Quarantine in Korea

I arrived in Korea on October 10 and was immediately shuttled off to quarantine at a government operated hotel in Incheon. We went through some paper work and got covid tests before being directed to our rooms. My first meal was a pre packed one given to all the new people checking in, so it was totally not gluten free. I did request gluten free meals, but didn't receive them for the first few days. Unknowingly, a friend of mine called the hotel while I took a nap and told them about my celiac. I started to receive meals I could eat after that day. The bed was as hard as a rock. Like, I'm talking caveman vibes, rock slab bed. The wifi was slower than slow. We were also told not to open our windows, but if we had to for ventilation, to only open it a small amount and for no longer than 10 minuets or an alarm would go off. I later found out that was a lie and they only said that because last year there were protestors out side the hotel and the people quarantining were opening their windows and "harassing" the protestors.

We had announcements twice a day, at lunch and dinner. I'll attach the two different ones they would switch between below!

This first one, wasn't played as often as the second one. It mentions summer, but I just assumed the opposite since I arrived in fall. I heard this one only once or twice.

This was the announcement I heard once, if not twice, everyday.

Anyway, I'll give you a run down of my 2 weeks in South Korea quarantine with celiac disease.

Day 1 (10/10): Not much to say. After I arrived, I ate what I could and then slept. I didn't get a picture of my food that day, sorry!

Day 2 (10/11): I woke up way earlier than I wanted to. I skyped my mom while eating breakfast, took a nap, had a video chat with my best friend back home, ate lunch, studied my Korean, ate dinner, and slept.

Breakfast was potato wedges, fruit, cereal, an egg salad sandwich, a hard boiled egg, instant coffee, and milk. I drank the coffee and ate the potatoes, fruit, and egg. No reaction.

Lunch was fried fish, radish kimchi, broccoli, tofu, an apple wedge, rice, pickles, and I never quite figured out what the red stuff was. I also got a soup, crackers, and yakult. I drank the yakult and ate the rice, broccoli, and kimchi. No reaction.

Dinner was teriyaki chicken, garlic, kimchi, an orange wedge, some kind of potato salad they ruined with corn flakes, lotus root, beans, and rice. I also got another soup and an orange drink (tastes like sunny d). I ate the garlic (soooo good), kimchi, orange wedge, and rice. A very slight reaction, probably from my orange possibly touching a corn flake.

Day 3 (10/12): My first day receiving gluten free meals. I don't expect to be able to eat everything but hopefully more than I was. I pretty much just slept all day aside from meals.

Breakfast was fish, some kimchi vegetables, salad, fruit, rice, juk (porridge), banana, egg, yogurt, and coffee. I ate the rice, fruit, salad, vegetables, banana, yogurt, and drank the coffee. I did try the fish, it was cold but good, and the juk just tasted like dirty water. No reaction.

Lunch was beef with sautéed vegetables, tofu, pineapple, garlic, kimchi, pickles, yellow pickled radish (my all time favorite, I love this stuff), rice, and Pepsi. I ate it all except the tofu, it was really soft, I prefer firm. No reaction.

how I felt seeing Pepsi in the bag!

Dinner was grape drink, mushrooms, lotus root, apple wedge, salad, radish kimchi, zucchini, rice, soup, more fish, and a snack cake. I ate the rice, radish, salad (the avocado was hard), apple, zucchini, and some of the fish. No reaction.

Day 4 (10/13): I skyped my mom while eating breakfast, took a nap, ate lunch, studied my Korean, ate dinner, and slept. I was still fairly jetlag.

Breakfast was juk, an orange, a banana, milk, eggs, fruit, potato wedges, salad, kimchi veg, and coffee. The juk still tasted like dirty water so I passed on that, but I ate the rest aside from the cold scrambled eggs and the milk. No reaction.

Lunch was duck, onions, rice, yellow pickled radish (YAY!), kimchi/veg, pickles, lotus root, salad, mandarin, grape drink, and crackers. I ate it all except for the crackers, lotus root, pickles, and grape drink. No reaction. After this I began not photographing the crackers/packaged snacks they gave because I could never eat them. I continued to receive various crackers and barley snacks. I did not throw them away, I saved them for friends.

Dinner was the first time I got sick. I got beef with veg, rice, radish kimchi, pickles, garlic, some weird yellow salad, orange wedge, some sticky red stuff, rice, spicy tofu soup, and orange drink. I believe the soup must have had soy sauce or a gochujang (red pepper paste) containing flour, because I did get sick from it. However.... it was super tasty! haha~ Other than the soup, I also ate the radish kimchi, orange wedge, garlic, beef with veg, rice, and drank the orange drink.

