Thursday, June 12, 2008

Teeth and Bikes

Yesterday while eating a cracker I broke a tooth. It was a tooth that generation after generation of dentists have told me would break. I had a filling put in when I was around 10 and the tooth around the filling was not structurally sound. My dentist back in DC has wanted to cap that tooth for the last eight years. I keep putting it off due to financial reasons. He said he thought it might actually hold out while I was in Sri Lanka, since it had already held much longer than he expected.

So of course it did not. Luckily I have a couple of Aussie friends left in Colombo and they recommended an awesome female dentist. And I would like to add that she chose to just extend the filling rather than cap it (we are monitoring it over the next month to see if a cap is really necessary). Total bill for the filling, which was completed on the spot: $10! That is right. Oh the consultation was $2, so I paid a total of $12. I almost feel like I should get it capped because it has to be cheaper here than in the States. It is a back tooth (second from last) so it really doesn't matter what it looks like, though I would prefer it to be white.

The tooth broke while I was trying to ingest some quick energy for my bike ride to the U.S. Embassy. Hey, for those of you in need of extra pages in your passport, you should wait until you are abroad. Apparently they now charge for this service in the States, but here it is free and takes 15 minutes. The only problem is there is no where to park your bike.

O.k. someone kindly explain this to me: My bike here is totally simple with no paniers or rack. In the States I'm allowed to park it almost anywhere and I'm allowed to bike down roads where cars are not allowed due to security issues. Here, my bike is treated like a car. This means that there is no where anywhere near the embassy to leave it. The U.S. Embassy is right across the street from the President's house. The Embassy has a parking lot, but apparently my status as a tax-paying citizen does not entitle me to leave my bike there. There is this huge open space between the outside wall and the embassy building. If they were really worried that my bike was wired with fancy, high- tech, super small explosives I could leave it there, because there is no way I could store enough explosives on my bike to reach either the wall or the building from that position. But no, I had to go way out of my way to leave my bike in a very sketchy place. Thanks U.S. Embassy.

Now my passport looks totally ridiculous because this was the second time I've had pages added. I need to do some serious traveling in the next two years to fill up my new 24 empty pages!

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