Waiting to Stutter

I’m writing this while I sit and wait at the local telecom office here in Saudi. It’s after work hours, and I need to sign up for internet service in our new town. This involves getting a 4G modem/router thingy that you put in your house, and the internet magically comes through and then goes all over the house via Wifi.

Or does it?

I’m assuming the product that I’m going to ask for has Wifi. But I really don’t know. There’s a brochure for it here in the office, of course, but it’s all in Arabic. And besides, when I read about it online, it didn’t say anything (in English) about being Wifi capable.

But it has to be, right? I mean, the last few boxes I had had it, so surely this one must.

And why am I wondering about this? Well, duh, it’s “wifi,” and it’s a “w,” and I know I’m going to stutter on it.

Yes, I’m getting better and just stuttering and just eventually saying what I want to say, but I still don’t want to go through the process. The person who I am going to talk to is a Saudi who speaks English as a second language. I know I’m not supposed to care about him smiling or laughing at me, but it’s hard to rewire those fears.

And the worst part about this? Well, I got here after work, so at 6 p.m. There are a lot of people in front of me, and they’ve closed for prayer time as well. So maybe I’ll get to talk to the guy at 8 p.m. So I’ve had two good hours of internally freaking out about saying a single word. This is the stuttering life.

Follow up: Alright, so I sat down with the guy (after 2.5 hours of waiting) and made the simple transaction. And since I thought about the word “Wifi” so much and stuttering on it, I had a go. And stuttered on it. Pretty bad. Bad enough that Saudi kind of put up his hands (like, three times, since I stopped and started three times) and said “What? what?”

But hey, I didn’t die, I found out what information I wanted to know, and most importantly, I grew a slightly thicker skin (and didn’t end up in jail for punching him in the face.)


  1. Geraint Isitt says:

    Not punching him is a victory in itself. I do not miss my time trying to get anything done in Saudi.

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