Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Tooth Fairy part 3

I live reasonably close to the hospital where I had my dentist appointment, and I had plenty of time, so I went home rather than sit in the waiting room and stare at the wall for at least an hour – or more.

You don’t have to stare at walls in waiting rooms around here. There are TVs everywhere. Every waiting room, train station, bus station, government office has a TV to placate the masses. Given the choice, I’d rather go home.

Almost exactly one hour after I left the hospital, I was back. I knew that one hour meant more than an hour, but I like to be punctual. Had I thought it would actually be an hour, I would have arrived earlier.

About 15 minutes later, I was sitting in the dentist’s office.

Calling it an office is a bit generous. It was a cubicle with all the usual dental equipment sitting around a dentist chair. The room had at least 20 cubicles. Privacy wasn’t much of a consideration for whoever designed the place. You could hear everything that was going on in the nearby cubicles. While I sat in my chair with a little paper bib on my chest, I listened to the person in the cubicle next door being tortured. I could very clearly hear that distinctive drill sound that is the same in every country, and I could hear how much the patient was not having an enjoyable afternoon. I think this reason, above all others, is why there should be individual rooms.

These are not welcome sounds when you have not been to a dentist in 4 years. Since this was my first visit to a Hong Kong dentist, it was even worse. I was not expecting any drilling, but replacing a crown almost has to involve sharp machinery in your mouth.

I don’t know how long I sat in that chair, but it seemed to take longer than any of the other waiting times. Most likely because I was focused on the pain and suffering of the people around me.

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