Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Getting Taken for a Ride

I get in the cab and the driver says "You can ride for free today if you can answer this question correctly. What is the capital of Nigeria?". I guess "um, Lagos?". "No, it's Abuja. But, since you gave it a good try, I will give you another chance". 

He's Mr. Geography; a Kuwaiti-born Torontonian with a passion for knowledge, a car, and a kind heart (he runs a non-profit organization focused on poverty relief, access to clean water and malaria prevention). 

Mr. Geography proceeds to give me four more chances... 
"What was the area that is now known as Hungary called during Roman times?"
"What does Hungary mean?"
"Name all of the US states that border Canada"
"Name all of the countries that border France"

Meanwhile, he's handing me a stack of newspaper articles and letters. He's been profiled in newspapers and magazines, appeared on Conan O'Brien with Snoop Dogg, and identified errors in both the Merriam Webster Dictionary and the Collins World Atlas. 

I didn't earn a free fare, but I had a lot of fun, learned a few things and was inspired to pay a little more attention to geography. I love people with an appetite for knowledge. One of the lines on his business card is "Ignorance is the biggest enemy". How true.

Check him out next time you're in Toronto and you need a ride, or an education. 


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