Tuesday, August 19, 2014


illiterate [ih-lit-er-it]

1. unable to read and write
2. having or demonstrating very little or no education
3. showing lack of culture, especially in language and literature
4. displaying a marked lack of knowledge in a particular field

5. an illiterate person

I do not mean to sound judgmental - I am stating a conjecture of fact. I believe my cabbie from the airport today was actually illiterate; in the first sense - at least as it applies to English.

I had to spell the name of my destination one letter at a time - slowly, and checking each as he punched them into the GPS. I dismissed this at the time as I was sure my accent was confusing him. But when he missed the SECOND turn and AGAIN blamed it on a failure of the GPS to alert him, I started to wonder.

All the doubts I had about it were extinguished though when we got to here. Well - across the street...

We were sitting at a stop sign looking at the hotel. The only hotel at the intersection (also containing a college and a hospital) and he turned to me and said. "Which hotel is that again?"

"I believe it is that one." I said, pointing to the sign directly in front of us that read Embassy Suites.

My suspicion was confirmed when he handed me his iPhone to sign for the credit card charge - it was displaying its text in Arabic. I tipped him well - it was a nice ride and he was a polite driver - and collected my bags to check-into my hotel. If that is the WORST thing that happens this trip, I will consider myself very lucky!

Wherever you are today, I hope your travels give you nothing but pleasures.

Don Bergquist - August 19, 2014 - Piscataway, New Jersey, USA

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