Family 4.0 in progress

Next year will be again a special year for us. In previous blog posts I mentioned already that we won’t be going for holidays in 2017 and we got a very certain reason for it. No it is not because our business is taking too much time but something more important. In May of next year #Nathancuty will be a big brother! We wanted already for longer time a second child but always things got in between such me having a very bad health condition for nearly the entire year of 2015 and my wife having lots of dental troubles (no good when being pregnant!).

As you might imagine my dear mother-in-law has been pestering us for a second grandchild ever since Nathan was born. Sometimes she would even ask my wife several times a day something along these lines “You sure that you are not pregnant? You got fatter!”. MIL is also a person who believes all kinds of nonsense, especially when it is some viral message on WeChat, because you know whatever is posted there must be true. Because of that she did not believe even that Nathan would be a boy untill he was born because of some kind of calendar in a WeChat Group stating that the child would be a girl…

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Yes, back in 2010 we did this stupid MorphThing as well…

My wife is now 16 weeks pregnant and we do not know the gender yet as the baby is not really cooperating during the ultra sound check-ups. This also reminds me that the whole pregnancy situation in Germany is very much different from our experience in Finland but more about that in another post in the next months. When my wife told her mother that she is pregnant MIL was immediately like “No no, can’t be a girl according to the calendar”. That’s it, her comment at first was only that the child can’t be a girl, nothing else! Few weeks later she send my wife a message “I have great news, I have this new calendar and it says that the child will be a girl!!”. Really woman? She drives me insane.

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Back then Nathan was still so peacefull

I for myself do not really care whether it is a girl or a boy. My wife is a bit different and only wants a girl (aka Chinese perfect Family). MIL, well MIL wants of course also a girl so she can brag about the perfect family in front of her friends and we all know how she loves to brag about stupid things like this. Father-in-law has said nothing regarding this so far but I guess he is busy trying to stay sane as he has to endure his wife every single day. I also have the slight feeling that he won’t comment even after the birth for some long time. When Nathan was born the only time he contacted my wife was to send her some advertisement. Yeah he is not a man of many words.

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Nathan just few hours old, I still hate myself for not taking that hat with me from the hospital!

Recently we started to think about possible names and it is not easy at all. So far we had Zero ideas besides Nataly in case it is a girl but in my opinion it is a bit silly to name the girl Nataly just because her brothers’ name in Nathan. We (I) came up with Nathan back in the day pretty quickly as the name is easy for English speakers and for Germans as well (+ I got the idea for Nathan because Nathan Adrian, an American swimmer, won the 100 freestyle at the 2012 London Olympics). You know any famous mixed Athletes who won recently big competitions? I am kind of out of the loop when it comes to sports as I am even too lazy to watch sports and my wife is absolutely clueless when it comes to sports or famous athletes. All I know is that MIL ain’t allowed to decided the Chinese name for the child. She named too many kids already and they are marked for life (wife’s sister is called ChuChu, Nathan loves to make that noise when he imitates a train).

How did your parents come up with your name?  Or in case you are a parent, how did you decided on you child’s name?

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Sunday of the Dead

No this is not the title of some old gore horror movie but a Lutheran holiday in Germany. Totensonntag (Sunday of the Dead) was introduced back in 1816 by the Prussian King  Frederick William III of Prussia to make the last Sunday before Advent a general celebration in remembrance of the dead. This holiday is observed in all German states and there are some special rules as well such as no music is allowed to be played in public and dancing is forbidden as well!

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This Sunday of the Dead we drove together with my parents to Hamburg to the Ohlsdorf Cemetary, trying to find for the very last time the grave of a dear relative of my Dad (Uncle Kurt). Not that he was a close relative, my father does not even remember anymore how they were related but my dad loved him and even bicycled in his youth all the way to Hamburg from our town to visit him. I don’t have too many memories of dear Uncle Kurt as I was just five years old when he passed away. What I still remember is strangely the layout of his apartment, the smell of the cigar smoke and that we always ate cheese cake there. When he passed away he was buried in Ohlsdorf Cemetery and with this cemetery the trouble starts when trying to find a grave again.

