Even taxi firms have CRM systems now, I am impressed to find when I have to call my number two local firm because my usual one can't oblige. They have caller ID, call me by name, remember my address and when I get into the car, the driver asks if I would like to listen to BBC Radio 4. Is that service or what?
On the way to the airport, the driver asks me what "deception" means. It's an unusual question from a taxi driver, but after we've covered that one, I go on to explain what a "tunnel" is. He is improving his English by listening to Radio 4 news, because in Afghanistan he was a physicist.
I tell him that there is a great Afghan grocers in Brentford called Maiwand (he explains that Maiwand is a village in Afghanistan and that the owners must be Pashtun) where you can buy Alphonse mangoes, and that my son is a physicist. By the time we reach the airport, he has successfully secured my future taxi business, but what a waste of his talent, and what a waste to his country.