I went to the dentist today to have some work done before the tour starts. We have been told by the organisers in no uncertain terms that we must have a clean bill of dental health before the ride starts. So a couple of moths ago I went to the dentist and had some work done. I thought I was good to go. But, as things happen, a few weeks ago I broke a tooth. So it was back to Bo, my 70 year Swedish Dentist at the Three Crowns Swedish Dental Clinic, to have it put back together. Bo is a big gruff bloke, the kind of dentist who scares kids. He would make a perfect character in a Roald Dahl story. But we get along well in our hermetic world of mutual gruffness. He pushes, drills and pulls. I pretend I don’t feel any pain. Today was the last visit. As I was leaving I invited him to the reception this evening at the Sea Cliff and mentioned that I was cycling from Cairo to Cape Town in support of the Sickle Cell Foundation of Tanzania. Usually when I tell people about the trip I am confronted with a blank stare and a moment of silence. People need to time to figure out whether I am telling a bald-faced lie, whether I am as mad as a hatter or whether I am doing something they’ve always wanted to do. After his moment of silence Bo asked me how many metres that was. I said about 12,000 kilometres. Twelve million metres he exclaimed. I can’t sponsor you for that much (I had not mentioned sponsorship) and he pulled a hundred dollar bill out of his pocket and gave it to me. He is clearly one of the ones who would like to do it himself. Mad Bo.
Don’t forget to donate to the Sickle Cell Foundation of Tanzania.