tea egg, and an English breakfast (chicken sausage, beans, eggs).

A Disappointing Lunch

Next came lunch which was served between 11am and 1pm. Pictured below is by far the worst meal I received during my time at the quarantine hotel. The description was: penne pasta with tomato basil sauce and turkey bacon. I am still not sure what this was, but it definitely was not turkey bacon. I only ate two meals that day.

Natalia DiCicco

A Gift From Mom

To make up for the many unsatisfying meals I received, my mom delivered me food on several occasions - dropping off snacks, fresh fruit, and even bubble tea. These small deliveries made a world of a difference, even if it was only mediocre grocery store sushi (pictured below) at times.  

Natalia DiCicco

A Finale Dinner

Dinner was served between 5pm and 7pm and often was the least disappointing meal of the day. Seen below was my last ever dinner in isolation - a delicious butter chicken curry, chana punjabi (chickpea stew), and spiced basmati rice. Although this last meal was good, I was more than excited to never have to eat quarantine food ever again.

Natalia DiCicco

A Delicious Next Chapter

Overall, my food experience in my Singapore quarantine hotel was less than ideal, although having some decent meals. These fourteen days of mediocre eats was easily made up by just one day exploring Singapore's food scene. Luckily, I was blessed with 35 days in the foodie heaven that is Singapore. In the grand scheme of things, my experience was just a minuscule inconvenience that was necessary for the protection of the health of an entire country.