by Jim Goudelock
The South has been in the news recently, what with hurricanes and the anniversary of the integration of Ole Miss. I live in Colorado now, but will always be a Southerner. I do business all over the world and very few people know the difference between various regions in the USA.
However, today I was talking to a man in Kuwait, a new customer for us and one who I hope will do a lot of business with us next year and beyond.
We were discussing ongoing business and he was saying that they were deciding on the size of his next order. He said, "We were fixing to set the numbers, but decided to wait until we talked to you." I was amazed to hear that colloquialism from a Kuwaiti, but didn't pay too much attention. When he used the term again, I knew I would have to call him on it.
At the end of our conversation, I said to him, "Did you go to college in the US?"
"No," he said.
"But you lived in the US, didn't you?"
By this time he was getting a little offended about my personal questions.
"I lived in the US for a few years. Why?"
I said, "And I think you lived in the South, didn't you?"
"Why, yes," he said, enthusiastically, "I lived in Alabama. How did you know that? From my accent?"
We both got a big laugh out of that one since he has a thick Arabic accent.
"Because you used the term 'fixin' to do something'," I said.
"Oh, yes. I lived in Cullman, Alabama, between Decatur and Birmingham. I am an electrical engineer and I had a computer repair company in Cullman. The people in the South were so nice. I later moved to Orlando, but they weren't as nice as the people in Alabama."
From there our conversation became that one that all Southerners have about Alabama and Mississippi, the weather, the people, the countryside.
It is a small world, and now, more than worrying about our business being destroyed by the upcoming war, I am worried that a fellow Southerner is in Saddam's bomb sights.
Jim Goudelock is a Mississippi native now living over yonder west of the Mississippi River.
Contact him at this address: JIMG
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