Day 5 (10/14): I had an ok day. Pretty achy from my reaction the night before, but other than that was feeling ok. I skyped my mom while eating breakfast, studied my korean, ate lunch, watched you tube and netflix, ate dinner, read some web comics, and slept.

current mood

Breakfast was... interesting. I got two things of edamame, salad, juk, fruit, yogurt, and an egg. I ate the salad, yogurt, egg, and fruit. Also what the heck, NO COFFEE!!!

However, I was not about to start my day with edamame, so I made some oatmeal I brought with me and cut the banana into it!

Lunch was more beef with veg, Korean purple rice, a potato, radish kimchi, salad, yellow pickled radish, an orange wedge, and pickles. Aside from the pickles, I ate it all. No reaction. I will clarify, I love pickles... not these xD

We got bean sprout and tofu soup, Korean purple rice, pork belly, tofu with micro greens, an orange wedge, various banchan (side dishes), and yakult. I wanted to eat the soup but after the previous night's happenings, I wasn't feeling it. I was so excited for the pork belly, but it was boiled so it didn't have much flavor. I ate the meat, rice, banchan, orange, and drank the yakult. No reaction.

Day 6 (10/15): I had a really rough day mentally. One week of no fresh air, cold food, and complete isolation was dragging my mental health lower than it already was. I cried pretty much all day, I won't lie. The brighter side of the day was, I did receive my sim card! No more relying on slow wifi.

In the morning I dragged myself out of bed to get my breakfast. It was potato wedges, fruit, beans, soy eggs, sprouts, salad, an egg, banana, yogurt, juk, milk, and coffee. In my beginning stage of a total mental breakdown, I thought some lucky charms I brought would help me feel better.

So I made my coffee, ate my lucky charms with some oat milk I brought, potatoes, fruit, egg, and yogurt, and skyped my mom.

I didn't eat much for lunch. I got rice, chicken with veg, garlic, pickles, an apple wedge, edamame, kimchi, seaweed soup, soy eggs, a mandarin, and a yakult. I only ate a bit of chicken, rice, the mandarin, and the garlic. I saved the yakult for later. I then proceeded to have a bit of an anxiety attack and then watch Irish People Try videos on the Try Channel on you tube.

By the time dinner came, I was just numb. I was trying not to cry and kept watching funny videos to try and help... they didn't. When I opened the bag and saw more boiled meat and soy eggs, I'm pretty sure I cried, threw it away, and made instant mashed potatoes that I brought.

After a few hours of crying and talking to my mom, I calmed down, and fell asleep.

Day 7 (10/16): I felt a little better this morning. I had an extra long skype call with my amazing mom which really helped me.

Once again, I am given juk, potato wedges (I'll never complain about them), an egg, banana, milk, fruit, and coffee.

I was feeling a bit meh still so I tried oatmeal instead of lucky charms to lift my spirits. I cut the banana into it and made some coffee. I give a huge shout out to my mom for doing the most to try and make me laugh. It worked.

Lunch was some kind of glazed chicken with broccoli that smelled pretty dang good, so I took a risk and ate that. I also got rice, banchan, some weird yellow salad I avoided, an orange wedge, and grape drink. I ate my garlic and orange wedge along with my chicken. A very slight reaction, not enough to deter me from eating the chicken again if they served it.

More boiled meat, salad, and banchan for dinner. I ate everything, as well as the mandarin and yakult. No reaction.

Day 8 (10/17): One week down, one to go! I've been working on and off, answering emails and scheduling tastings for when I get back, but today I tried to start on my business plan.

Ok... who eats a cajun chicken sandwich for breakfast? Who gives a cajun chicken sandwich to a gluten free person? haha! I laughed at this one. I ate the fruit, potato wedges, egg, and banana. I saved the coffee for later. No reaction.

Guess what I had for lunch!? More boiled meat with vegetables. Yum! I will say, I ate everything aside from the pickles, and the spinach was bomb! No reaction.

Moooooore boiiiiled meat and veg! Ate the meat, rice, persimmon, and drank the orange drink. No reaction.

Day 9 (10/18): It was a rainy gloomy day, so I watched netflix and you tube all day with absolutely zero shame. Oh, and I studied my Korean.

Really wasn't vibing with breakfast (juk, banchan, salad, edamame, banana, egg, yogurt, milk, and cereal I can't eat) this morning so I cut up my banana and mixed it with some lucky charms and oat milk I brought. (I love oat milk with my cereal.) I forgot to take a picture though... Oh, and they forgot my coffee, the audacity!

All hail Pepsi! I was so excited to see this again! I'm saving it for my last night in the clink. I got some sticky... slimy... mushy... tofu vegetable something for lunch. I tried it but it was a hard no. So, I ate the rice, banchan, and apple. No reaction.

