Five minutes with… Sam Rice (in quarantine)

Welcome to my cell, I mean room. I’m here in Singapore, staring at palm trees swaying in the breeze and people happily splashing in the sea. But sadly it’s a case of ‘water, water everywhere nor any drop to drink’. I am in hotel quarantine, there’s a pane of glass between myself and the outside world and a tagging device on my wrist. I am not going anywhere for 14 days.

And the food, oh dear Lord the food. My dreams of laksa and chicken rice are quickly dispelled as the meals begin to arrive outside my door, delivered in a horrifying array of planet-warming plastic containers. They are not only stone cold and 90% carbohydrate, but utterly inedible. I post a meal up on my Instagram stories to an outpouring of disbelief. ‘Is that a used sanitary pad?’ asks one of my followers. Quite.

Hotel meal

It’s three days (and a few desperate Deliveroos) later. I contact the hotel to see if there is any chance of receiving some fruit and vegetables. To their credit some does eventually appear but unfortunately, it’s a huge tub of watermelon. As a melon misanthropist my heart sinks once again (sidenote, why is fruit salad always at least 80% melon?).

Thanks to frequent online grocery orders and a fair amount of charity, I emerge, two weeks later, blinking into the sunlight. And what is the first thing I consume? A very large glass of champagne, courtesy of my lovely friend and fellow GFW member, Ghillie James (below).