Hai Nguyen tells why his father looked crazy at the grocery store and also thanks his dad for the struggles he has made since leaving Vietnam.
My father and I make routine trips to the grocery store with similar outcomes. We always stand out. On our last visit, my dad didn’t seem to mind that we had two more items than allowed in the express checkout lane.
After the slow process of watching him swipe each item across the self-service scanner — waiting for each beep — the amount of our bill shows up on the screen: 21 dollars and 43 cents. Of course, rather than using a credit card, my father pulls cash from his wallet to feed into the machine. Then, he starts counting the exact number of pennies he needs, as the people in line behind us start to squirm. When he realizes he is seven cents short, he starts to yell at the machine. I knew we shouldn’t have bought so much tuna fish.
But as my father stood there, making a scene in the grocery store, I reminded myself that only five years ago he was growing his own food as a farmer in Vietnam. He left that behind for me, so that I could grow up in America. And his struggles in the grocery store are just another part of his adjustment to our new life.
Sure, it may have looked like my father was senile at that moment, but to me, all I saw was a very loving and amazing father.