Unlike everyone else, I had a very different orientation experience. While everyone else was getting acquainted with the campus and the immediate surrounding area, I got a totally unique experience of my own. I got to take a trip to the DENTIST. Story time!
Ok, our last night in Hong Kong, right before dinner, Janelle, one of the girls, offered me a Hi Chew, which is a pretty soft candy. After two bites, there was a pain in my third tooth in from the back on the bottom left side, and I bit something hard in my candy. “Oh no..” I took the candy out, and sure enough, there was a pretty good sized chunk of my tooth that had come off. This is the night before we fly to Xiamen. Great. I experimented to see how I would react to drinking water. Lots of pain. Great. Just great. I handled the night by eating small amounts and funneling water to the other side of my mouth.
(For those of you who don’t know, almost the exact thing happened to me about a week before I was supposed to leave on a tooth on the bottom right side…)
The next day, we packed up, went to the airport and flew to Xiamen. After setting all our stuff down in our rooms at Xiamen University, we headed down to meet Tim downstairs for our instructions. Everyone was divided into groups with instructions to visit different places on campus and off campus. While they did that, Tim took me to meet Yili at the bus stop so she could take me to the dentist. I got to ride in a taxi. One of the scariest things of my life. Maybe I’ll get used to it. I don’t know. It is just craziness and thinking you are going to die because it seems like you come close to crashing every few minutes or seconds even.
At the dentist, we waited for a while and eventually, I was called into the back where they checked out my tooth. Turns out, I have a large cavity near the nerve of my tooth, which is why it broke and why it hurt. The dentist decided to put a temporary filling on it to see how I do. If there is any pain within the week, I’m supposed to call and come in right away for a root canal. Yuck! But, if I am fine until my appointment date (January 29th), then I will be getting just a filling. Going back for my appointment will be interesting…I’ll need to either take the bus, or a taxi. Probably by myself. *inward cringe* I’ll be fine. It is just unsettling to not be able to understand or be understood. They speak a little English at the dentist office, which is really helpful and calming. Especially since I know little to no Chinese.
So far, the temporary filling seems to be fine. So, it is looking like I will only have to deal with getting a filling. A root canal is not on my list of to-do while here…. The temp filling cost me about 220 Yuan. In US, that’s more or less $35.