Across the border

My dad’s turning 67 this year, and I’ve finally managed to haul him over the border to Canada for the first time in his life. My mom has been in the U.S. since 1972, so that’s 45 years of living in the U.S. also without ever stepping foot into Canada. In general, my parents don’t travel and dislike it, particularly because they hate being out of their comfort zones, possess no curiosity of the world, and because of the poor conditions in which they grew up, tend to think that only “rich people” travel. Last year, Chris and I took them to Phoenix and the Grand Canyon, and this year, we’ve decided to take them to Vancouver. It seems to have everything my parents like — fairly temperate weather, a Western environment, and lots of Asians everywhere.

So far, other than the bit of rain we’ve experienced (well, we are in Vancouver after all), the trip has been going pretty well. My dad as per usual gets bored very easily, so he’s constantly asking what we are doing and where we are going next. They’ve also been stubborn about getting a debit card that allows them to withdraw money in a foreign country without a transaction fee, so they are constantly asking me where they can exchange cash. My mom asks me two or three times if I’m sure that they don’t accept U.S. dollars here. Nope, they don’t. Canada isn’t like Cambodia, where they don’t value their own currency and prefer U.S. dollars and coins. We’re encountering all the questions and frustrations with my parents just as I predicted. That’s how predictable my parents are.

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