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Old 08-15-2018, 12:40 AM
kambuckta kambuckta is offline
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Ooooo, another overseas trip: WITH CONDITIONS.

Last night I had three missed calls from my step-father* but didn't notice until this morning. Rang him back expecting some bad news that someone had died or something, but no, it wasn't that.

My step-dad wants to come overseas on a holiday with me sometime soon.

Now the good news is that he is offering to pay for pretty much everything, and I'm never one to knock back a freebie. The bad news is that he drives me (and most of the rest of the human population) up the bloody wall. I really don't think I could bear touring around some SE Asian destination with him for a couple of weeks or so.

And the request/offer came right out of left-field. When he and my mum were first married I was really happy for them both. But over the years we'd had some falling outs (fault on both sides) so had never developed a close relationship. My mum died 4 years ago and I've only seen him once since the funeral (we live 450km apart)....but we call each other every few weeks just for a catch up etc. Oh, and btw, he's 88 and not exactly a spring chicken.

I feel like I've been put on the spot, but he sounded soooooo keen on the prospect that I am loathe to say 'ARE YOU FRIGGIN' KIDDING ME?' I already have flights booked for a 6 week holiday in Feb next year, and there is no way in hell that he is coming on THAT one.

I'm thinking a posh resort on some Indonesian or Thai island where he can check out scantily-clad girlies, nip into a cocktail at lunchtime, and then be tucked into bed AND NOT ANNOYING ME by 5pm.

*My mum and he met and married when I was already an adult, so it seems weird to call him 'step-father', but he's been part of the family so long that 'my mother's husband' seems weird too. Oh well.
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Old 08-15-2018, 04:18 AM
Novelty Bobble Novelty Bobble is offline
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I'd decline before he'd even finished the sentence. No matter that he'll pay. You'll hate it and I think you know you'll hate it.
If he's paying he may feel like he's calling the shots. I don't know him but he has already just called you up out of the blue and pressured you, do you think you'll get away with lounging by the pool and leaving him to his own devices? (I mean, physically you can overpower him but you'll get no peace)
You say he drives people up the wall, is it because he is overbearing, manipulative and won't take no for an answer perhaps?
There are loads of options out there for elderly people travelling on their own, I'd decline politely and put him in touch with an independent travel agent who can talk through those options with him.
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Old 08-15-2018, 05:40 AM
SanVito SanVito is online now
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I have a stock answer for people who want to go on holiday with me (friends OR family) which is 'I'm sorry, but I just really hate going on holiday with other people. Nothing personal, I say it to everyone. I like my personal space. Have you thought of asking [insert random name]?'
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Old 08-15-2018, 06:21 AM
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88 is a fair age. Good on him for having the will to travel (my grandmother is 87 and won't travel further than the doctor's office). Is it possible you're the closest person that he trusts who is something of a seasoned traveler?
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Old 08-15-2018, 08:58 AM
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Originally Posted by kambuckta View Post
I really don't think I could bear touring around some SE Asian destination with him for a couple of weeks or so.
Sure you could. Focus on the tucker and let the annoyances roll off with the sweat.
At his age, he may be thinking he's not got too many independent years left to be travelling and meeting up with you. It might be your last opportunity to catch up before he shuffles off this mortal coil or loses his independence.
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Old 08-15-2018, 11:26 PM
Newtosite Newtosite is offline
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I think it was very nice of him to ask, and you should accept his generous offer if you possibly can. It may be his last chance to travel anywhere. Focus on the pleasure you're bringing him by going. It may not be as horrible as you anticipate, and even if it is -- you won't be out any money.
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Old 08-16-2018, 12:04 AM
kambuckta kambuckta is offline
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Originally Posted by Novelty Bobble View Post
You say he drives people up the wall, is it because he is overbearing, manipulative and won't take no for an answer perhaps?
Definitely overbearing, boorish and full of himself. He's also impossible to have a conversation with, taking him 20 minutes (or often more) and 32 gazillion tangents before we get to the point of what he wanted to say.

