Monday, August 28, 2006

Mr. Steve goes to the Romania!

Hello everyone, this is Steve again. With the exception of the short week in July spent in New York, I've been in Bucharest for nearly 8 months. I will be visiting our home in Greenville, SC for Christmas, but I just won't be there long enough to get to the dentist. So, a couple of weeks ago I made up my mind and asked one of my coworkers to help me out. As usual, nothing in Romania goes smoothly.

Plan A - You can lead a Steve to the dentist, but you can't make the dentist show up.

On my first attempt, one of coworkers named Gabriel (we call him Gabby) made an appointment with his dentist. He made an appointment for 5:00 pm on a Thursday. The good news was that Gabby's dentist was a short bus ride from our apartment. The bad news was that Gabby's dentist didn't show up for the appointment! I arrived at the place at 4:45 and Gabby met me there. The office was closed and a note was on the door that said "Will return at 4:oo". There were two other men waiting who had appointments before me, and they didn't know where the dentist was. Since it was almost 5:00 and we didn't know where the dentist was and if he was coming at all, Gabby recommended that we call it a day and head home. Even if he did show up, there were 2 other guys there before me - so I thought that was good idea to say the least.

Plan B - Mimi to the rescue, again!

As you may know from previous blogs, I've been giving Mimi, a Romanian woman who lives close to us, a ride back-n-forth from work. Mimi is helping me to speak Romanian better and I'm helping her with her English. Mimi also helped me finish up the speeding ticket ordeal and she would help me again here. When I told her what happened with Gabby's dentist, she told me she would make an appointment with her dentist instead. According to Mimi, she has known her dentist for many years - she was a good one (and reliable too, I hoped).

Over the weekend, I got a phone call from Mimi's son Paul, who speaks english fluently. He told me everything was all set for Monday after work and Mimi would go with me. After work today Mimi and I headed out towards the center of town where her dentist has her office. The place is in a very old neighborhood near the city center as you can see from the first photo on the left. Some of the nearby buildings are well over 60 years old. That's my car there and Mimi is on the porch. She brought her dentist friend a plant too.

From the porch, you can see right into the office. The doors and windows were wide open and the dentist was working on a lady when we got there. I told Mimi to tell the lady being worked on that she wouldn't be in the picture! The equipment appeared a little dated (as if I'm some sort of dental expert), but everything was very clean.

Soon it was my turn, so I had Mimi take control of the camera. The dentist spoke some english and didn't have any problem at all with the picture taking.

Apparently Mimi wanted the dentist to check on a small problem she is having, so she hopped in the chair after I was finished. After a quick check, Mimi will be coming back on Wednesday (bummer for her), but I'm set until at least March for my next regular cleaning.

Well, I hope you enjoyed the visit to the Romanian dentist. Oh, one more thing. You're probably wondering how much it cost? For the cleaning and checkup, the total cost was 960,000 lei (about 35 bucks). Not bad, eh?