So after pondering what feels like a life time (which in reality was only really about one year, which, I am sure most people will agree is nothing), I decided I have no choice but to visit the dentist.
Mostly this was due to the fact that I was developing facial spasm due to only drinking and chewing on the left hand side of my face, since I had pinching pains on the right hand side.
Now, firstly, I have an ungodly fear of dentists. I think wearing braces for a million years have something to do with it. Secondly, how the hell do I speak to a dentist in Spanish? The amount of vocabulary required is just beyond my brain. Yes, normally easy tasks such as making an appointment with a dentist, and having treatment, would not set your heart pacing. Try doing it in a language you are not comfortable with.
After some searching and a rather interesting experience with a dentist who did some whitening of my teeth (I recall photos being taken whilst I was lying on the chair, with cotton wool stuffed in my mouth and ultra violet lights shining on my teeth which he only later asked if that was ok - hello creep), I eventually e-mailed a dentist close to our house. Now most people will think this is insane. Normally I will agree, why don’t I just phone? I’ll tell you why. I turn into a stumbling idiot who cannot even say hello never mind ask for an appointment. As such, I prepare this e-mail, check my iffy translation and send it off into the sunset, not knowing what to expect. To my utmost surprise, I received a reply. This is one thing I can say about this country, I always receive e-mail replies. It never seizes to amaze me. After some backwards and forwarding, I eventually get an appointment.
And so my panic levels start increasing. I attempt to study vocabulary, learn phrases, memorise how to say “you’re hurting me”.
However, to my utmost surprise, the day before my appointment, I got an e-mail from the dental clinic – one of the owners speaks English and he will treat me. What a relief! We had some confusion when he told me he did not need to inject me because the hole was too deep. I had a heart attack then, of course.
This experience has given me enough courage to venture into the arena of going on my own for a haircut, without a willing friend in tow to translate for me. And to my utmost surprise, the salon had one senior Bulgarian hairdresser who actually spoke English.
To say that I feel empowered is an understatement!
But other than that, I learned a very important lesson. The people of this country will always try to assist and help you. All you need to do is try. If that fails, ensure you have Google translate.