Bagusbabe's Reflections

Day 6: Dental Delights

It’s windy & overcast this morning but still balmy. No balcony cat or 6 legged visitors this morning.

I came to another realisation this morning. I didn’t pack my glucosamine tablets. Maybe that’s why my knees feel so bad? You see, that’s what happens when you pack at the last minute when still semi comatose. I see a visit to a pharmacy in my not too distant future, despite my huge supply of ‘just in case’ medications. I should have packed something stronger than panadol.
I also didn’t bring enough clothes. NormalIy I bring too many. I will have to remedy that.

I’m not going to the pool this morning, so no advanced planning required. I have a dental appointment to have my crown fitted.  So I toddle off to breakfast. There are a new crop of guests this morning, I noticed. Breakfast dealt with, I go back to my room to write on the balcony.
As I write, the houseboys come. It is tile mopping day. I move my feet obligingly. It’s not long before they are gone & my rooms are sparkling again. Back to work I go.

I descend from my room & walk up to the main road to hail a taxi. A bluebird taxi pulls up & the driver knows the dentist’s address. Winning. It’s interesting observing the different driving techniques & personalities of taxi drivers. This one is either supremely impatient or a very nervous driver. He tooted his horn at everything. Everything! A motorbike dares to move closer to us – toot! A car wants to merge in front of us – toot,toot! A motorbike is not going fast enough – toot, toot, toot! Really, I’m not in a hurry, dude. He was making me nervous.  I had put my head down to jot something into my phone (guess what?) & when I looked up we were in unfamiliar territory. I was expecting to see nurseries & government buildings, instead I was seeing run down shopfronts & warungs. Fleetingly I wondered if I was being kidnapped. I am a woman travelling on my own, I don’t recognise where we are & I’ve placed my trust in an unknown tooting taxi driver. No one would miss me if I suddenly ended up trussed up like a suckling pig in the boot! And he auto-locked the car doors when I got in! Yikes!

While I was half considering giving him a karate chop to the neck, we pull up in front of the dentist. Phew! My fare is only Rp70,000Rp. I give him Rp100,000 out of guilt for my wayward imagination. He was delighted, where I felt relief.

Inside the dentist, I check in with the lone receptionist (a different one), add my name to a book as instructed & take a seat. I’m actually 5 mins early.
There are no comfy seats left so I’m on a metal bench. I log into their free wifi.

My wait is about 30 mins & I’m taken into a different room than last time with a different dentist. She pops off my temporary crown without much pain & in goes the new one. It was quick, less than 10 mins & feels quite comfortable.

Before I’m ejected, I asked if I could speak to someone about composite veneers. The dentist leaves & a few minutes later returns with a cosmetic dentist, again different from last time, & a technician. She speaks excellent English & explains the difference between veneers. I think last time all I heard was root canal. I could have direct composites, or indirect – prefabricated or custom made. She left the room to go & get some veneers to show me.
I’d like to point out that in no way did she try to up-sell.  But the more I thought about it, the more I think I want porcelain. When am I going to have the cash available again to do this? Probably never. I jumped off the dentist chair & grabbed my phone to log into my bank account. I’ve hated my smile since I was a child. Now’s my chance.

The dentist returned to say she couldn’t find the composite veneer she wanted to show me. I said that’s fine, I’ll go with porcelain. Are you sure? You can come back tomorrow after having a think about it? No I’m sure. Ok. She inspects my teeth & recommends having 2 crowns over previous fillings, the other 8 would be fine with veneers. She also thinks I grind my teeth when I sleep? Really? Totally unaware. She then shows me some before & after photos on her phone and asks how do I want them to look. Whiter, but not unnaturally so & with less prominent front teeth. Ok. She gets out a tooth colour palette & holds up a few to my front teeth. She recommends 3 shades lighter. Any lighter would make my bottom teeth look too dark when I talk. I agree.
She then shows me a photo on her phone of 12 different smiles to choose from. At first glance they all look identical until she points out the differences to me. I pointed to one & asked why would anyone choose to have prominent front teeth & she said you’d be surprised. She pulls up a photo of a client who honest to God looks like a rabbit! Have you seen Lewis Litt on the TV show Suits? Well they were worse! It was what she wanted, apparently & she was very happy with them. Hideous! Don’t do that to me! She laughs.
The cosmetic dentist approves of my choice from the smiles. A mold of my upper & lower teeth are taken & I need to return tomorrow for teeth preparation & temporary veneers whilst mine are made at the lab.

Back at reception I ask if she’ll call me a cab. The cosmetic dentist steps outside & comes back to tell me their shuttle bus will drop me off. There are 3 other passengers heading to Legian. Ok, I don’t mind doing a round trip. The driver asks me where I’d like to be dropped off. Outside Hardy’s will be fine, thanks. I soon realise that I’m going to be dropped off first. We pass the nurseries. No kidnap attempt here! Too many witnesses.

At Hardy’s I buy a couple of fixed price sun-dresses.  They are black with splashes of colour – one in blues, one in lime green. Really pretty. I may have been able to find the same dresses at the markets cheaper, but not the convenience.

Time for lunch. As I walk, I see Smorgas across the road. I haven’t eaten there for years.  Can’t remember if I liked it. It’s pretty full. Instead I keep walking & pause outside Retro to read their menu on the stand out front. Sounds good to me.
I’m shown to a table but ask for the ladies room first. I glance into what I expect to be the ladies – nope, it’s the men’s & there is a man in there doing the deed with the door open. Charming!

Back at my table I peruse the menu again & decide on Ayam Bakar Rika-Rika. Chicken marinated in chilli with mushroom & coconut milk sauce. It was very nice. Again any lingering was cut short by someone at a neighbouring table lighting up & blowing smoke my way. Really? Again?

Outside on the roadside I flag a taxi. He puts the meter on without asking & doesn’t need directions. He didn’t lock me in either!

A bit of a bed flop, read & Internet search for that smile chart to double check I’ve made the right choice. Yes. I’m happy & nervous at the same time. I’m getting a new smile! I hope it doesn’t hurt!

It’s time for a feed. My choice tonight is Rasa Senang restaurant, opposite Sogo. It is a lot nicer inside than it appears from the street.  The wait staff are very attentive. It seems they hold cooking classes here in the mornings. Note to self. Who am I kidding? I like eating, not cooking!
Their menu is quite extensive but I’m not super hungry. I think I’ll have 2 entrees. I order Lumpia & Breaded Prawns. Both were enjoyable. The pace picks up as more & more patrons appear, but my waitress is still quick to serve.

Back in my room I watch a movie before bed. There are no fireworks or barking dogs tonight. The wind picks up as I wind down.
Time for sleep.

Ciao for now,


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