Cultural Differences

I left the campground in Agde at 9 am, and with good roads and a tailwind, was set up at a campground  outside Narbonne by 1:30 pm. I cycled into town, and found a street festival in progress.

I visited the local historical monuments, and wandered about waiting for the music to start at 5:30 pm. None of the music I could find appealed to me so, after wandering all over town, I threw caution to the wind and bought an actual hamburger, fries, and a drink from a street vendor and sat down to eat. As I was finishing up, the vendor from the adjacent booth started yelling at me, and I puzzled out the tables were his. I stood up, trying to finish off my burger, when a waitress grabbed my drink away from the table. I grabbed it back from her, and the next thing I knew I was regaining consciousness amidst a pool of soda and fries. Dazed, I realized the guy had hit me. Spitting out part of a tooth, I sat there dazed doing damage assessment; his blow broke or cracked at least three teeth. Someone at the vendor of purchase asked me to stay down and that she had called someone.

Two medics arrived and asked me to stand, and took me back to the medic stand for the festival. On the way there I realized everything was blurry because my glasses were missing; they said they would deal with that later.

I passed the, “who are you”, “how old are you”, “where are you” tests (the last took me a moment). They decided I didn’t have a concussion, and someone returned with my glasses. Declaring me fit, they said I could go. The odds of any legalities working out in my favor seemed slim, so I left.

I made it back to the campground by dark, and puzzled my choices. I carry temporary dental cement (I had a crown installed just before I left) and tried to fix the crack when I painfully realized that piece was loose. It is of course Friday, so everything likely closed for the next two days. My jaw hurts and will probably hurt like hell tomorrow. It’s swollen; I can’t quite close my mouth.

I reached out to Marnie, and we spent a while searching for a dentist open on a Sat. I went to bed with the plan of going to Tourist Info in the morning, and if that didn’t work grabbing a train to Toulouse, a much bigger city, and trying there.

I’m crushed. Dental in France isn’t really part of their national healthcare, three crowns will be expensive, and take days to weeks, and who knows how that will interface with my insurance. My best plan at the moment appears to be giving up – taking a train to Rosslaire, the ferry to Ireland, and changing to an earlier flight home. I worried about potential medical issues arising while I was gone, but I never expected they would be me.

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