Thursday, April 27, 2017

putting on the bite

Coming home is a task.

Or, at least, tasks that have been patiently waiting while you are gone are always waiting on the front porch like a sad step-child.

The day I left Bogota, I made a list of telephone calls I needed to place on my first day home. One of those calls was to my dentist. It was time to finish the installation of my dental implant.

But, it turned out that a telephone call would not do. And that is the conceit of this tale.

To avoid another surprise like the gargantuan bill I received from my mobile telephone carrier when I returned home from my Australia trip (plugging pesos into telcel), I decided to buy a SIM chip in Colombia for my travels there. It worked perfectly. I consumed data like Teddy Kennedy knocked back cocktails. And I spent no more than I would have for two weeks of service in Mexico.

But even the best of relationships must end. As we were nearing the Mexico City airport, I decided to retire the Colombia chip to the envelope I carry for telephone service outside of Mexico. I carefully opened the tray on my telephone and slipped the Colombia chip in with the remainder of the inventory. I then placed my Telcel chip in the tray.

I would like to say a bit of air turbulence unexpectedly bounced me or the flight attendant jostled me while handing out drinks. But none of that would be true. What happened was the chip was in the tray, then it was gone. My aging fingers must have caused it to flip out of the tray.

So what?, you may ask. After all, even though I was sitting in the equivalent of a Barcalounger hurtling through the atmosphere at 80% of the speed of sound, I was not sitting on the wing. It was an enclosed space, and that little rectangle of plastic could not have strayed far.

But after a half hour of diligently searching, I resigned myself to the fact that the chip had gone to that mysterious place where lonely socks from the dryer wander around like Diogenes.

If I wanted to use my telephone, that meant I had to make a quick trip to Manzanillo to see if Telcel would replace the chip -- or if I would be telling everyone my new cellular number. It was the former.

A very helpful young woman patiently listened to my tale of woe in very broken Spanish (think of Andy Kauffman playing Desi Arnaz). Within minutes, Telcel had $116 (Mx) of my money, and I had a new chip.

Now, the purpose of that tale was to tell you I did not need to call my dentist for an appointment. I simply stopped by his office. And received an appointment for the next day. Today.

Mexico is great that way. No long waits for medical attention.

When we left off our tale of my dental implant (mind the gap), I told you I had finished the process of getting a new molar. It all started in 2013 with an abscess. My molar went, and I started the steps of getting an implant to replace it.

Last August, I thought I was done. But the crown kept loosening. After several re-adjustments, my dentist decided the screw hole in the crown was too large. So, out came the crown.

Due to a combination of events -- my trips to Australia and Colombia, and my dentist's trip to Argentina -- my crown and I were strangers to one another as much as an exiled monarch. That ended today.

With a few twists of the screwdriver, some modifications of the crown surface with a drill, and a bit of permanent filling, I was fit to take on a prime rib dinner. Even though I am sticking to vegetables for a bit (as you will discover when I finish my Colombian food essay).

You can see the final product at the top of the essay. On the big screen.

I have  been very happy with the process, though I doubt I will get another implant for some time. The cost was certainly a lot better than I would have paid up north. And, I suspect, my dentist was far more patient with me.

But those were only two of the tasks that faced me on my return. I am not certain how many I will accomplish in the next week. Saturday next, I will be on another airplane.

No comments: