Sunday, September 21, 2014

Dominican Dentist

My camera has died. I didn't realise though, how it would affect me blogging. I tend to take pictures of events and situations and then write around them, so with no camera there are no pictures and it is much harder to write. Anyway, a new camera will be en route at the end of the month, when more visitors arrive, so I am very excited about that and normal service will resume.

This last week was a trip to the dentist to fix my broken front tooth. I have never been in a dentist's surgery where there was more than one chair and as I lay there making a big fuss as the man cleaned my teeth by hacking away at the plaque, I suddenly realised there was someone lying next to me, another patient. We each had a dentist and a dental nurse, a CD was playing loudly, and they were all singing. Luckily in tune. My dentist advised me that he couldn't fix my tooth until they were all cleaned so I have to go back in a week to continue the process.

On the way home, in the middle of town, the car made a funny noise and Danilo announced that the "banda" was going. I had no idea what that was but it turned out he was right and 20 seconds later the "banda" went and so did the brakes. How he didn't run into the car in front I have no idea. We got out of the car, stuck in the middle of the lane on a busy road, and a motoconcho ran across to us with a piece of metal he had picked up in the road. The banda was the brake pad, and the bit of metal was a bit of the brakes. He drove off to get a brake mechanic and Danilo went with another motoconcho to buy brake pads.

I stood on the pavement, next to the cemetery, patiently waiting. The mechanic arrived in five minutes, Danilo five minutes later. The motoconchos both directed the traffic whilst both front wheel had new brake pads fitted. Cost was US$3 to each motoconcho, US$25 for the brake pads and US$20 for the mechanic. Total time around 40 minutes.

At times like that I marvel at this country and the efficiency and at other times the bureaucracy is just overwhelming.  I am getting everything together for my citizenship application, but I obtained an apostilled version of my birth certificate last November, and now they decide it has to be issued within the last six months. Why on earth do they say that? The details won't change at all - but the rules are the rules.

I am busy at the moment fact checking the DK Top Ten Guide to the Dominican Republic which is something I did 2 years ago. Checking through it it makes me realise I have so many places still to visit, so next on my list will be La Isabela where Columbus first landed as it sounds very interesting. I will wait till I have my new camera though.