Baba is not proud of Amir when the two still live in Kabul. Baba is a big man with strong opinions and convictions. He perceives Amir as weak--a boy who allows Hassan to fight his battles for him. When the two flee to California, they become much closer and the dissimilarities begin to change. For Amir, America is a modern country where many cultures live together in relative peace. It is a place for him to make a new start and create a life for himself--a place where he hopes to forget his past transgressions. For Baba, America turns out to be less than he expected. Once a powerful, respected man in his homeland, he resorts to working in a gas station and making extra money on weekends at a flea market. Baba's new start is not nearly as successful as Amir's, and he longs for his life of wealth and power in Afghanistan. Baba knows that California will benefit his son, however, and he is willing to endure what he considers a lesser life in order to see his son grow into a successful writer and husband.