10:21 AM, .57 miles

Ahmad gets out and opens the door for me, but he’s a little frantic because he’s on the phone. He’s back in the car before I even get in. He’s not speaking in English but I can tell he is rushing someone off the line.

Now he’s talking to me. He says it was lucky he had just dropped someone off where he picked me up. He is smiling wide.

I agree with him.

Then he tells me he is from Aghanistan – we are still parked – and I will have to tell him where to go because he is only two days on the job.  But I must be lucky for him, he says, because that was his cousin on the phone that he has been trying to track down for a year. He scoured Facebook and somehow they found each other.

I told him he didn’t have to get off the phone.

But no, he insists. I start directing him – we are only going 10 blocks or so – and he begins to profusely apologize for his bad English. His English is pretty damn good. I tell him I can’t speak a lick of any other language and then I realize I don’t even know what his native tongue would be. He says his comprehension and literacy are good but not speaking. He uses the terms comprehension and literacy and I am still trying to figure out what his language would be – I end up googling it later.

Ahmad tells me he was a compliance officer in Aghanistan. He has been in the US for 2.5 years and has been studying English so he could get a better job.

I am at mine and he jumps out to open the door. He is still smiling.