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Dear Bird Talk,

We recently used our Canadian credit card

to pay for a meal in a U.S. restaurant. The

total was $22.15 before tip, so I left a $4 tip

for a total of $26.15. I noticed a few days later

that my credit card was charged $ 53.15 Can-

adian...I know our dollar is low, but not that

low....I inquired and it seems the restaurant

charged me US$38.15…so a $16 tip on a $22

bill. I contacted the manager and he advised

me that his server made a mistake. It seems

that they only do up the actual final credit card

charges later in the day and he applied this $16

tip to the wrong card. I’m not convinced of

this and I told him so...he did refund me the

overcharge. This does not occur in Canada, as

we have chip/pin identification on our credit

cards and we enter the tip amounts ourselves,

usually on hand-held devices...just thought

I should share this information with your

readers. The lesson here, always keep your

restaurant receipts and check them against

your actual purchases.

Richard Fortier

Bath, ON

Ed.: Good Advice! I would also not return to that

restaurant; this was not a simple mistake, in my

opinion. The other point to make here is that the

bank charged you a 40% currency exchange –

this is a huge ripoff and very common. Using a

Canadian credit card or debit card in the U.S. is

very, very expensive. I have found that having

a U.S.-based bank account with a debit card

attached is, by far, the best and cheapest way

to buy anything in the U.S. Wells Fargo (my U.S.

bank) has also given me a small line of credit

for unexpected emergencies.

Dear Bird Talk,

Your article speaks glowingly about the out-

standing benefits and recommends without

exception that everyone should consume

green tea and enjoy the amazing health

benefits to be derived as a result.

My eyebrows were raised on reading the

article, particularly because I have a disease

called atrial fibrillation and I consume the

prescription Warfarin daily as an antidote

to the possible blood clots which can be

prevalent with this disease. Upon being

diagnosed with Afib, I was provided with a

manual developed and provided by Alberta

Health Services. Page 11 of this manual states

that there are only two foods to be avoided if

you have Afib; the foods to avoid are GREEN

TEA and pistachio nuts. Both of these foods

are extremely high in vitamin K, which is a

problemwith Afib and where potential blood

clots are concerned, every effort should be

made to avoid anything that could contribute

to this potentially fatal situation. I do believe

your writer should have noted a precaution

in this regard and, because this was not the

case, I sincerely hope this can be corrected in

the letter section of the next issue.

Doug Hughes

Seba Beach, AB

Ed.: Excellent information, Doug, thank you. You

could also add bananas to that list of high “K”

foods to be aware of. It is funny that what is

good for high blood pressure is bad for atrial

fibrillation. I have been advised to seek out foods

with high potassium for my high blood pressure.

There are some very interesting and effective

new drugs for treating atrial fibrillation and you

should discuss these with your doctor. They are:

• Apixaban (Eliquis)

• Dabigatran (Pradaxa)

• Edoxaban (Savaysa)

• Rivaroxaban (Xarelto)

Dear Bird Talk,

At our park, the residents often repeat their

pledge of allegiance and were in the habit

of holding a minute’s silence to recognize

Canadians. We determined that we are not

dead so, rather than a minute’s silence, we

created the following Canadian Pledge:

“As Canadians, we honour our flag and the

country for which it stands. As winter visitors,

we will endeavour to uphold the laws and

traditions of the United States of America.

May the border between our two countries

always remain free and friendly.”

It has been well received by our U.S. friends

and we would like to share, so others may use

it if they so desire.

Isobel Wilson

Millbrook, ON

Ed.: A very nice and meaningful gesture, now


Dear Bird Talk,

Just received the I-194 Form from a past

conviction 40 years ago. My wife and I just

crossed at Calgary on our way to Vegas. My

passport was stamped February 26-August

23 – can we go to Arizona in November for

90 days? Really confused…been travelling

back and forth for many years.

Thomas Twells

Airdrie, AB

Ed.: This is an impossible question to answer

definitively. You have been granted a B2 Visitor

Visa and have been permitted to remain in the

United States for up to six months, as indicated

by the stamp on your passport. If you do not

stay in the U.S. for the entire six-month period,

you MAY be permitted to enter the U.S. again

for a limited period of time within the 12 months

following your first border crossing on February

26. However, that will be up to the discretion of

the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officer

who interviews you when you try to cross the

border. It’s up to the CBP Officer 100% of the

time; period.



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