The facebook strikes again. Someone I sat next to at Santa Teresa HS in San Jose messaged me after all these XX years. I used to drive him home and tak about whatever it is that Californian high schoolers talk about. It swiftly brought back memories of the photography class we were in and my favorite teacher, Mr. Strauss, or Mighty Strauss as he called himself. I was pretty good in the class (somehow with a 110% grade) so he let me use his Hasselblat in the second year. I once had a photo that I thought had beautiful clouds and a landscape, and I didn’t understand why he kept laughing. He finally told me to look more closely and see that the cloud is actually my hair falling over the top of the frame (though the 2×2 film in the hasselblat is expoosed normally, the viewfinder is film sized and located at the top and you have to lean over and look inside to compose the shot). I still thought it looked good and asked him. He said he had to back up a bit to evaluate it … a little more … a little more … he actually went outside and ran to the other side of campus and yelled “Oh, Okay, it looks good from here!” Another time I asked him to correct a photo so he took out some magic markers and started coloring all elements of the pic a-la-coloring book. I was shocked and he said only that next time I might say what I mean and ask him to grade the photo rather than correct it. So long as I’m on a nostalgia trip, have a gander at that golden age above, my HS graduation.
Having heard horror stories about dentists here in Japan (without even taking into account language differences) for years, I was very reluctant to have a go at it. You hear that they stop training and upgrading equipment, don’t clean any of the instuments, drill/pull the wrong teeth, suddenly and without discussion perform procedures without anesthetic .. But, it’s been way too long and it suddenly became urgent. So, I trooped off to Ginza just down from Harry Winston and had a pleasant surprise. Hitomi Hayashi, D.D.S. is a pleasure to be around and very very gentle. Her main concern is no pain and she certainly lives up to that. I kinda got lost and called and she, herself, walked down to the Apple store to walk me back to her office which is very modern, comfortable, and calming. It was my best trip to any dentist anywhere.
Her English is good but I cannot resist one anecdote. I was all nitroused up and she was asking the usual questions when I heard “you know about the bacteria in the mouth, when you brush your teeth do you notice any breeding?” In my gassed state my mind locked up. Breeding? How could I notice something like that? I don’t have a flexible microscope. She repeated again a few times breeding … breeding? It finally struck me when she said “sorry my pronunciation for some words is not so good” … click … bleeding!
Please comment if you’d like to visit her and I’ll get back to you by private email (I think I get a toothbrush or something if I refer folks – hehe). Also I’d be interested to hear of your experience with either her or other dentists in Japan.