Language Barrier

This morning, together with two other companions who are also Filipinos, we had our finger printing in the Ministry of Interior in Qatar. As one of the requirements in getting our Qatar ID. Every expatriate who is issued a Residence Permit is also given a Qatar ID Card as part of the application process. These are credit-card sized plastic cards containing a photo of the holder plus basic personal information. It is mandatory for residents and citizens to have one. It is a requirement to complete many bureaucratic procedures such as applying for driving licences, opening bank ACCOUNTS and also to gain admission to licensed premises. So, let’s proceed.

Upon reaching the ministry office, we were given a number for a queue…if I’m not mistaken i got the number 108, and my other companions followed..109 and 110. By the way, the good thing in processing government mandatory papers here is that, men’s processing section is separated from the women. Women are highly respected here.

So, my number was called! I immediately stood up, proceeded to the ” lady in black”, they were the ones in-charge of the whole processed. I was just lucky that the woman who assisted me was so kind…i guess, a young lady of age. Unfortunately, when my companion (who got the number 109) was called, she proceeded also and was instructed to put her number in the trash (the lady called it ” basket”). “Put your number in the basket”, that was the exact words I heard from the lady. My companion answered ” 109″. She thought the lady was asking ” what’s your number”. So she answered again…it’s 109. And suddenly, the lady shouted “Put your number in the basket!”. The loud voice got our attention. All our eyes were in theirs. So my companion humbly said ” I’m sorry, i didn’t hear it clearly”. Then she asked, do you speak English? My companion answered “yes”. And the lady assisting me turned to me and asked also, ” you! you speak English?”. I answered back with “yes”. Hoh! I just can’t explain what i felt that time. I was so nervous honestly! It’s really different to be with the people of different cultures, languages and behaviors.

Moi pouvoir faire! Bonne nuit!

One thought on “Language Barrier

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  1. Culturally, Arabs speaks like they’re very angry and would even bang their doors, like they’re very angry. However, you’ll get used to this and that their actions don’t really mean anything.


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