Day 14: Barreling Towards Buri Ram - One For the Books - CycleBlaze

March 7, 2020

Day 14: Barreling Towards Buri Ram

Nang Rong to Buri Ram

Conditions were amazing with a tailwind that was consistent with the monsoon season even though it's not that season now.  But the sun was up in full force, I sure wasn't complaining.  I enjoyed it especially when realizing where I was, out in the elements and in the rural countryside and having the chance to do this.

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I made several stops at gas stations and enjoyed some delicious drinks and coffee.  There were quite a few people sitting on benches and giving the thumbs up as I passed.  Buri Ram itself was the most prosperous city I had seen since crossing the border, and it had a lot of development on the outside especially the Robinson's Mall and the famous iMobile Stadium for the city's football team.

I checked into the hotel and decided to make it two nights.  The school in Malaysia had gotten back to me and they basically had a job offer that they wanted to get the ball rolling on.  I was stoked!  This plan was actually gaining traction and moving faster than expected.  I needed to take some time out and get documents in order as well as process what was about to happen.

At the same time, I wanted to follow up on some of the past developments.  It was getting harder and harder to keep up with the coronavirus and I could sense that things were starting to unravel faster and faster around the globe.  Both of these 'ying' and 'yang', the success of finding a new job outside China and the unraveling global chaos was a bit much to process. 

First person I talked to was my friend I saw in Pattaya earlier.  He flew out to the UK but regretted his decision at the airport. His argument was that he was already 5 days into the quarantine when he bolted and then second-guessed himself, saying maybe it would have been better to finish the 14 days and then continue  in China.

Next, I talked to another couple who tried to fly back to Shanghai and it was a huge mess.  I didn't want to hear any more of it.  We'll let the news do the talking

With the recent rise of coronavirus cases outside China, all people arriving in Shanghai from regions hit hard by the coronavirus epidemic must undergo 14-day quarantine.  Sixteen quarantine zones, based on 16 districts in Shanghai, have been set up at [the airports], and passengers will be taken to these spots upon arrival.  Pickup vehicles will stop at airports, and passengers will be asked to keep a safe distance while seated.  When passengers arrive at residential complexes, staff from health service centers, neighborhood committees, police and foreign language translation volunteers will visit them and they shall sign a home quarantine promise letter.

This was looking like shit.  I talked to someone else and said, "You know man, this shit is such hard work to keep up with and I can't.  The rules change constantly and it seems it will be hell flying back to China."

Then he said, "Well then don't go back.  It is prison you know."

[Update November 2022]  To make a long story short, I did the opposite of what he said.  The rest of this journal will tell the story.  I could relate to my friend I saw in Pattaya, as I second-guessed myself with the decision the entire time.  I still do to this day.  Then again, I don't think we can blame ourselves with 2020.  It was a global panic situation at the time and there were no right or best decisions that could have been made back then.

Today's ride: 56 km (35 miles)
Total: 1,238 km (769 miles)

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