Friday, August 17, 2012
Of Dicoletian and a Visit to the Dentist
It can happen when you least expect it. This morning as we were having a pleasant breakfast on our balcony overlooking the sea, I realized that the crunchy muesli I was eating caused a major filling in a molar to fall out. I wasn't too concerned at the moment because my plan was to get some dental wax to fill it until I got home, but finding some was a whole other story. The local pharmacist said she had nothing like that and pointed to the dentist next door, but when I got there, they said the tooth would have to be fixed.
The dentist's office reminded me of something out of the 50's. Instead of a warm welcoming office like Dr. Kondon's office at home complete with his dog to greet you, this place looked like an old sterile clinic with olive colored walls with two old posters of teeth. The only other decoration was a bouquet of flowers you might see in a church. The dentist was probably in his early 30's and wore a white t-shirt and shorts as if he were dressed for the beach. After giving me a shot of novocaine on the roof of my mouth, he crashed out on a bench behind me listening to hip Croatian music. The novocaine did not take, but they started drilling anyway. The nurse who was very kind said, "Calm down! You're at the dentist so of course it will hurt!" I wanted to bolt. It was at that point they took my small Vera Bradley bag away. Turns out I was clutching onto it for dear life like a security pillow. All around were cases of tools and religious medallions hanging in front of the chair. I just kept focusing on them and after an hour of a lot of sighing, finally they were done. The dentist kindly shook my hand and said through the nurse interpreting, "You should replace all your metal fillings with white ones and I will be happy to do it while you're here." He claimed he made me a new tooth because my molar broke in half during the procedure. He wondered if I liked it. I'll let Dr. Kondon decide.
After all that excitement it was time to take a one hour catamaran to Split. Out hotel is five minutes away from Diocletian's Palace. Diocletian was a Roman emperor during the 3rd century CE. He was probably best known for the splitting the Roman empire into four regions which according to some historians, helped to accelerated the empire into ite demise. His palace is a mssive structure which was once accessed from the water. What is noteworthy about the palace today is that it is both a museum, and businesses and residences sharing a space. It's a working building.
Tonight there was a huge festival celebrating Split in the form of a Roman celebration. There was a cast of over 100 performing sword dances, Roman marches, and acrobatics. There must have been many VIPs present because camermen and tv reporters were everywhere. As it turned out, I sat directly behind one of the most important VIPs of all based on the paparazzi taking photos. From the sore tooth to the VIP's, the day was full of cultural backdoor moments.