Thursday, 10 April 2014

Goodbye to the Singing Dentist

You may recall my experience last year with my new dentist in Milas.  This is a reminder for you.

I had quite a lot of treatment over 4 or 5 appointments, and even though I was satisfied with the results,  this dentist was so slow.  I don't enjoy going to the dentist, so when I do I'd rather get my treatment done as quickly as possible.   He was never on time for my appointments.  Waiting makes me anxious.  Once in the chair, I was subjected to singing and videos. and that made me even more anxious.  The only advantage to having this dentist is that he speaks a little English.  (I curse myself daily for my lack of adequate Turkish).

I should really have gone back for a routine check-up at the end of last year, but I kept putting it off.  A tiny hole appeared about a month ago in one of the fillings he did, and then last Friday more than half of the back of one of my canine teeth just broke off.   I phoned him and he said he could fit me in between appointments on Monday afternoon for 10 minutes just to look at it, but made an appointment for yesterday (Wednesday) to deal with it.

I felt that the 10 minute look was unnecessary and not worth the effort so I just settled for the appointment yesterday.

I arrived in plenty of time and was shown to the waiting room by the nurse.  Then I waited...and waited...and waited.   Finally, 45 minutes later, the nurse popped in and asked me if I would like some tea.  I said no thankyou, I would just like to see the dentist, sooner rather than later (Please understand that this was actually difficult for me to explain in my broken Turkish to someone who spoke no English).   I decided I didn't want to wait any longer.  I got up to leave and she asked the dentist to speak to me.

Apparently, there was a complication with the previous patient and he asked me to wait a further 10 or 15 minutes.  No apology.  I reminded him that my appointment was for 2.30 and politely said that although I could understand that these things happen, I should not have been left waiting for 45 minutes with no explanation.   I knew there was a bus back to the village at 3.45pm but not another until 6.00pm, and I wasn't prepared to wait around that long.   He asked me if I wanted to make another appointment, but by this time I was stressed and angry, so I declined and said I would find another dentist.   Still no apology.   So I left.

I quickly popped into the eczane close by, where the pharmacist (fluent in English) has been very helpful since we moved here.  It was he who first recommended this dentist.  I briefly told him what had happened and he told me that he had also stopped using this dentist for the same reasons, and to his knowledge, so had other patients.  He has given me the name and number of another dentist.

I ran all the way to the bus station and just managed to catch the bus as it was leaving.

If Mr A had been here, all this could have been dealt with better.  I hate the fact that I have become so dependent on him for stuff like this.  I do try,  and mostly manage, to sort  things out myself, but I am now faced with yet another trip into Milas today to find this other dentist.  I'm reluctant to phone because I will struggle to explain the problem, so face to face is easier.

All this leaves me feeling quite tearful and depressed, which is frankly ridiculous.  It's more frustration than anything else that after all these years I still cannot grasp enough of the language to cope with certain situations.   I know that I will force myself to shake off this feeling and just deal with it.   Thinking about it is far worse than actually doing it.


  1. I know the feeling too well Linda. I wish my Turkish was better also. I hate waiting around and Turks don`t seem to care and as you say no apology, it is something in their psyche, I think it makes them feel they have lost face to apologize and especially to a woman. Also, I hate the rip off side of Turkey. Yesterday I was quoted 1,150 liras for a new electric panel (a whole other story which I will tell you when I eventually come and see you!). I was nearly in tears because this is crazy money. I eventually called a friend and got the same panel plus workmanship for 520 liras. To be honest, I am really fed up here at the moment. Unless there is a man behind you 24/7 it is difficult when things go wrong and as soon as workmen see me, the price goes up twofold or even threefold.
    I hope you arrive to sort out your tooth problem. Take care.xxxxF

    1. Oh have summed it up perfectly. It's fortunate that you at least had someone you could call on to get a REAL price. I have no-one here at all to call on for help if Mr A is away, and this is what I find so frustrating. Even when I try to deal with things myself it often proves difficult because you will also know what I mean when I say that Turkish men seem to find it difficult to deal with women when it comes to getting work done, buying things, etc etc. It makes me very angry...and yes fed up with it all.

      Well I've just had another irritating couple of hours. Mr A phoned me and I burst into tears about all this, and he has decided to come home. He has been gone for a week now and no sign of any money. He needed 60 lira for petrol to get home and I sent it through Fastpay to his mobile phone. He receives the code number but wasn't able to take the money. I phone the bank customer English speaking until 8.30am. Finally speak to someone who says he'll send another code number to Mr A's phone. Sent...still unable to take money. Mr A spoke to the Kusadasi branch manager who suggested I send another fastpay to MY phone number, take the code no and send to Mr A, which I did, and sure enough he took the 60 lira. But what a bloody performance. I am so sick of all the obstacles we face here. But at least Mr A is on his way home. Much as I hate having to rely on him, because I have been independent all my life, I am very relieved. Hope to see you soon. Maybe if he is around for a bit, I could do some of the journey...maybe meet up at Soke outlet centre? Anyway I'll catch up with you on Facebook xxx

  2. I am so happy Mr. A is coming back. Being a woman alone here is no picnic. And yes, we MUST meet soon.XXXXF

  3. Hi Ayak
    So sorry to hear of the dentist problems!
    What a way for him to run his business!
    One quarter of the way through I said to myself, "I'll comment to Ayak that maybe she should find another dentist!"
    The language proble is a difficult one!
    But I have a suggestion!
    1. Get the dentist's email address
    2. Go to google translate!
    3. Write your message in the English box and ask for it to be trnslated into Turkish
    4. Copy the the translation and attach it to youyr email.
    5. Bingo!!

    Hope you are keeping well.
    I am gradually returning to Blogsville!

    1. Hi Eddie. I'm afraid I use google translate far more than I ought to. It doesn't translate Turkish well..somehow the meaning gets completely lost along the way!

      I hope you are also well Eddie and I'm delighted to see you are back blogging again. Take care xx

  4. That is just dreadful...the 'woman in a foreign country' thing is something with which I can identify...those blasted French salesmen and artisans condescending....calling me 'ma petite dame' while trying to rip me off...their inefficiency always my fault for 'not understanding'....makes my blood pressure rise to think back to it.
    And trying to cope with it when it is to do with teeth and, well above the tolerance level.
    I'm glad Mr. A is returning....if he can't earn he might as well be at home...and you could do with the back up.

    1. And this is just the point Helen. If Mr A had been with me yesterday I doubt very much if the situation would have been the same. Well he arrived home a couple of hours ago and I am very pleased to see him. The dogs were ecstatic...including the triplets...funny how even though they are so young they missed him. Now at least I will have him with me when I find another dentist, and things should go a lot more smoothly.

  5. What a horrible experience....having to depend on other people is such a pain, and the stress involved just makes matters so much worse. I'm glad Mr A is now home....I just hope some work, closer to home appears soon. take care, thinking about you. Jx

    1. Thanks Janice. He has only been home for 24 hours but I am so much more relaxed now. I thought I was used to him going away because it happens every year, but it seems to have affected me more this time xx

  6. Oh, poor Ayak, I'm sorry you've had such a difficult and frustrating time and realy hope you can find a better dentist with Mr A's help. It's bad enough at times in the UK dealing with workmen a woman, especially when they assume you couldn't possibly understand their explanation, but in a foreign language and different culture it must be so much worse. I'm glad Mr A is home again and really hope there will be work for him in the area soon.

    1. Yes it's a relief to have him home Perpetua, and he has been phoning around for jobs, but nothing happening at the moment. He is off to Bodrum tomorrow though to scour the area


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