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Originally Posted by SanVito View Post
I have a stock answer for people who want to go on holiday with me (friends OR family) which is 'I'm sorry, but I just really hate going on holiday with other people. Nothing personal, I say it to everyone. I like my personal space. Have you thought of asking [insert random name]?'
Unfortunately, he knows that I often travel with my daughter and grandkids. And also, I was so gobsmacked by the suggestion that it left me literally speechless...thus, the proposition is NOW on the table under consideration because I couldn't think quickly enough. Bugger.
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Old 08-16-2018, 12:16 AM
kambuckta kambuckta is offline
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88 is a fair age. Good on him for having the will to travel (my grandmother is 87 and won't travel further than the doctor's office). Is it possible you're the closest person that he trusts who is something of a seasoned traveler?
He's a far more seasoned traveler than I could ever hope to be. In his 20's, spent four years just traveling the world and working where he could. After he and my mum married, they did umpteen trips to Europe, the Americas and a month in China before it had really become a tourist destination. His last os trip was to Great Britain, France and Austria just a couple of years ago...he went with his son, and from what I can gather, his son has just point-blank refused to go anywhere with him again.

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Sure you could. Focus on the tucker and let the annoyances roll off with the sweat.
At his age, he may be thinking he's not got too many independent years left to be travelling and meeting up with you. It might be your last opportunity to catch up before he shuffles off this mortal coil or loses his independence.
Yeah, I'm thinking that too. At 88, his mortality is looming closer and closer. Mind you, the bastid might yet outlive ME.

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I think it was very nice of him to ask, and you should accept his generous offer if you possibly can. It may be his last chance to travel anywhere. Focus on the pleasure you're bringing him by going. It may not be as horrible as you anticipate, and even if it is -- you won't be out any money.
It WAS nice of him to ask, but honestly, he's always been such a bloody tight-arse with money, it was totally unexpected to say the least. His own kids once quipped, "Dad is such a miser, he's got locks on the garbage bins". And of course, with his reputation, I was already starting to 'second-think' the offer, wondering if there was some sort of ulterior motive.

But then his excitement during the phone-call was pretty obvious...so I think now he just wants the chance for one last overseas fling, with someone there to help him negotiate airports, hotels and all the other sundry stuff that traveling entails.

Oh well....time to start looking at destinations and dates. If he wants to pay for my lost work hours, I might do it THIS year. And he'll probably want to fly Business Class too...but bugger that. I'm an Economy Sheila: give me a taste of BC and I might never be able to fly overseas again.
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Old 08-16-2018, 01:58 AM
DavidwithanR DavidwithanR is offline
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If he doesn't have any truly nefarious motives, and he won't LITERALLY drive you crazy, and he's paying, I say go.
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Old 08-16-2018, 02:31 AM
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Not sure the situation, but maybe a week with your daughter and grandkids somewhere?

My parents both passed in the last few years. As I get towards my 60's, I have a lot more patience and put a lot more effort into making a few moments with those much more closer to the final beyond...
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Old 08-16-2018, 02:40 AM
kambuckta kambuckta is offline
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Not sure the situation, but maybe a week with your daughter and grandkids somewhere?

My parents both passed in the last few years. As I get towards my 60's, I have a lot more patience and put a lot more effort into making a few moments with those much more closer to the final beyond...
Daughter and grandsons weren't invited, just me. It's either going to be the Holiday from Hell, or an hilarious short-novel/blog.
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Old 08-16-2018, 04:25 AM
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with someone there to help him negotiate airports, hotels and all the other sundry stuff that traveling entails.
That could be me. If you really, really, don't want to go....

Seriously, though, many would love to be offered to go on such a trip, even if the travelling companion is a bit of a pain in the neck. I reckon you'll end up enjoying it.
  #13  
Old 08-16-2018, 04:38 AM
kambuckta kambuckta is offline
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That could be me. If you really, really, don't want to go....
You're an Aussie and you didn't let anyone know???

Bad girl...now, where are ya located?
  #14  
Old 08-16-2018, 05:25 AM
kambuckta kambuckta is offline
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.... and he won't LITERALLY drive you crazy, and he's paying, I say go.
Thank goodness any mental health issues I might get will be covered by our UHC. So, going literally crazy isn't as bad as it could be. I guess
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Old 08-16-2018, 05:46 AM
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This is a fun thread, but I am not at all convinced that you don't want to go.

