Just remembered 2 more awkward moments to add to my awkward list. Don’t worry, the list will keep extending. Both of these happened in Bahla during my Eid break.
1. People kept asking me if I spoke Arabic and I would respond “Shoowa shoowa”. Now there is a big difference between “shoowa” and “shweya”, the later meaning “a little”. “Shoowa”, however, is the meat that one eats on the third day of Eid. So you can imagine everyone’s confusion to my response of “meat meat”. Note, this happened multiple times.
Just to emphasize the importance of pronouncing things correctly. Think the two words below mean the same thing? Wrong. One means pigeon and the other means bathroom. Imagine the confusion as you run around looking for “pigeons”.
2. Not too bad, but when a bunch of us were sitting in the living room, one of the uncles was teaching me how to say a word I didn’t know. I repeated the word and after a few shocked expressions, everyone started to laugh. Apparently (though the words sounded the same to me), I said a not-so-nice word in Arabic. I laughed it off and it wasn’t a big deal since I didn’t mean to do that and everyone found it funny, but whoops!