Wednesday, 20 June 2018

I am right now experiencing a brand new side of Peru:

Photo credit (Gelmini)
Welcome ladies and gentlemen of the world wide web, today it is Wednesday and that means it is time for a new post here on the Beyond the Horizon blog. Today I feel like “talking” about a topic that many of us are scared of, just the mentioning it might keep us up at night. This is a dilemma that includes my self, in a very big way. The older we get the more important it gets to keep these kinda of things up to date, especially if you drink coffee and smoke cigarettes. What I am “talking” about here is dentists and the health of your teeth. To maintain a good oral hygiene gets even more important when you live in a tropical area of the world is my experience. The climate has the tendency to increase the danger of complications. Despite this and more recent experience, I suffer from an extreme phobia for dentists and what comes with it.

Let's get to the history that I want to tell you guys. On Wednesday last week (one week ago today), I and my son were eating popcorn while we were watching a movie. During the son and father moment, I managed to eat a corn that was not properly popped and in the process, I managed to damage a tooth, at that point in time I thought that it was only a chipping off it. You know, chewing a small piece off. So we continued our evening, by the time I was going to bed I had some pain so I decided to take a couple of painkillers. To be honest, I did not think it was that bad. So as dumb as I am kinda decided to wait to fix the damage until I return to Norway in a few months. Not knowing what would happen very the next day and how bad it would end up being.

When I woke up the next I had some pain and a minor swelling, I told my girlfriend this and that it was not a big deal. So she went to work and I sat down to play some on Grand Theft Auto online with a friend of mine. During my gaming session it got more and more difficult to talk and for some reason, I decided to walk down to where my girlfriend work, something I am glad that I did. Because when I got there things got hectic. What at one point had been an irritation that I had decided to “ride off” had developed to a swelling the size of a tennis ball. This had actually happened more or less without me noticing it, besides getting a bit numb feeling in my lips. I got rushed to the dentist office and before I knew the word of it I was sitting in a dentist chair. It took him one look to decide what to do next.

I was pretty much going through one of my worst nightmares. Here I am in a “strange” country with limited Spanish skills and are forced to undergo a check-up by an irritated dentist who rather wanted to be home with his family eating his dinner. In other words, the office was closed for the day, but it took just one quick look for him to open the door. He noticed my predicament. My situation was pretty bad and I felt like a complete idiot, luckily for me I had my girlfriend with me as moral support. So after a few minutes in the chair, the dentist decided that the only way forward was a few rounds of antibiotics to deal with the massive infection that I had and scheduling a new appointment for the following Saturday. A decision that I was happy with, I was not ready to fix a tooth without anything for the pain.

Here comes my dilemma with my appointment. It is World cup and Peru would be playing their opening match against Denmark at the time I would be sitting in that chair. First of all, this was a match I had been looking forward to for several weeks and on top of this I am in South America and the Peruvian national team is playing. Do believe that everyone knows the type of relationship people here has to a sport like a football. Best way to describe it is madness and my thought was, what if Peru scores a goal while he is poking around in my mouth? I could not cancel my appointment, so all I could do was to show up, scared shitless. Anyway back home I took my first dose of antibiotics and painkillers before going to bed. The next morning would reveal that my tennis ball to my disbelief had grown even bigger. At this point, I did not have any feelings in the entire right side of my face.

The antibiotics that I had gotten had no effect what so ever, so I had to go back to the dentist. The result of this was that to my horror he prescribed a different type of treatment. It got changed from pills to needles and syringes. These syringes were meant to be set at the worst possible area on my body, my bottom and I have heard all kind of stories about how painful that is. So back at the pharmacy, all I could think about was running out of there, because one of their employees was going to stab my bottom with this first syringe. Lets put it like this, it did not take long, but damn it was painful. It was so painful that I had huge difficulties standing upright. It got even worse when I was walking out of the pharmacy. My original plan was to walk home, that got scrapped and I ended up taking a taxi.

So now I spent my entire day dreading my next shot because back home I had problems even just sitting in my coach. To be honest, my theory that day was that either the lady that gave me the shot was crappy at her job or she managed to hit a nerve or something. So for the next four shots or so she did not get close to my bottom. We asked one of my girlfriend's nurse aunts to do it instead. These ones went off more or less without any pain at all. The good thing about all these syringes was that by Saturday my tennis ball had more or less disappeared. All that was left was a minor swelling. So during my appointment on Saturday, the dentist took a few x-rays, cleaned my teeth and set a date for the big fixing, or more like pulling. Sadly he did not see any way to save my tooth.

So a new appointment was set for yesterday (Tuesday), something that got canceled by the dentist himself and re-scheduled for Monday next week. At least I can kinda enjoy my self during the weekend and that without any pain or shots in my bottom. Only thing I now am worried about is what kind of dentist he is. Is he that soft and caring type or is he that rough type that just messes up my mouth. Just to have it said, I have been with a dentist that did just that and it took months to heal properly. Let us say I never used him again. To be honest, all I want now is to get the removal of the tooth over and done with, that way I can continue with my daily life and routines without having this hanging over me. As mentioned, I have an extreme phobia when it comes to dentists.

