The Police Men and the Ice Cream Saga
On a similar theme, I had another experience of the Georgian lack of queues and of personal space this week, when I was in the ‘Populi’ store buying some bread. But this time, I was more than happy for the lack of personal space and queues (line for the Americans reading this!) because it was all very amusing at the time (you had to be there really, otherwise it isn’t so funny).
Basically, there was a big hold up and everyone had to wait a long time to be served, and we were all blocking the shop because so many people were waiting to pay. No one was angry or annoyed though, and they all waited fairly patiently, probably because it was a hot day and they just couldn’t be bothered. The reason for the delay?????? There were four police men being served and they were arguing and trying to decide on which ice creams to buy!!! They were in full uniform, looking serious, and really struggling to decide between vanilla and strawberry. It must have been a good ten minutes that we were there waiting, and it seemed that they had finally decided, when one of them, would run back over to the freezer, and swap the ice cream with another, then run back, with the cashier having to enter in the code into the till by hand, totalling the price, reading it out, and then re-entering the code for another ice cream and removing the one that had been swapped. It was pretty funny to watch, and is the kind of thing that would make a great sketch for a comedy show. All I could think of, was the Minister of Education’s question to me a few weeks ago about whether I felt safe in Georgia! Ironically, the answer is still yes, even if the police can’t decide which ice creams are best..strawberry or vanilla. But I really like that, their main stress at that moment, was not armed robberies, arresting people for fighting, or dealing with traffic, but their priority was ice cream. That’s the kind of world I want to live in☺
Georgians enjoy a very rich diet full of sugar and sweets, and all the things that my grandmother didn’t let me eat as a child because it would ruin my teeth. She was of course right, and I have a sense of impending doom right now, because I am fairly sure that I will need the first tooth filling of my life (at the age of 35!). I’m terrified of going to the dentist. Not because I have had bad experiences with dentists, and not even because I am in a different country where I don’t know the procedures and normalities that happen at dentists outside of the UK. I am afraid because I know it will hurt when the dentists sticks that spikey metal thing into my tooth to see how healthy it is. In the UK, I have been lucky and never had problems with my teeth, probably because in the UK the government puts fluoride in our water, and because I had a diet almost void of sugar. Since I have been in Georgia, my diet has totally changed, and I also eat a lot less calcium than before, and eat a lot more sugar, and also drink coca cola now, which I have never done before. Here it is cheap, and is one of the cheapest things to drink, and is more convenient at times.
I have been meaning to go to the dentist for the past 3 months, since I started to have a problem with my tooth, and now I really must not put it off any longer, because it is starting to hurt and I have noticed that I don’t like eating on that side. I think part of the problem, is that since I have been in Georgia, my wisdom teeth have really started to come through too, and are pushing my teeth around a bit as they come through, which sometimes gives me a headache on the same side. My dentist in the UK told me that my wisdom teeth would never come through, but it seems that in Georgia, everything really is possible!
I wasn’t even this scared when I had operations in the past, for my driving test, or for medical school exams, and there is no reason for me to be so afraid of going to the dentist. It would be so much easier if I could just fly back to the UK, where I know the language and know what to expect from a dental consultation. I know what a dental room looks like, I know what the chair looks like, what the mouth wash tastes like, what an x ray is like, its all familiar. But here, it is all so alien, and I am afraid because I am going into the unknown, in a potentially vulnerable situation where I will have someone’s hand in my mouth so won’t be able to talk (even if they do speak English), and once they have started fixing my tooth, its not like I can stop them half way through and go to the UK for the rest of it if its going horribly wrong! In my home town in the UK, there are three or four dentists within a mile, and if I didn’t like the procedure, then technically I could just walk into another dentist and ask them to finish the job. I am so nervous that it is ridiculous!
Part of the problem is that I am more wise to medical procedures having been at medical school, and I know how much guess work is involved now. The last medical procedure I had was really painful and I was on my own throughout and now I know how bad it could be, especially with being unable to make myself clear in Georgian.
I feel like a big baby, and such a wimp! But I really am going to need some hand holding, especially as its my first problem with my tooth ever. But, I also know that I have no choice because I really need to see a dentist and to get it fixed before it gets worse. I just hope it isn’t too expensive and that they are a good dentist. I will let you know how it goes!!