Roots of Miscommunication
It was late in the afternoon, I was hot, tired and needed a bathroom. We stopped at small cafe, where an Omani teenager was sitting on the steps drinking juice.
- Me: “Where is
- Boy: “The mosque is that way, madam.”
Every trip abroad I learned the importance of communication and words. I’ve learned to choose my words carefully while working at the hospital, slowly gaining and understanding of which words will be understood and which words will likely be misinterpreted. I’ve learned how often someone agrees without fully understanding, and how important it is to check whether they understand, even if they give you the Indian head-bobble commonly understood as “yes”. And I have learned that sometimes, in foreign countries, when you ask for the bathroom, they may think you are asking for a priest. Masha’allah!