Bagusbabe's Reflections

Day 12: Simply Smiling

This morning I beat the birds & the sun. I’ve woken before dawn. I have a sense of excited anticipation & nervousness. Today is the day when I find out if my trust and money will deliver the smile I crave.

When the sun rises it reveals an overcast sky. I’m not bothered as it is not a pool morning for me. It’s a dentist morning. A quick shower & change & I’m ready for breakfast. Same-same.

A quick scaling of Kosiosko sees me back in my room to clean & floss my teeth before I hit the road. In the garden the scent of incense wafts over as a girl pays homage to her gods at a statue, leaving them an offering. As I walk up to the main road I notice more fresh offerings outside shopfronts. One has a little container of soy sauce with the the usual flowers, for the gods’ dim sims? Another had a cigarette. Heavy smoker, that Vishnu!

I flag down a taxi without any problems & ask him to take me to the dentist. This taxi driver went a slightly different way & we made great time. I thought it would be especially busy this early on the roads, but apparently not. I’m 15 mins early and first to sign in the patient book. My dentist arrives within 10 mins & I’m in the dentist chair by 10am.

I’m nervous. Fitri asks does she want me to start & see how I go? No way! Injection please. I get 3. Yuk, but over quickly & effective. She’s manoeuvring in my mouth trying to lever out the temporary bridge. A little drilling is required & I’m surprised when a big chunk falls on my tongue & jump. She tells me everything is fine, they don’t smell. Smell? Yes because they are not cemented in, food can get trapped underneath & get smelly on removal. Lovely!

Once off, she takes the crowns & veneers & slips them on my teeth as a trial to see how well they fit & see how I like them. Love them. That’s a go! She gets me to gently bite down, inspects & makes a few adjustments to the crowns & to my natural teeth. My teeth are prepared, cement added & one by one the crowns then the veneers are fitted permanently. Excess cement is removed & she ensures that floss can fit through to the gum line on each. I bite down as requested but one back crown feels too long. It takes 3 tries to get it comfortable. Then she takes another near-gag inducing mold of my upper teeth for a night guard, which will be ready in an hour. Cool! I have the same difficulty rinsing out my mouth. She shows me my before photo & takes a few of my new smile. It looks great. My top lip is completely numb as is part of my left nostril. My smile is not entirely natural when I view the photo but my teeth look awesome. I ask if she’ll email me the photos – not a problem.

Back at reception, it is time to pay the piper. My MasterCard Debit card will not accept the transaction. She tries a smaller amount – nope, no go. I end up transferring the money into my credit card which happens instantly fortunately, & then use it to pay. Success! And no extra charge for the night guard. Winning!
I wait for my night guard. When it is ready, Fitri brings it over & gets me to try it to make sure it fits ok. Try & wear it every night to protect the veneers. Yes, I will.  A taxi is called & I return to Sanur.

I asked to be dropped off at the beach, on Jl Pantai Sindu, agreeing to pay the 20c parking fee, even though we aren’t parking. I plan on eating at Luhtu’s but walked past it by accident then went the wrong way down the boardwalk. I didn’t know I was going the wrong way. I get lightly swarmed by touts to come to their shop, have a massage or have a manicure. I smile but say no thank you firmly & I’m left alone. I pass a few restaurants & choose Bennos, then a table on the edge of the sand. There is a light wind, which is pleasant. The sky is still overcast, making the sea look a murky greyish green. A lone jet ski is making distant noise on the water.
I order prawns in garlic butter. When they come, they have a split spine but still have the poop chute insitu. I dissected what I could, but disappointing overall. There was enough garlic to repel vampires in the dish. Someone lights up a cigarette near me. I take that as a sign to take myself off.

Back on the boardwalk, I stop to give way to a couple of cyclists, who are touts on wheels I discover to my peril. It takes a lot of convincing that I stopped to let them pass, not to buy their wares in the bike basket. They continued on their way & I was left in peace.

After I made my way back to the street, I can see a sign for Luhtu’s as clear as day. Der! I choose an outdoor table on the sand & my chair sinks an insulting 6 inches as I sit down. I peruse the menu. I’m going to have a treat, but I don’t know what. When the waitress comes, I ask her what is her favourite cake on the menu? Carrot cake. Excellent. When it came to the table, out came the sun & the sea turned to blue. The outdoor eating area is heavily shaded by a large tree so I’m safe from the sun.
My cake is gratifyingly generous in size, tasting like cinnamon & heavily iced, with a side of coconut froth with a strawberry segment on top. Very very nice. My local anaesthetic has finally worn off.  One tooth is sensitive to the cold if my drink. I sit for quite a while taking in the atmosphere, knowing I’m going to have to walk up to the main road in the sun. A couple of swallows are chasing each other in shallow flight just above the heads of human patrons, who seem totally unaware.

Time for my taxi trek. There is a bit of shade on the right side of the road, so I take the right foot path. Up at the main road the traffic is busy, & I’m very hot. I begin walking in the direction of my hotel & luckily get a toot from a passing empty taxi & climb in, grateful for the air conditioning.

At hotel reception I asked about getting a late check out tomorrow. Yes, but I’d have to move to one of the rooms downstairs in the morning. No stairs? No problem.

In my room I lay on my bed for a bit & see that Fitri has sent me before & after photos of my teeth. I take a couple of selfies & my smile is even better now the fat lip has gone down. I send them to Fitri with thanks for my new smile.

I finish writing my blog & download a new e-book. A Kathy Reichs novel. I read the first chapter, then get ready for dinner.

My houseboy is manning reception. I’ve caused a bit of a tiz asking him to book me a taxi – he can’t find their number, rings someone to ask, dials a wrong number then finds the number he needs on the wall. I hope it’s not too much for him if I ask for something out of the safe deposit box? I need some cash.

My taxi arrives & waits for me to run into the money changer half way through the journey. He drops me off at Soul in a Bowl.

The restaurant is not as busy as last night. I’m given a table just inside the inside, around the corner. There is not as many staff on. I receive the menu  but no one shows me the blackboard – I have to ask. Hooray! Sticky Chicken is still on there. I’m warned that the sticky chicken is quite hot. I’m aware – I had it last night.
Again I choose the duck liver patè & the chicken. Time for a glass of wine too. When my patè arrives, it comes with 5 tiny pieces of sliced roll, instead of 4. It also comes with shaved oven baked beetroot, which is nice. I order more bread again, receiving an extra 6 slices. When my chicken comes, this time it’s the thigh & drumstick. Damn. Though just as succulent, I prefer breast meat. The rice is a tad drier too. It is unrealistic to expect perfection two nights in a row. I read my ebook as I eat. The restaurant was almost full when I left. The minute I stood on the footpath a taxi came. Perfect timing.

Back in my room I draw the curtains in the living room. I check the balcony door. Unlocked. Really? I’m supposed to check that one too? Disgruntled about the possibility of being robbed or murdered in my sleep, I recline on my bed to write & read for awhile. I need to stay up until 11.30pm so I can do a mobile check in & chose my seat. 47D? In the middle aisle? I don’t think so! 32K by the window suits me better. Done & dusted.
I clean & floss my new teeth & wear the mouth guard to bed. It takes me quite a while to fall asleep with it in. It feels odd.

Tomorrow is my last day in Bali.

Ciao for now,


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