I say do it, then come back here and open this thread back up afterwards. I guarantee you'll have plenty of entertaining stories to share.


mmm
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Old 08-16-2018, 06:15 AM
Isamu Isamu is offline
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You are the only one who knows if you can bear it or not. But you just might be making some geezer's last few nice memories. If conversation is a sticking point, make a game of one-upping every point he makes:

"I was a great runner in my day!"
"You were in contention for the Olympics at one stage, weren't you?"
?? "Um... well, I might have been if it wasn't for the Labor government back then!"
"I hear those communists are using baby corpses to build bridges to Russia."
"Well..."

Or your original plan of two cocktails at lunch and goodnight daddy.

Last edited by Isamu; 08-16-2018 at 06:15 AM.
  #17  
Old 08-16-2018, 06:17 AM
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You're an Aussie and you didn't let anyone know???
It's in my location. You're the one I had to deduce from words like "bugger' and "sheila"

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Bad girl...now, where are ya located?
Not too far east of the quokkas.
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Old 08-16-2018, 06:22 AM
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bloody computer, double post, sorry

Last edited by blob; 08-16-2018 at 06:23 AM.
  #19  
Old 08-16-2018, 07:45 AM
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Daughter and grandsons weren't invited, just me. It's either going to be the Holiday from Hell, or an hilarious short-novel/blog.
So take a notebook or a small laptop (don't forget the international wall plus adapters), and keep a diary. Maybe you'll get something publishable out of it, and make a few hundred bucks.

He's not under the impression that you speak some language that he wants you to be able to interpret for him when you are traveling, do he? Get that ironed out ASAP.

Is your father still living?

My father died 20 years ago, and my stepfather, who married my mother when I was in my 30s, is the only grandfather my son has known (well, he had his paternal grandfather, but he died when my son was 5). Anyway, my mother died last year (almost to the day), and my stepfather and I have stayed in touch, which is good, because he's still "Grandpa" to my son.

It could be that the guy is becoming aware of his mortality and trying to straighten out all the relationships in his life, and one of them is with you. He wants to create a good memory with you, so that when he dies, this is what you will remember.

I don't know how charitable you are feeling, but if you really don't think you can stand to make the trip with him, say something like "I won't forget you generosity in making the offering." That might make him think he's accomplished what he set out to accomplish anyway, and he'll be less disappointed.
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Old 08-16-2018, 07:52 PM
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You know, he's 88 years old. Regardless of how healthy an 88 he is, he may well be starting to reflect back on his life. And possibly, just possibly, he is starting to see that he hasn't always treated others well. If so, he might be trying to make up for that. And you might be one of the people he wants to make up with. If that's the case, it would be kind of churlish not to give him the opportunity.

If you really can't stand to go overseas with him, why not offer an alternative? Tell him you can't make this trip, but you'd love to re-connect with him - maybe get dinner some night after he's back from the trip.
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Old 08-16-2018, 08:28 PM
kambuckta kambuckta is offline
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You know, he's 88 years old. Regardless of how healthy an 88 he is, he may well be starting to reflect back on his life. And possibly, just possibly, he is starting to see that he hasn't always treated others well. If so, he might be trying to make up for that. And you might be one of the people he wants to make up with. If that's the case, it would be kind of churlish not to give him the opportunity.
I think you might be spot on Mr. Bill, so I've decided I will do the trip. Rang him this morning to see whether the other call might have slipped his mind (he is getting older afterall) but alas, he's still super-keen. I was thinking of a quick trip over to Bali in a nice resort somewhere that he can talk the ears off the other guests, but he kyboshed that idea. Bugger.

So at this point, we won't be doing the trip to wherever until at least after March next year. He's got medical stuff to deal with from now until Xmas, and I have a solo trip planned in Feb-March to Malaysia, maybe Cambodia, and North Vietnam. Depending on how much I like Malaysia, might take him there and maybe a week in Central Vietnam.

Whatever, I have plenty of time to sort it out, and as money is no object I can be a little bit creative and splurgy.

I will DEFINITELY be doing a blog though....
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Old 08-16-2018, 08:54 PM
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He's got medical stuff to deal with from now until Xmas
ah, so there might be something going on to make him be thinking not that much time to catch up/do his bucket list.

