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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Part-time working mom claims her crown

This has been an interesting morning, so I thought I'd share it with you!

It includes all of the items below and more. Sounds promising? Read on...


It all started with a visit at the dentist's at 9am. 

Actually the story goes way back to mid-April when I bit into a piece of freshly home baked bread, and there was this cracking sound / sensation going on in my mouth. A tooth that consisted mainly in filling broke. It was during spring break, and I had learned just the previous week that my regular dentist was on vacation, and the office was closed. Luckily I knew where to call now, the emergency dental clinic. 


They let you rinse with alien water!
After two sessions that I fully paid for (this information is important) I walked out of there with a brand new crown. 

Or so I thought. At least nobody told me differently.

Lately people from the clinic have started to call me randomly on my cell, at home and at the office. Always different assistants, but every one of them told me I needed to come in and complete my procedure. I was like "this has got to be a joke. I am done. I was there in April, I paid for it, I was free to go?!"

"No, no, no, what you got in April was a temporary crown! You need to come in, and you'll get the permanent one!"

After the 4th or 5th call I was thoroughly fed up. I told the poor girl if there really was some important procedure for me, then why didn't they call me in April or May? Plus that I didn't have time for this sh**, I would think about it and get in touch after my vacation. 


I remembered sitting in the waiting room and listening to the phone calls. What I heard wasn't very encouraging. I could tell that they had a huge mess, and communication between shifts wasn't happening. 

I talked to my friend Beth who works for a dentist. She said if my appointments were only a week apart, then chances are, I didn't get the permanent crown. Making those takes at least two weeks at a lab, she said. 

Now that got me thinking. What if they were right, and my temp crown would fall out just when we are in the middle of the Canadian nowhere? 

I called my regular dentist, and she had me come in. 

So I went to see her this morning. My dentist is a lovely Australian lady, and she confirmed that in fact I have been walking around with a temporary plastic crown, and that it was stable for now but wouldn't be forever, so I needed in fact to go back and get my real one. We discussed my next steps, but I will tell you about them later

Bear with me. 

My dentist's office is in the neighbor building of the "Chäs Paradies" = Cheese Paradise. 


I remembered that the friends whom we are going to see in Canada asked for some raclette cheese. What is raclette, you non-Swiss are wondering? Basically it's melted cheese you eat along with steamed potatoes and pickles. There are many varieties of raclette cheese, "plain", smoked, aged, with paprika, garlic or pepper,...


People at home typically have a little electric oven for the raclette pans and a skillet to grill pieces of meat. Delicious and fun! Smelly, too, especially the morning after...

Anyway, I had the cheese lady vacuum packaging me some for the trip, and she assured me it'd survive a couple of days outside the fridge. This is what a typical Swiss cheese store looks like, btw!


The next planned stop was at the bank to pick up some CAD and USD. Since the bank and the dental clinic are in the same town, I decided to grab the bull by the horns, so to speak, and just waltz in there and claim my crown like a princess boss. The plan was that my regular Aussie dentist lady was going to insert it after my vacation. 

The appointment to have that done is going to be Oct 30!!
Booo!
This is the first time in my life that I did something thinking in the back of my mind "if it doesn't work out as smoothly as I wished, at least I'll have something to blog about." 

I need to think that way more often. I had very little coins left for the parking meter, and I decided to pay for 8 minutes only and save the rest for my trip to the bank. There was no time for arguing, and none was needed!! They handed me the thingie without batting an eye, had me sign a (hand written) note, and 5 minutes later I was back on the street. Did I mention it was pouring. 



Next stop: bank. I had called ahead because not every bank carries Canadian Dollars every day. I still had to wait in line. Good thing I had enough coins left for parking. It was still pouring, and everybody wanted a parking space in the garage. Don't you just love circling a garage in that humidity when your windshields are fogging up and you're hoping a car will  pull out and leave its space to you? 

Is it just me or is "having to pee" part of the experience?



"Have a wonderful time in Canada and the States" the bank lady said. "I will, thanks…" and  I was off.

Next stop a place you guys would call BIG Kmart or similar. 

The ladies' room. Quickly.

My Swiss friend Annette, who lives in Canada now, brought all their movie DVDs and no player. DVDs purchased in Europe are coded to be viewed in Europe only. So if you buy a DVD player in North America you can't watch European DVDs. If you watch them on your computer you can download "code free software" that allows you to switch back and forth. I use this a lot because half of my DVD collection is American, code 1. However Annette told me as a family of four it's no fun sitting around a notebook and watch a movie on a 15'' screen, and right she is.

So this is how I imagined my trip to the entertainment electronic's department:

Wheel in my shopping cart from the grocery department, ask a sales person for a regular DVD player, pay for it, wheel out, go home, make lunch.



You know what the first thing was that the lady asked?

"What type of TV is it for?"

How would I know? Why is that important? Also I don't need anything fancy, no Blu-ray and the like. All they wanna do is watch movies!

"If you don't know what type, would you know how old the TV is? If it's an older model, it won't have an HDMI (I googled it in the meantime. It's a high definition multimedia interface, wow, who knew?) and I can't help you."

This is an old cable.
We don't sell players that go with those anymore!
What do do? It was 11:30am = 2:30 am Pacific Time. I couldn't even call her and ask. Come to think of it, I don't even have a Canada number for her! (That's a hint, A!!) 

Instead I wheeled out, went home, made lunch and messaged her. Her reaction was a consolation. She totally thought the wheel in / wheel out scenario should have worked!


Before I log off, let me explain what those "Vermicelles" tubes are all about. Vermicelles is French for little worms. Appetizing, ey? They contain a sweet chestnut paste that is used for a typical fall dessert:


If you are Swiss or have lived in Switzerland, and now you don't anymore, Raclette and Vermicelles are things you miss. I can totally relate! 

I also know the other way round. I miss peanut butter crackers and Reese's pb miniature cups, 1001 M&M varieties like mint or raspberry, and you can be sure I will be hauling tons of them home upon my return!