Thursday, May 22, 2008

You Gotta Shop Around

The macadamias, almonds, pistachios, cashews, peanuts and walnuts found at the local Timimi or Carrefour grocery story are incredible, not to add that each variety is available raw, smoked, cheese-flavor, salted, or laced with garlic. It's hard to walk past the selection without buying a kilo. But I chomped down too hard on one of them the other week, dislodging a filling, and had an appointment made for me at the ABC Dental Facility (name changed to protect the guilty).

I was quoted the reasonable price of between one and two hundred dollars for a filling, and thought it might be a good opportunity to have some other dental work done. Years ago in Morocco, I wore braces. The dentist pulled out two of my pre-molars to give space for my teeth to grow back. He then took off the braces, saying my teeth were fine and leaving me with the gaps where the pre-molars had been (I know you're saying, That's way more information than I need to know!). Anyhow, I thought I've check into the prices for a bridge.

The filling ended up being closer to $300, and the quote for all the other work was close to $4,000. I thought I'd better check around before making a committment, and emailed a friend who's been in country for a few years. His reply was, "So they got you too!" He'd had a similar experience at the ABC. He said many expats go there because the ABC girls enjoy, shall we say, a certain reputation. After his visit, my friend's wife told him he should get checked for AIDS.

So I shopped around and learned about Dr. Rose. She's a Lebanese dentist who's been in country for several years. I had my first appointment this morning. Her examination was so thorough that I came away thinking each of my teeth had a character and personality of its own. And the price will be a lot less than four thousand dollars.

Most of you are probably way too young to remember Smokey Robinson, but the message of "You Gotta Shop Around" still holds true.

You gotta get yourself a bargain son
Don't be sold on the very first one
Pretty girls come a dime a dozen
Try to find one who's gonna give you true loving.
My mama told me, You gotta shop around.

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