Monday, July 6, 2009

Shopping Mall Dentistry

I was surprised the Orthodontist’s was in a downtown Mall next to a Sporting Goods chain. It was very busy and I would characterize it as assembly line dentistry. They were all very nice and professional but no personality. Because I blew out both the water picks I brought during my first week in Rwanda (wrong voltage) I asked to have my teeth cleaned as well. I only bring this up because it was so inexpensive. It was less than ½ the price I pay in the states.

I also stopped at a Shop Rite Supermarket in the same mall (Jim, I do not think it is affiliated with Wakefern) to see if they had Diet Pepsi, water and toothpaste. Yes, they had Pepsi Light and everything was much less expensive than in Rwanda; so it is not just the services that are cheaper.

In walking to the Mall, I was struck by all the differences between Cape Town and Kigali. Of course CT is much bigger and the population is more white than black but everything is Westernized...I kind of miss Kigali expect I can use my credit cards here! I also walked past an American Express Office and was able to cash my remaining Travelers Checks with only a 5% fee (much less than Kigali at 12%). Because I need cash for everything (rent, power, gas, water, food, cell phone minutes, etc), I will visit an ATM everyday to take out the maximum in SA Rands and exchange into dollars at the airport on Thursday.

One of the biggest things Rwanda can do for tourism is modernized their banking system so out of country ATMs can be used and merchants to accept credit cards.

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