Sim Cards and Cell Phones in the Middle East

You haven’t lived until you’ve come to grips with the idea that your iPhone may not work in a foreign country and you might, gasp, have to use a cheap Nokia as your main way of communication outside of wifi! But really people, my hats off to people who moved abroad back in the technological stone ages of the 70’s and 80’s and had no access to cell phones or wifi. I mean, if Zach Morris needed that giant cell phone just to get through sixth period at Bayside, then I need a functional cell phone in Kuwait. Now, my nightmare only lasted about an hour, so let me give it to you in real time. Being a teacher and lover of all children’s literature, I have decided to do it in narrative format. I give you a modern, technological fairytale from the foreign land of Kuwait.


 Once upon a time, Erin was assured her iPhone was unlocked by Verizon before leaving. Awaking at 3am one night, Erin decides now is the time to insert the new SIM card from the burner phone given to her by the school. 


Erin watches a video tutorial on her computer on how to pop out the current SIM card. Erin obtains first a staple and then a brush with small enough prongs to push into the sim card slot. The slot does not open as the video suggests. It does not even open on the 50th time doing it. Erin calls her father on WhatsApp wifi and was told to go back to bed.


Erin does not go back to bed. Erin gets dramatic and questions the existence of a God who loves her because surely her cell phone function in a foreign land is high on his priorities.

The Nokia phone post-operation


Erin keeps pushing. She does nothing different and yet, on push 60, the slot pops open. SIM card is tinier than Erin expected and now it is lost on the floor and Erin must find it. Erin locates the Verizon SIM card. 


Erin opens the Nokia and sees the Kuwaiti SIM card. It is larger than the SIM card slot. Erin panics. Then, she sees perforations around the copper electronic part. Erin uses all those years in Montessori School to punch out the tiny piece from the larger plastic outside. Erin is victorious and SIM card is inserted into the iPhone slot.


Erin turns the phone on and gets the apple screen. The screen does not disappear. Patiently, Erin waits five minutes. This is a lot of time for Erin. She even leaves the room knowing that if she is in the presence of that screen, she may lash out irationally. iPhone remains insolent and the screen continues.


Erin googles and finds out how to reboot a frozen iPhone. For all those like Erin, you hold down the power button and the bottom volume key. Maybe everybody already knew that but, who knows.

Ariel eraser posing with the Nokia SIM card outer layer post-perforation


iPhone gets out of its lock screen. iPhone begins acting normally and it says it has a new provider. It is named Ooredoo. Erin thats that name is fun. Erin practices calling and receivng a call from her mom. Erin learns her new phone number. It is a lot more digits than Erin is used to. Erin’s mom said she should be in bed.


Erin rejoices with her iPhone in hand. She does not have data yet outside of wifi zones, but she will one day, now that she has her new SIM card in her valiant iPhone.


Erin still had not gone to bed at 5am. The endorphins of an electronic victory coursing through her veins, she decided to write this post rather than sleep.


Lessons Learned:

  • Erin (accompanied heavily by Google and Youtube) can do anything she sets her mind to.
  • God did indeed love Erin.
  • Bad things make for good blog posts.
  • Erin misses everyone and ultimately she knows that this is what led her to her mini-meltdown at a possible lack of communication options. Erin can be very happy here as long as she knows she can take you with her.


The End



<3 Erin

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