Where did he say he might like to go? Let's plan this thing..... (living vicariously, who, me? )
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Old 08-16-2018, 09:20 PM
kambuckta kambuckta is offline
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ah, so there might be something going on to make him be thinking not that much time to catch up/do his bucket list.

Where did he say he might like to go? Let's plan this thing..... (living vicariously, who, me? )
So far we have NOT Bali But seems to be keen on Vietnam.

Now I've been to VN twice in the last 10 months, and going again early next year doing North to South in Feb/March. If he wants to go say, mid year, the weather is going to be bloody hot pretty much everywhere, with the south in the middle of the wet season as well. And I'm not sure just how well he will handle it....

Mind you, we're not going to be slumming it (as per my usual hols) so can probably attempt to minimize time doing street-stuff during the worst heat of the day and use the early mornings and evenings for most walking activities. A long leisurely lunch in air-conned comfort, a couple of beers and then a Nanna Nap for me and a Grandpa Nap for him should see us refreshed....maybe, gawd, I dunno.
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Old 08-16-2018, 11:08 PM
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So far we have NOT Bali But seems to be keen on Vietnam.

Now I've been to VN twice in the last 10 months, and going again early next year doing North to South in Feb/March. If he wants to go say, mid year, the weather is going to be bloody hot pretty much everywhere, with the south in the middle of the wet season as well. And I'm not sure just how well he will handle it....

Mind you, we're not going to be slumming it (as per my usual hols) so can probably attempt to minimize time doing street-stuff during the worst heat of the day and use the early mornings and evenings for most walking activities. A long leisurely lunch in air-conned comfort, a couple of beers and then a Nanna Nap for me and a Grandpa Nap for him should see us refreshed....maybe, gawd, I dunno.
Glad to hear you've decided to go.

If you think he's asking for trouble going at the wrong time, perhaps you can steer him towards a better time. Sounds like you are pretty familiar with that area of the world.
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Old 08-16-2018, 11:51 PM
kambuckta kambuckta is offline
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If you think he's asking for trouble going at the wrong time, perhaps you can steer him towards a better time. Sounds like you are pretty familiar with that area of the world.
It's pretty much always hot in most of SE Asia, although the humidity might knock the stuffing out of him a bit.

I've 'tentatively' sketched Ho Chi Minh City as the base for the itinerary. Whilst May is technically wet season, I was there in May of this year, and most of the wet-stuff was during the late afternoon or overnight. And funnily, the rain was welcomed: nothing more spectacular than a tropical thunderstorm. Only once did we get caught out..and had to wade through knee deep water back to the hotel. FUN TIMES

But even if he hates HCMC (I LOVE that crazy city), there is so much to do and see within the city itself with landmarks, museums, parks and FOOD. And it's a great stepping-stone to the rest of south VN, perhaps a tour to the Mekong Delta, some of the historical war sights, and plenty to keep an old fella entertained without too much exertion.

I think this might be a very interesting trip. I've always 'slummed' on my holidays, cheap flights, cheap but decent accommodation, street food etc etc. This different sort of experience is going to be a real eye-opener for me I reckon.

Either that, or there'll be news reports of a middle-aged Australian woman having murdered a Senior Citizen and dumping his body in the Mekong River.
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Old 08-17-2018, 12:41 AM
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Won't the hookers you'll be sending to his room every afternoon do him in?

Heck of a way to go, and he'll certainly have pleasant memories of his last trip...
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Old 08-17-2018, 12:53 AM
X. L. Lent X. L. Lent is offline
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A friend of mine who enjoys traveling likes to say that "Every trip is an adventure". I guess that's
true even if the journey turns out to be a bit unpleasant. Hope you have a good trip, Kambuckta.

Last edited by X. L. Lent; 08-17-2018 at 12:55 AM.
  #28  
Old 08-17-2018, 01:02 AM
kambuckta kambuckta is offline
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Won't the hookers you'll be sending to his room every afternoon do him in?

Heck of a way to go, and he'll certainly have pleasant memories of his last trip...
Thanks for the tip digs. This trip might well be the 'happy ending' of all endings for him.
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Old 08-17-2018, 04:20 AM
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But seems to be keen on Vietnam.
Sounds good.
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Old 08-17-2018, 09:52 PM
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I'm glad you're going.
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