Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Is there a dentist in the house -- another spooky tale

My impression of the uniform the "dentist" was wearing.
MY wisdom tooth has been at it again -- the whole night. So the next morning, right in the middle of an urgent piece of work, I did a frantic Google for the nearest dentist. A Q&M branch seemed to be pretty near. I called. Long queue forming. Out. Googled furiously again...Strange enough, all the dental clinics seemed to be very packed that morning.

Last ditched attempt, I decided to try a dental clinic in a rather "posh" district (which I shall call HG) but near to my working place. A man's voice answered. "So you want to make an appointment? The dentist will only be in at 11am," the voice said.

"Fine, I will be there!" I banged down the phone, gathered my handbag and hared off.

The dental clinic, according to the address I scribbled down from the Internet, was on the first floor of a shophouse. The row of shophouses had restaurants and boutiques on the ground floor, while some of the upper floors had hairdressers, frame makers and other shops selling knick knacks like cosmetic jewelry etc. As I looked up from the street level, I could not see any signboard that say "dental clinic".

But what the heck... I dashed up the stairs which has a tiny directory sign near the landing that gave the address of the place. Yup, it tallied with what I have scribbled down.

On entering the "clinic", I saw a very retro reception table -- with a quilted red vinyl front -- rather like those you find in an old fashioned bar. Very undentist like, I thought. There wasn't anyone at the reception table. There wasn't a single patient as well.  But there was a bell. So I pressed and it gave a hollow tinkle.

Through a parted curtain, a thin, old man appeared, dressed like an old-fashioned dentist, or a chef, or a bell captain -- you know, a white tunic (more or less double breasted with white buttons) with something like a Mandarin collar. He looked irritated.

Just my luck, I thought, to have a grouchy dentist but my wisdom tooth must go.

"Yes?" he said curtly.

"Er, I made an appointment for 11am," I said unsteadily, thinking maybe I should just run down the stairs instead.

"What appointment?" he barked.

"Dental appointment?" I mumbled. I really should flee now.

"No, no dental appointment here!"

"But I called earlier and they told me that I could come at 11am. Is XXXXXXX your phone number?" I said indignantly, despite my overwhelming desire to turn tail and run.

"Yes, this is our number. But there is nobody here. This is not a dental clinic."

"But didn't you answer the phone just now?"

"Nobody called," the old "dentist" looked at me steely and steadily in the eye.

"OK, OK, sorry! Wrong address!" I turned and ran down the stairs as fast as I could.

Did I just enter a time warp? Spooky, spooky, all my friends said.


Rahil Bagat said...

Interesting story. Anyways, i work for a local production company and we are doing a channel 5 documentary on funky old places in Singapore and this supposed dentist fits the bill.

Any chance you could point me towards him? Contact me at

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