Pearly Whites

Where was I yesterday , well I was here but the internet went walk about. I got an SMS from 3 the internet provider saying they were improving the service and within minutes off it went. They have a strange notion of the word ” improvement” down here in Puglia it seems.

Still it seems to be back today, so here we go.

I went to the dentist yesterday for the usual wash and brush up which involves lots of drill type cleaning and polishing.

Unlike the clip, all the staff at the dentist in Martina Franca are female. The cleaning costs €60 ( £48) at the new very pleasant rate of 1.25 to a UK£.

In almost 30 years living abroad I have been to many dentists of varying quality and proficiency.

In India the dentist had a peddle drill that he worked with his foot. The nurse instead of pouring water on the drill point threw it over the dentist to keep him cool. In Canada the dentist got BA tickets in return for his work so to get his family to the UK he would invent tons of stuff that had to done to my teeth until I cottoned on and cancelled the deal. Amazingly in the USA I found the majority of dentists used pretty old fashioned equipment which really surprised me.  In Cyprus I think the Greek Cypriot dentist was an old EOKA man who took great delight on continuing to inflict pain on any British National he could find.

The girls at this practice in M.F. are very pleasant and use up to date stuff as well. The hygenist chats away as she works and I understand about 30% of what she is saying but luckily with my mouth wide open I cannot manage a reply anyway.

The office is close to the Public Showers

Public Showers

So if I need I can hop over there and shower after a trying time in the chair. It is also around the corner from the Post Office

M F Post Office

Don’t be mislead the inside is much bigger than it looks and through that door lies a nightmare of queues and bureaucratic ineptitude. If Wheel of Fortune Renzi ever wanted to know what is wrong with Italy he really should spend more time in a Post Office. A day in there would give him the finest insight ever into the reforms that have to be made. They, of course, mean reforming the archaic Unions and work practises and his party depends on them for money and support. Queueing at a Post Office is worthy of about three posts so we’ll move on today.

Opposite the Post Office is one of nicest Churches in M.F. and alongside is a Park. Yesterday a Cardinal came to town and preached at the Church. The place was packed as I passed on my way to the dentist so no room for me to pop in and say a few prayers before going under the drill. When I came out he was on his way.

Cardinal Drives Away

He is behind the darkened glass windows at the back of the car. Not sure his new boss would be so pleased to see this. He has given up the bullet-proof buggy and happily wanders about in Rome shaking hands and kissing the babies. This fellow came out of the Church and jumped into a car with two priests in the front seat and drove off like some kind of President.

He kindly left food parcels for the congregation who queued to get them

Food Parcels at Church

It was a mob scene and some of them to be frank could have done without another snack as you can see in the photo. The M.F. marching band who were serenading the Cardinal on his way quickly downed instruments when they thought they might miss out and fought their way to the front of the queue.

M F Marching Band

Next door in the peaceful park the crowd of old boys hadn’t realised there was free food so close and continued to enjoy their morning passaggiata


The guy in the white suit looked really distinguished . the main passaggiata is in the evening and these days is done by motor car rather than on foot. Youngsters race around town before heading home for dinner on the table by 9 p.m. cooked by Mamma of course. Older couples pile into what ever relic they call a car and splutter around the same drive the kids take.

The park is a lovely haven from the bustle of M.F. and well worth a visit and a sit on a sunny day

Fountain M F

Not many tourists find it which is a shame they tend to head straight for the Centro Storico and the tourist haunts, where a coffee can be €4 a cup.

Not many tourists get to M.F. though and there is normally only one coach a day that arrives

Tourist Bus

This one was full of German tourists and were taken straight to the Centro Storico and one of the tourist restaurants for a quick set lunch..

I wandered back to my car via the M.F. main bus station where all the buses that go out to other towns leave from. Go on like me you are thinking of a proper bus terminal  with lots of information on bus times and signs to the various bus stops. Maybe a board with departures and a small cafe perhaps for the waiting passengers.

Bus Station M F

Well you would be a tad disappointed ! The good news is there is a large hospital just opposite so you can get fast medical help if you get sunstroke waiting for a bus that actually left 10 minutes before but you would have no idea it had.

Actually catching a bus to most towns if they are not in the region where you start is almost impossible anyway and hey there is no one to ask anyway.

Maybe something for one of the six tourist boards in Martina Franca to get their teeth into. Once of course they have had them cleaned like mine.

Yesterday afternoon I went to the beach to blind the locals down there with my shinny gnashers. I ventured in and swam for the first time. Refreshing I think I would describe it as. Perhaps more like very refreshing in fact, but at least I’ve been in now.

Enjoy your Sunday.




About hereinpuglia

Retired to Puglia after some 40 years in the travel industry working for P&O Lines, British Airways, Alamo rent-a-car,Abercrombie&Kent, owner of Quest Tours and Travel and finally with Thomas Cook North America. Married to Geraldine we now have a small house with too much land near the town of Martina Franca in Puglia. Two kids one married and living in Hong Kong and the other single and living in London. No dogs, no cats no animals.
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2 Responses to Pearly Whites

  1. Larry says:

    Does that dentist and/or assistant in M.F. Speak any English?

    • hereinpuglia says:

      Do you know I’ve never asked ! I tend to assume in M.F. people don’t but Italians are often so beautifully polite they will listen to my excruciating italian never wanting to say, listen I think my English is better than the language you are speaking to me in which I barely recognize as my own. I’m sure the Doctor does. As you know in Italy most “dentists” are not fully qualified. To be a dentist here you first have to do a Doctor Degree, then study dentistry. If you need something serious like root canal, extraction etc they book the Doctor to see you.The basic clean and polish or filling the ladies do and the Italian you need is basic anyway.

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