I am planning to go to Hong Kong with my mother. Yesterday I asked her how much money she was going to take. She said that she is not going to bring much cash this time and that she is going to use her cards. I asked her about the money in advance just to make sure because we had a little crisis when we went to Vietnam last year.
My mother and I travelled to Vietnam last autumn. It was only a four-day trip to Hanoi. It was when we were about to leave home for the airport in the morning, my mum asked me whether she should have brought her favourite wallet with her. It was a snake-patterned long rectangle wallet. She also couldn’t choose which handbag to bring.
It was the last minutes before leaving for the bus station where we get on a bus to get to the airport. She still couldn’t decide whether to take her handbag and the purse. She asked me, “Do you think I should bring a bigger handbag if I want to bring this wallet? Because my wallet is too thick to put in this smaller bag.”
I was a little annoyed by the fact that she hadn’t asked me about her bag a day before. I said, “But, why do you need that big wallet?” As soon as I asked this question, it reminded me of the time when she had come to visit me in Hong Kong with my father when I was living there. My mum had brought about 50,000 yen, which is equivalent to US$5,000, for a 4 days trip.
We are not a rich family. For me, it’s ridiculous to bring that much cash for a short trip. However, I think for the generation of my parents, visiting a foreign country is one of the most luxurious events in their life. Also, my mother was born in 1950, my father in 1947 and they have experienced the strongest economic era in Japan when they were in their 30’s. So, they know how to spend money.
I was sure that we wouldn’t be able to spend US$5,000 for 4 days in Vietnam. I convinced her not to bring that much cash so that she wouldn’t need that thick wallet. She changed her wallet and she took a smaller handbag.
Maybe because my mother also remembers that morning when we discussed her money and wallet, she said that she is not going to bring lots of cash this time. Furthermore, Hong Kong is a cashless place. I am wondering even whether I should exchange any money at the Hong Kong airport. Anyway, it seems that we can depart smoothly tomorrow morning, hopefully.