What with all the teething problems I’ve had since I moved to Berlin, it was probably only a matter of time before one of them involved actual teeth. And, ever so obligingly, on Monday evening, one of my fillings popped out of my mouth while I was eating dinner.
This was bad for a number of reasons:
1. I haven’t got around to getting health insurance yet.
2. It was a front tooth and now it had a gaping hole in it.
3. My first German lesson was the following evening.
lying kind) German flatmates assured me that you would hardly notice it and gave me the name of a local dentist. After a quick Google, I discovered that you could make an appointment online, so I enlisted one of them to help me write a message in German. From what I remember, it was something about my ‘gefilling gefalling aus’, but I could be wrong there…
Then it was straight on to Facebook for a good old-fashioned pity party.
Me: My gefilling has gefallen aus! I’m hideous! I’m going to be the monster down the back of the classroom that nobody wants to do pairwork with!
My long-suffering friend: Oh stop. You’ll be fine.
Me: I will NOT be fine. Maybe I can speak German without opening my mouth? Kind of like a German Godfather?
MLSF: Or you could put your hand over your mouth and pretend you have Ebola?
Me: Hmm. I think I’d prefer to be the hideous one than the Ebola-ridden one, but thanks for the idea.
The next day, the surgery called to say that they could give me an appointment on Friday at 13.30. I took it, but had no intention of waiting that long. A quick Google search (what did we do before the internet?) gave me a plethora of options so I called one.
Me: Hello, I need an appointment urgently. It’s a matter of pride and ego.
Helga: That sounds serious. You can come after 9pm.
Me: You mean 9am tomorrow?
Helga: No, 9pm tonight.
Me: Really? Oh, but I have a German lesson until 9.15 – it will be at least 10pm before I can make it. Will you still be open?
Helga: Of course! We’re open until midnight!
What was this madness? A dentist? Open til midnight? I decided to take her at her word as the alternative was just too horrible to contemplate. Luckily, I had no students that day so I only scared the waitress in a local café, and the dude in a local jewellery shop. He made the unfortunate mistake of complimenting my German, so, forgetting myself, I beamed at him. I remembered myself quickly as he recoiled in horror.
I spent the rest of the day perfecting a weird half-smile, that could have looked coquettish on the right person, but probably just looked mental on me. Thankfully, in class, I ended up paired with an Italian who was so clueless, my teeth were the last thing on his mind.
When the class ended, I raced to the train and across the city to the magical, mystical, midnight dentist. It was true! It was true! They really were open! After some rather painless (for Germany) form-filling, and some Brando-esque/Ebola-ridden flirting with the cute receptionist, I was sent to the waiting room.
Half an hour later, and rather a lot of money lighter, I left with one perfect German tooth – which really just served to make all the other Irish/Latvian teeth feel inferior. I hope they don’t gang up on the German and push him out – I’m not sure my bank balance could take it.
(More on the lessons in the next post – I’m still digesting.)
Link to magical, mystical, late-opening dentist.