Are you surprised?? More boiled meat! Exciting, I know. I ate everything, no reaction.

Day 10 (10/19): I looked at places to stay in Busan, watched you tube, and studied my Korean.

I'm sorry, but boiled meat... especially duck... for breakfast should be a crime. I ate the egg, yogurt, salad, fruit, and cut the banana into some lucky charms with oat milk. They forgot my coffee... AGAIN. I feel like they're mocking me by giving me the creamer I don't even use but not the coffee. OH MY GOSH y'all, the apple drink tastes EXACTLY like a green apple jolly rancher and I am definitely not mad.

Lunch was fish, rice, tofu, banchan, and apple wedge, and grape drink. I'll eat cold chicken and beef, pork, whatever... but cold cooked fish is a hard pass. So, I just ate the apple, banchan, and rice. No reaction.

What is with the corn flakes!? Anyway, I got some sort of corn and bean salad, banchan, more duck, rice, and orange drink. Ate all of it minus the salad. No reaction.

Day 11 (10/20): All I really did today was watch you tube, work on posts and responding to emails, and read a book. I did try to study my Korean too, but the construction outside was really loud today and I couldn't concentrate.

I missed the potato wedges this morning, the fries just weren't the same. I ate the egg, salad, fruit, and cut my banana into some, you guessed it, lucky charms with oat milk. PRAISE THE LAWD, I got coffee. So, obviously, I drank that too.

Again with the corn flakes.... I don't get it xD Lunch had to have been the best meal so far! Steak... with fat... NOT BOILED!!! I ate everything happily. No reaction.

Dinner was so good, I legit teared up. Japchae (one of my favorite Korean dishes, the noodles are sweet potato noodles), beef bulgogi, rice, banchan, a mandarin, and orange drink. I knew there may be a slight chance I'd have a reaction, but I'm not passing up on one of my favorite foods. As expected, I suffered a slight reaction. Honestly, totally worth it!

Day 12 (10/21): Other than receiving a phone call to my room notifying me of a pre release covid test, today was a pretty good day. As usual, I skyped my mom while eating breakfast, watched you tube and netflix (if you haven't watched Escape Plan, 10/10), and studied my Korean.

I was super excited that I got 2 bananas today! I ate one with lucky charms and oat milk and saved the second for later. I drank the coffee and also ate the fruit, egg, salad, and yogurt. No reaction.

Lunch was pretty bland, but the garlic saved it. I ate the banchan, chicken (boiled of course) and veg, salad, apple, mandarin, and drank the orange drink. No reaction.

For dinner I was given a weird corn salad, banchan, pork belly with veg, rice, some fruit, and a yakult. I ate the kimchi, fruit, pork belly and veg, rice, and drank the yakult. No reaction.

Day 13 (10/22): In all honestly, I just watched disaster movies all day... don't judge me.

Breakfast was a salad, apple wedge, banchan, yogurt, milk, an egg, banana, and coffee. I ate the salad, yogurt, egg, and cut the banana into some... take a guess... lucky charms with oat milk. I did have to use a bit of the regular milk they gave me, but it wasn't as good as plain oat milk. I saved my coffee for later.

Lunch was pretty good! Beef bulgogi (made me sick, but was worth it... so good!), rice, salad, apple wedge, banchan, and orange drink.

Dinner was a nice surprise. Pork belly with veg, pumpkin, banchan, tofu, an orange wedge, rice, and my fav green apple jolly rancher juice. I was so excited for the roasted pumpkin, but they put SO MUCH seasoning on it. I ate everything else except for the soy eggs, tofu, and pickles.

Day 14 (10/23): Last day in the clink!

I don't really have words for this... that's like a pinch of duck. Also, cereal I can't eat, banchan, a weird salad with what smelled like yum yum sauce, some fruit, and egg that smelled off.

I ate the fruit, made the coffee, and ate some oatmeal with the banana.

Lunch consisted of boiled chicken with onions and peppers, rice, banchan, a mandarin, and the orange drink. I drank the orange drink while I ate the radish kimchi, rice, and chicken w/ onions and peppers. No reaction.

The last supper, what will it be? Spicy pork (not all that spicy, but they probably thought an American couldn't handle the heat), salad, an apple wedge, banchan, rice, and the almighty apple drink! Honestly, a pretty good meal!

I ate it all aside from the pickles, and swapped the apple drink (saving it for tomorrow morning) for the Pepsi I had stored away for tonight. No reaction.

Day 15 (10/24) RELEASE DAY: Freedom tastes so good!

I started off my day with the ever favorite, apple drink. I then got the call that I can leave my room and go to the bus to leave. After being dropped at a near by bus station, I got a taxi to my airbnb in Seoul.

I got a dalgona latte at the cafe below my stay and waited for my host to arrive.