In all of what has happened the past week, I have learned a few important lessons. The most important one is that if you damage one of your teeth you do not put off fixing it. The next thing you do is to call a dentist and fix an appointment. That's something I actually should have done, or at least the very next morning and not waiting hours before doing it. Just to have it said, I do not have bad oral hygiene. I am just cursed with bad teeth quality. A simple thing as eating a normal bar of chocolate can for me end up with a broken tooth. This time it was a movie and popcorn, actually, I have been through this many times before. Usually, I get it fixed right away, but this time I was more worried about upcoming fathers day celebration at my son's school and of course the World cup match between Peru and Denmark.

Well, that is it for today's story from my daily life as an expat in Peru and I hope you enjoyed to read about my tooth predicament. If you did, why not check out my other posts and my latest video uploaded to my Youtube channel (A family fun day in Barranco #2). Hope to see you there as well. Sorry for the length of today's post.

Monday, 4 June 2018

I am now in the process of renewing my Peruvian visa:

Hello, ladies and gentlemen of the internet. Once again it does seem like it has been a while since my last proper post (A perfect father and son Friday out in the sun). Yes, I have published posts after this, but there have had their main focus on photos and not text. The main reason for my lack of activity here on my blog these past few weeks has been because I have been struggling with some health issues. Not that there has been anything serious, but more than enough to have me put my blog on a temporary back burner. Everything got kicked off by the nasty flu, continued with another round of flu and ended with a throat infection. So you can say that I have had some rough few weeks. Anyway, at least I am now more or less back on my feet, ready to continue my adventures here on my blog.

So maybe I should get started on the topic of the day and as the headline says, I am now in the process of renewing my Peruvian visa or this time I am actually applying for something called a foreign card, that in practice is a kind of semi-citizenship solution for us that have lived here for a while and that wish to continue living here. At the same time, I can now finally start to look for work. It is not a secret that I am really starting to get tired of not doing anything productive. Now I can start to look for work without the worry of having an end date on the visa. This end date has had a very negative effect on my employment situation here in Peru to such a degree that I have had big problems finding work, until now. If I get my application approved, this problem will be part of the past for me.

When I got started on this process I was told it would be quick and easy. All I needed to do was pay a couple of fees, show up at Interpol for an interview, some paperwork, getting my photo and fingerprints taken, then fill out a form, go on an interview at the Immigration office and file an application, then just sit back and wait. Well, truth be told, so far it has been far from that simple. The first thing that comes to mind at this point in time is misleading and directly faulty information. Not to forget all the back and forth that has been going on. All of this has ended up with higher costs and a much more time-consuming process. I guess that this is kinda part of the charm of living abroad and I guess something every expat around the world go through every time they need to renew their visa.
My current visa ended on the 2nd of May, yes I know that it ended a month ago and this is one of the reasons for the increase in expenses this time around. Most of the actual work on my new “visa” has been done last week. This includes the visit at the Interpol office here in Lima, running around to the many different Immigration offices around the city. Well as I am writing this post all the needed paperwork is finally done and the final appointment is on Wednesday in the upcoming week. When the appointment on Wednesday is over I can finally sit back and relax, start to enjoy my everyday life again. This is something I am looking forward to, even that the outcome is out of my control. No matter what the answer will be, I want to continue to live here in Peru. It actually feels like home to me.

Everyone that I have been speaking with about my application tells me that I have nothing to worry about and that the end result will be that I will get it approved, that the process will go as a dream. So why do I want to continue to stay here in Peru after all that has happened the past six or seven months? Well, to be honest, my situation here in Peru has changed drastically the past few weeks. Even when it comes to my relationship with my “ex-fiance”. This is a topic that I want to address more in details in a future blog post, but the truth is that the relationship between us has improved greatly. It has improved to such a degree that we are actually talking about getting back together and give us another chance. We are at this point in time talking about our common future.

A big part of this future talk is my visa renewing because my original plan was that I would leave Peru either at the beginning or end of May and return to Norway for a period of time. Instead, I am staying behind and sticking around. The good thing is that one never knows what the future has in store, as I mentioned in a previous post (What does the future have in store for me now?). This includes the current changes, we might succeed with our “attempt” or we can fail and end up as we did back in December. All we can do is work hard and focus on us as a family and the end result will await us in the future. I am at least willing to give it another chance, not only for my own selfish sake but also for my son. So that is why I have been running around like a headless chicken from office to office to make sure that the process goes as smoothly as possible.
When I will get the answer on my application is another thing, because this is something I do not know. I might get an answer already next week or it can come next month. The time frame depends on how big the visa pile is at the point when I deliver mine on Wednesday. I will be keeping my fingers crossed for this one because I really want to stick around for as long as I can. Anyway, I hope that you guys enjoyed my little rant and information about whats going on in my life right now. More posts are coming very soon. I have big plans for the month of June, not just for the blog, but also for my Youtube channel. So I hope you will be sticking around for my future updates and while you are here why not check out my channel (Beyond the horizon) as well?

P.s. Here is a link to my latest video uploaded to my Youtube channel (A family fun day in Barranco #2). Sorry for the lack of voice in my videos, but that is something I am working on.