20 November, 2013

Feeling capable is undervalued

Today I went to the dentist. A pretty ordinary thing to do. It was simply a check-up and a clean.

However, life overseas is rarely as simple as life in your home country. Early last year I had some dental drama that led me to change dentists. The drama related to my inability to speak Japanese well enough for our family dentist and their unwillingness to speak simple Japanese to me. It ended up with them insisting that I bring my Japanese husband next time. Yes, they assumed that I had one! So, I decided to change dentists. I explained it in more detail here.

One of the things I hate about living in Japan with less-than-satisfactory-Japanese ability is my dependence on my very capable husband and a general feeling of inadequateness. I expanded on that a little bit here when were in Australia last home assignment and I was noting how much more competent I felt in Australia.

So the significant thing about today's ordinary dentist's visit is that I did it all by myself. I made the appointment, I went on my own and made it through independent of any help. I probably would have made it through without the dentist speaking any English because he was kind enough to use simple Japanese, but he then repeated himself in simple English. Just a small kindness, but so much appreciated.

But I am looking forward to going back to Australia for a year and not feeling so fragile when it comes to managing my own affairs.

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