Visits to the dentist are not high on my favourites to do list, but there comes a time in the affairs of man when one must bite the bullet, so to speak. One must submit to a stranger poking about in your gob with sharp metal objects.
Being a stranger in a foreign land hit home with the force of Novocain but without the numbing effects. Finding a dentist with English equal to mine was the first priority as my Tagalog is konti lang (very little) and definitely not up to and in depth discussions about teeth.
A flick through the yellow pages revealed a list of practitioners which at just over one page isn’t a lot, considering the population of Manila. A walk round any barangay would indicate that a yellow page’s listing isn’t a high advertising priority for the followers of St Apollonia.
The first call was answered by a gruff voice of the dentist himself who informed that he was there when asked about an appointment, mmmm didn’t instill confidence. The second call revealed that the receptionist didn’t know when the dentist would be available. A third call and pay dirt was hit with an appointment for later in the day being arranged.
I will spare you, gentle reader, the graphic details but this was, for me, a unique experience. Not only was it professional and painless but this dentist had a chair side manner second to none. Unlike other dentists he not only explained what he was doing but found time to relate as a person. We chatted about our mutual interests of art and red wine. There was a person behind the mask.
That the cost of the treatment was about an eighth for the same in Australia was a very pleasant surprise on which to leave.