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    Tropical Heat Tour: Thailand Part 22

    Wednesday, August 22, 2012
    Bangkok, Thailand

    A messenger girl on fruit boots at Yanhee Hospital in Bangkok, Thailand.

    A new line of the SkyTrain under construction on Thanon Charan Santiwong in Bangkok, Thailand.

    I walked over across the massive 14 lane Thanon Ratchadamnoen Klang to catch a taxi cab five miles North to Yanhee hospital to get a deep cleaning on my teeth. It took me a while to hail one, as a few other people who showed up after me somehow beat me to it. As I walked inside the front lobby of Yanhee, I got figuratively bowled over by a nice-looking Thai lady wearing a bright, skimpy outfit with a huge decorative bow on her chest, zipping around on fruit boots. A few minutes later, I saw a few more. They must be messengers who shuttle paperwork back and forth throughout this massive complex. That’s just another one of the many quirks of Thailand, I thought. Imagine if a hospital in the United States tried to let some of its employees skate around. The thought would never even be entertained. At the front desk, I tried to explain to the clerks the procedure I needed to have done, which is called periodontal scaling. It involves cleaning all of the teeth under the gumline with an ultrasonic scaler, then scraping all of the plaque off of them with a manual scaler, followed a round of polishing by the buffer wheel and ending with a quick floss. (I have to get this done every four or five months to avoid gingivitis.)

    Some signs along Thanon Khao San in Banglamphu, Bangkok, Thailand.

    A foot massage frenzy on Thanon Khao San in Banglamphu, Bangkok, Thailand.

    I think something got lost in translation, because they told me I needed to talk to the dentist, so I had to fill out some paperwork and they made two copies of my passport, then led me upstairs, weighed me, and took me in to the dentist. We spent a good five or ten minutes debating the difference between root scaling, which is what I needed, and root planing–a much more time-consuming and difficult procedure in which they scale the teeth all the way down to the roots. Finally, I figured out that they only offer a basic cleaning that does not go under the gum line, or the full root planing. So, I ended up just walking out. It was kind of annoying that they wouldn’t give my paperwork back to me, but at least I got one of the passport copies. They said they shredded the other one. So, this turned out to be yet another wasted afternoon. But, at least I got some video of the fruit booters!

    Roll over photos for captions.
    Words and photos ©2012 Arcane Candy.

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