Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A lick of Burma and dental remorse

I threw open the door to our room without knocking, afterward thinking, "I hope I picked the right door." But Rachel was at the desk on her matching black Acer computer.

"What did you do today?" she asked.

"I just walked all over town and saw a bunch of art and Wats and went to the dentist. I'm freaked out!" It shot out of my mouth a hundred miles a minute. I'd sped-walk home my face frozen with worry, lip bitten, beating myself up for suddenly deciding to get my teeth cleaned when I passed by a dentist. After years of dental treatments (starting at age 6). feeble-enameled teeth (post-high fever at 9 months), I'm not someone you'd call "dental adventurer." So even with my excellent self-counseling skills, I couldn't convince myself that I'd probably NOT done something stupid in having my teeth cleaned here. I was certain that'd I'd had permanent damage because one tooth was a little sore afterward. After I'd poked my fingers in every tooth in my mouth to look for new holes or pain that is.

I considered taking an Ativan. Instead Rachel convinced me that an alcoholic beverage would do the trick. One glass of red wine and some popcorn later, I was cured of my agony.

And I have clean teeth.

Who is Rachel?

I met her in Mae Sai, the Thai border town with Burma. A few days ago, I decided that I may as well dip across the Burma border, since I was so close. I'd gone into the internet shop and there was Rachel, with the same plan (and she'd spent six years living in Portland, so we had an instant connection). We made plans to meet at 8:30AM for our border walk.

It was akin to a Tijuana trip really. I can mark off that I went to Burma, but what did I really learn in a few hours in a country? I guess we saw that it was poorer than Thailand. And we had the most fantastic breakfast by the sweetest ladies, which was worth the walk and border formalities itself.

After Burma, we bussed to Chiang Mai, where we're staying at Kavil Guesthouse for 180Baht ($5) a night for both of us. Free wifi and NEW flusher-flush western toilets (with the paper labels still on them!) If you don't know what a flusher-flush is versus a self flush, I'll explain: the self-flush has no flusher handle on it. After you use facilities, (and don't dare toss your toilet paper in there), you must pour several buckets of water into the toilet to "flush" it. It does the job, but as much as I'm into simplicity, I prefer the flusher.


auntie dj said...

I now understand the meaning of "Do Not Dispose of Paper" sign in front of a toilet - had that in Egypt - still not sure why. Also had the half flush or full flush - Sara, that does look like an experience and I don't think your face will fall off after the dental job.
Happy Travels. Uncle Ross and Auntie DJ

Lulu said...

I would have really freaked out too with the dentist. I definitely would have needed at least two bottles of port to calm myself down. But, clean teeth is important. : So glad that your sharing your adventures.

sara said...

Ha, ha, Lulu! You are the only person I know who would say they needed port to calm down. What a lovely thought. :)