If you ever need a dentist in the Hanoi region, give us a shout.
Tuesday, February 5, 2008



I am a potato chips monster. Really, they're my favourite snack and although I want to cut down on them, I'm generally not succesful in that area. When we were in Hanoi we went shopping for snacks and they only had durian chips. Do you know the fruit?? It's this big lump of yellow fruit with a prickly shell that smells like garbage. So one night we were staying in, watching movies and I ate these chips. They were so massive and hard that I immediately heard my retention braces break.

So there I was, on the other side of the world, far, far away from my orthodontist. I couldn't eat with all that metal hanging loose on the back of my teeth so we had to find someone who could help me. It was difficult, there was no orthodontist to be found in the whole country. And it figured, given the state the Vietnamese teeth are in. The receptionist at the Camellia hotel where we stayed helped us find a dentist. At first we couldn't find it, because the street and number housed a restaurant and there was no sign outside. After speaking with a street vendor aka pointing at our teeth we marched in. There were 5 receptionists sitting there, and it looked like they were waiting for us. They motioned us upstairs where we met the dentist, Mr. Hom, and another assistent. Although he was very nice, he didn't speak English very well so after he took a look at my mouth he said "tee out??" like 10 times. He meant take out and of course, that wasn't what I wanted and everytime he said "Tee out??" I freaked out! When we finally understood eachother he said that he could fix it and I had to get into the room.

I looked at his gear and it wasn't what I'm used to AT ALL. For Vietnamese standards it was pretty neat but it's nowhere near the hygenic standards out here. The equipment was dark grey instead of shiny. The instruments looked far from sterile and the little sink was filled with blood splatters. We did however had to take our shoes off before we entered the room, like that would compensate the grossness of the place. How about taking all 6 of your assistents and cleaning the place up for a change, mister!
Luckily he only had to glue the damn braces on again and didn't have to drill or give me a shot. That would've killed me!

Mr. Hom was indeed a professional, despite the lack of hygiene from our point of view. He told me what he was doing step by step, probably because he saw the terrified look on my face. B was right there with me, telling me again, in our language. He did it exactly the way my orthodontist does it so it all worked out in the end. When we asked what the rate was, he thought about it for a minute and said: "10 dolla". And that bill went straight into his pocket!

I felt dirty (but happy) the whole ride back...

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9 Comments:
Blogger H had this to say:

Oh my god. That's one crazy story. I wonder if I would've high tailed it out of there, rather than risk ending up toothless. You are one brave girl. I think I'm going to send my dentist some flowers today.

February 5, 2008 at 6:47 AM 


Anonymous Anonymous had this to say:

You were very brave, and just think, if you had been a great big blonde girl he might have charged you twenty!

To appreciate that durian fruit, I think you have to be raised with it, or have a lousy sense of smell. ugh--
I never knew they made rock hard chips though.
Ched

February 6, 2008 at 6:31 AM 


Blogger Squirrel had this to say:

The first time I went to a dentist (That I recall) I was really little and needed a tooth pulled. When my mother left the room he opened this huge drawer in the very bottom of a cabinet and it was full of shiny things that looked like pliers--only scarier. My little brain realized he was going to use pliers on me. He left the drawer open and picked through it, with me sitting above in the chair with my eyes bugged out in fear. He was a sadist!

The tooth fairy gave me a dollar for the tooth, which was unheard of, since the most she usually gave was 25 cents. but it still wasn't worth it.

February 6, 2008 at 12:30 PM 


Blogger Catlin had this to say:

Aaaw!! Do you know what you bought with that dollar?

When I was little my Dad used to pull my loose teeth out with a string.

And when I was 6 or 7 I read in a Astrid Lindgren book about putting a string around your loose tooth and just walk around with it the whole day and just give it a pull from time to time. My Dad was pretty mad when he saw me sleeping with the string hanging out of my mouth. I didn't understand why.

February 6, 2008 at 12:37 PM 


Blogger d. chedwick bryant had this to say:

Squirrel was such a dumb kid--she bought a little pink plastic wallet--but then she didn't have the dollar to put in it! D'oh! --a real Homer Simpson moment for the 5 yr. old.

re: Bob--he married several times and has like 9 kids-- some are famous. Sara dumped him after a dozen years and 5 kids. (He was on the road too much)
One wife was a gospel singer, Clydie King--probably one of his backup singers. they had a daughter Narette. I think the next wife was also black (and beautiful)

February 6, 2008 at 1:38 PM 


Blogger d. chedwick bryant had this to say:

here is the info on another wife!

Gospel-rock vocalist Carol Dennis, a former backup singer for Bob Dylan, has confirmed that she was secretly married to the rock icon from 1986 to 1992 and had a daughter with him, named Desiree Gabrielle Dennis-Dylan, now 21. Dennis made the admission in a statement released by her publicist late Tuesday. British author Howard Sounes's "Down the Highway: The Life of Bob Dylan." The unauthorized bio contains the news of the relationship between Dennis and Dylan, though Dennis says that the book totally distorts the nature of their divorce and his relationship with his daughter. The decision to keep private their marriage and their daughter was a mutual one and made for the benefit of the child. "Bob and I made a choice together after much thought, to keep our marriage a private matter for a simple reason -- to give our daughter a normal childhood," Dennis said. "To portray Bob as 'hiding his daughter' is just malicious and ridiculous . . . That is something he would never do. Bob has been a wonderful, active father to Desiree; they are extremely close."

February 6, 2008 at 2:03 PM 


Blogger Catlin had this to say:

Thanks Ched! That's interesting... so many kiddies... so many ladies...plus he's a good dad!

February 6, 2008 at 2:06 PM 


Blogger Catlin had this to say:

And I like to think dr Hom is just an honest man:o)

February 6, 2008 at 2:15 PM 


Anonymous Anonymous had this to say:

heres a youtube of one of Bob's wives--she was discovered as a little kid -13!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5oMOgANGG9U

February 6, 2008 at 4:51 PM 


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This is me. 32-year old, mother of 1 and living in Europe. Going through life with one hell of a man, lots of love for my family and a pretty tight circle of mismatched friends. Very self-confident even though I don't know what the fuck I'm doing! (more)