Hold on

In all of my stress and exhaustion last night, I fell asleep with the tent unzipped. When I woke I killed all of the mosquitoes in the tent; by the time I was done the tent looked like an abattoir. Marnie found a dentist office open on Saturday. I left the campground to arrive at the dentists’ office by 9 am, but when I arrived the building, still labeled, looked empty and closed. In a complex of medical buildings, I found another building labeled for dentists, and headed in. I found a receptionist, but they would not see anyone without an appointment. Nothing more I could do, I headed into town for Tourist Information.

After some wrangling, Tourist Information finally suggested the best choice would be going to the hospital. I waited in line in the ER at the hospital emergency room, but they finally informed me they had no dentists, and no idea where one might be found. Having exhausted my options in town, I headed to the train station.

I hoped to grab a train to Toulouse, a much larger city with, hopefully, more dentists. I needed to arrive before 1-2 pm, when I figured everyone would close for the day. The ticket machines at the station were the first electronics (ATM, tickets, etc.) I have come across this trip that did not have a language-selection option. I muddled through, but could not identify which trains might permit bikes. Two information booths later, I knew which trains would accept bikes, and the next  wasn’t until 12:30 pm, arriving at 2 pm. Having hours to burn by that point, I headed back to Tourist Information.

I told the same woman as before that the hospital had no dentists. She said they should have been able to direct me, and I told here they had no idea. Then I chose to just stand there, not going away, awaiting more assistance. That was not the response she expected, but slowly started to search and query her colleagues. Eventually she turned up a dentist, with an appointment at 4:30 pm.

Now with a lot of time to kill, I moped. I wanted to print the insurance forms, but by the time I thought of using the public library they were closed. Back to Information, same person. She pointed me to a cyber cafe, closed until 3 pm. More moping.

At 3 pm I managed to print out the insurance forms, and also convinced the attendant to help get the cellular service I had bought the previous day working on my phone. Then back to Tourist Information to wait and use free wi-fi. And mope.

I showed up at the dentist’s office at 4:15 pm, and the receptionist helped me fill out the paperwork. I waited in the waiting room until about 4:45 pm, and then learned the receptionist is also the dentist. Four broken teeth. Two should hold until I get home, one she put a temporary filling in, and the other she put a filling in, but has some concerns about needing a root canal (which she can do next week if necessary), and whether her patch will hold, but she’s hopeful.

In other words, I should be able to move forward. I’m following a train line when cycling, so getting back to the dentist should be easy if required (I remember a similar theory about my luggage in Romania….). Not being 100% sure about the anesthetic wearing off, I’m staying in Narbonne at a hostel nearby. The hostel serves as a space reserved for international groups, that offers space to other travelers when open.  They close in the morning at 9 am because no groups have made reservations, so tomorrow will be an early start.

Having eaten precisely two sugar waffles today (in tiny bites) and waiting to let the fillings harden, I’ve failed on my calorie count for the day. Energy tomorrow will be hard to come by, so I might well take a train to Carcassone. That would also mean I’ll arrive earlier, and have more time there.   

Preliminary testing of soft Chinese food shows there’s some hope I can eat, but I’m going to change up my diet.


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