Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Chinese Dentistry and Old Movies

AKIC experiences Chinese Dentistry
I mentioned, just previously, that I went to the dentist on Tuesday.  In this entry, I will provide more details.
Accompanied by Connie, who is, a friend of the Kaulins family, and a HyLite student, I went to a public dental hospital near the Chongnan Market.  A foreigner, unless he or she could read Chinese, would never know it was there.  My wife told me that this hospital was near the children's hospital where about a year ago Tony spent a few nights.  I had no idea.  Unlike other Expats, who know of some fancier dental places, I went there on my wife's recommendation because she knows what is cheap.
The place certainly wasn't fancy.  It looked like all the other Chinese hospitals I have gone to  --  not clean and sparkling as a foreigner has come to expect in his own country.  The room where I was examined had about ten dental chairs.  In Canada, I had always had my dental work done in a private room.  The dentist who examined me knew some English but he had to talk to Connie when going into greater detail. 
I went to the dentist because a tooth, that had lost a filling a month ago, was causing me some discomfort.  Once seeing the tooth, the dentist had me get X-rays.  I remember in Canada, being made to bite on something while my X-rays were done.  Yesterday, I had to hold something, near the bad tooth, with my thumb.  But the photo was quickly printed out using a computer.
Seeing the X-ray photo, the Dentist told me that there was in inflammation in the bad tooth.  I would have to make a couple trips to see him before he would put in a filling.  Yesterday, he did some probing and scraping and drilling to get rid of some "black" things.  I did experience some discomfort as the dentist worked on my teeth, but it wasn't as horrible as I had been conditioned to expect.  In fact, it was worse for Connie who was able to see what the dentist was doing.  She shuddered at one instance.  This being able to see dental surgery, is not something she would be able to in Canada.  Being in China as long as I have, I had almost forgotten that Connie's being beside would not have been tolerated in the West.  I also recall now that in Canada, a plastic bag was put in one's mouth as dental surgery was being done to catch saliva and debris -- the saliva then being sucked out with a hose.  In China, you are given glasses of water and a spittoon.  Another thing you have to do in China while the dentist works on your mouth is to have your own thoughts.  I remember being given an interactive quiz game being played on a video monitor mounted above the dental chair the last time I went to a dentist in Canada. (I could have watched a movie if I wanted.)
The operation took about an hour.  After which I was given three kinds of tablets to take, an appointment for a second operation next Wednesday, and a bill for 295 rmb.  Not bad.  And I wasn't scolded about not flossing!
And I also ran into another foreigner there:  a German fellow taken there by his Chinese handler.
That is the name of an old movie which I bought yesterday on DVD at the Nanchang Market book mart third floor.  I have to confess that I didn't know what the movie was about till yesterday when I thought I would give it a try.  In my many previous trips to Nanchang, I had flipped through the film.  I figured it was some obscure thirties foreign film.  It was in fact a full scale Hollywood production in technicolor.  Scaramouche was a sword-fighting romance set in pre-revolutionary France.  The acting was great, as were the settings and costumes.  Stewart Granger gave a wish-I-could-be-like-that performance.  He vaguely reminded me of Mel Gibson.  Alas!  To be able to speak like a Poet!  His rival played by Mel Ferrer reminded me of Brad Pitt.
The film, while very enjoyable, doesn't rank as a classic because its' plot was far too contrived.  The movie seemed to be intended to be longer than it finally was because, right near the end, something happened that could only be described as budget saving plot device. Scarmouche, a character in a comic play, is tangential to what the movie is really about.  While Grainger does take on the Scarmouche role, the movie's story is about Andre Moreau.  But Moreau isn't a catchy name for a movie.
The Scaramouche I saw yesterday was a remake of a 1923 silent movie -- it can be remade again with Mel Gibson and Brad Pitt playing the principal male roles.  Whatever starlet of the moment could play the romantic interests.  A 2009 Scaramouche would have more violence and copulation to please IMP from www.wuxiguide.net who says he prefers the new movies  -- a cretinous opinion, but to each, his own.  Furthermore, a scene where a Moreau charms a girl who turns out to be his sister, would have them getting it on would earn standing ovations as well from IMPoster.
The African Queen
Because it is such a classic, I hadn''t watched the African Queen in a long time.  I had somehow figured I had already seen it.  But again yesterday, like buying Scaramouche, I departed from my normal DVD watching practices, and sat down to watch it.  The first thing that struck me about the film was that it was in colour.  In my mind's eye, I had always imagined Boggie and Kate hugging and kissing in black and white.  So, I guess the last time I watched the picture was on my parent's old b&w television in the late 1970s.  I had also completely forgotten that Bogart's character was supposed to be Canadian. Bogart always play a great North American, because it is really stretching, I feel, to say that someone on Canada talks and acts like him.  But if Boggie has to play someone who lives in the British Empire, Canadian is the logical nationality to make him.
Drinking Beer on the streets
Foreigners do strange things too.  About eleven in the morning today, I was walking to the Xinhua Book Store on Renmin Road when I saw a young foreign couple leave the post office.  They were drinking a tall bottle of beer as they walked down the street.  I thought to myself:  "Are we in Las Vegas?".  I don't think such public drinking would be allowed in Canada.  I suppose it is okay in China, but I haven't seen it in such a long time that it just struck me as worthy of mentioning in my blog.

1 comment:

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