July, 2012 – Graham Miln

Less Human

Before moving to France I learnt I needed a course of dental treatment. My dentist in Melbourne patched me up and told me to get to a dentist once we had settled in France.

I had hoped I would be integrated into the French health care system before now. That would have helped with the costs and made the paperwork easier. Easy paperwork is not something I have encountered during our move; everything has a paper trail attached and medical services are no different.

I was lucky. Through asking around on forums I was given a recommendation of an English speaking dentist in Lyon. Dr. Alexandre Baroud’s web site makes no mention of being a polyglot – maybe speaking three languages is not so note worthy here – but he speaks excellent English and is surprisingly used to English speaking patients.

It helped that I could e-mail to arrange an appointment and could avoid making a phone call in French. When you are learning a new language, phone calls are difficult; there are limited social cues and no body language or miming to fallback on.

Surprisingly spacious surgery layout; the dental chair in Cabinet Dentaire Lafayette, Lyon

So it was that I found myself sitting in the dentist’s chair becoming a little less me and a little more artificial.

Same old boots; this time in a dental chair.
Same old boots; this time in a dental chair.

As chance would have it, on my return to the apartment a letter from RSI regarding my carte vitale was waiting. No health care card just yet, just another small step in the paperwork along the way to getting one issued.