I went to the dentist today with the intention of making a temporary crown for a molar, so that I could get a permanent one fixed soon and finally be able to eat wholeheartedly with both sides of my mouth after chewing mostly on the left for the last six months. Alas, this was not to be as my dentist discovered a cavity that required immediate attention. Instead, I spent an hour in the dentist chair trying not to fall asleep or drool and have been waiting out the effect of the anesthesia for the past three hours so that I can eat my dinner.

After more than 10 visits to various dentists in Brussels in the last 1.5 years, it seems to me that it is common practice here to administer anesthesia whenever there is to be work to be done on the teeth. Quite different from what I’m used to in Singapore where the nerves are numbed only when some major drilling or intricate dental work is to be done.

My French vocabulary for things related to dental healthcare has also become quite extensive courtesy of my inherently weak teeth. For instance: “j’ai perdu l’un des plombages” (I lost one of my fillings) or “il faut qu’on fait la dévitalisation” (it is necessary to perform a root canal). I even learnt how to say “pain” in Japanese while in a dental clinic in Hokkaido, which would be “itami” by the way, but this is a story for another day.

Anyway, I’m roasting some vegetables and chicken wings in the oven – which should be ready just about when the anesthesia has worn off. While waiting for dinner to be ready, I’m thinking to myself how convenient it would be if I have some bread at home, then I can make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with the delicious Calvé pindakaas – stukjes noot (crunchy peanut butter) sitting in my fridge. This would certainly be something that I can eat, albeit slowly, in my current state without too much risk of biting my mouth!PB&J01,2LFb

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3 replies on “Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwich

  1. *shudder* I’m very grateful I haven’t run across any dental issues while traveling. (Knock on wood!) Dental visits are ominous enough at home, but in another country that is a whole new level of unpleasant anticipation!

    1. Imagine: In another country where you don’t even speak the local language & the locals don’t speak any of those that you do! Thankfully the data roaming on my mobile was switched on and Google Translate provides romanised ‘translations’ of Japanese words : ) It also helped tremendously that the dentists and nurses at the clinic were super helpful and patient.

      1. Oh yikes! If it had to be a country where you didn’t know the language, though, maybe it’s good it was Japan — I found people there particularly patient and helpful, with absolutely no expectation that tourists should speak Japanese.

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