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The grave of dear old Uncle Kurt

Ohlsdorf is a bit special as it is actually the biggest rural cemetery in the World and the fourth-largest cemetery in the world. It is just huge with wide streets for cars to pass through and even bus stops. With an area of 391 hectares (966 acres) you might understand why they need those streets and the bus stops. Only once after the funeral my parents were able to locate the grave and that was back in the 90’s. We had tried several times afterwards but to no avail. This time we really needed to find it as by next year the grave will be most likely be removed. The thing in Germany is that you pay for the grave for 25 years. In case no one pays again for another 25 years the grave will be most likely removed by the cemetery to make space for some new arrivals. However this time we were prepared as I had contacted the cemetery and asked about location of the grave. Though we knew where to search we still had to check several hundred graves till we found the right one. We were probably the only relatives who had ever visited his grave since the funeral and lit for the last time a candle for him and his sister.

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Some Finnish Christmas Decoration

After the cemetery we wanted to have something more fun and visited the Christmas Bazaar in the Finnish Seaman’s Church. You might remember that church from the time I wrote about Nathan’s Baptizing there back in 2014. All the Nordic Seaman’s Churches which are next to each other ( The Swedish, Danish and the Norwegian Church) hold this Christmas Bazaar every year for two weekends in a row. As always it was full there, really full. It kind of felt like going around the streets in China just that it was more quiet and organized.  Right in the beginning Nathan attracted the attention of Santa and got some chocolate (which he didn’t share!!!). There was all kind of Finnish Christmas decoration for sale and of course food. We also met some other Finnish people who live in our town and even met one of my old Confirmation pals (Affirmation of Baptism). We only went around the Finnish Seaman’s Church as we had little time left so we could not visited the other Nordic Churches and see what they had to offer. Anyhow it was surprising for us that the Finnish Church even got a little supermarket in the basement with all kind of Finnish (overpriced) goods.

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#Nathancuty eating up all of Mommy’s Blueberry Cake

This Totensonntag was the first I went to a cemetery and it felt a bit strange. I guess it might be also because I know it was the last time I was able to visit Uncle Kurt’s grave and that all things come to an end at some point. Luckily we went to the Christmas Bazaar to lighten up the mood a bit otherwise it would have been a really depressing and rainy Sunday today.

Do you have some special day such as the German Totensonntag in remembrance of the dead?

Be sure to follow me also on Facebook and on Twitter as I will post there occasionally pictures which do not find their way into my blog posts. Furthermore I also have a YouTube Channel in which some videos might pop up from time to time

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https://twitter.com/CraChineseFam

https://www.youtube.com/

 

Family is the Best

Over the past months, nay years I realized more and more that it is not only my dear Chinese mother-in-law who is a bit odd but pretty much the whole family. Not that every family has anyways their own oddities but I am just amazed about the abundance of sheer madness in my wife’s family. Yes, my wife has noticed it as well and has her own battles to fight because of it…on a daily basis thanks to the WeChat Family Group.

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Uncle, unknown relative, Granny and Aunty

There is not much to add about my mother-in-law. She is crazy and that’s it. FIL has also left the road of normal sanity years ago but that is due to living so long with his wife. Now there are few more family members I barely ever mention because MIL always took the spotlight but today is your lucky day to find out more about them (to some degree). So who we all got there in the closer (MIL’s) family ? There is Granny, Aunty, Uncle, little sister (cousin) and little little sister (cousin). The thing is I don’t even know their names except of the cousins. In no particular order they have their own traits or history such as the one who likes to touch other’s posterior, the one who was in prison for robbery, the one who has never money but still travels the world, the one all neighbours run away from and the one who one falls all the time for pyramid schemes.

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Yep, FIL does not look that happy to be sitting between the crazy ones

Sounds rough doesn’t it? I won’t link those points to anyone of them now as that would be just cruel but I think you might get now that MIL does not count as unnormal in the family. As I don’t want to go into the “special traits/ history” of the family I will just throw in some of the things I experienced with them. For example this spring we were all in China, even my dad was with us. We had only one family gathering and that was not even at Granny’s/ Uncle’s home as usual, because Granny was too embarrassed that my dad would see that apartment. Not that the apartment is small but pretty much in ruins as they have not even really cleaned up there for the past 8 years (according to my wife). So we had this family gathering in a Hotel which offered a huge buffet, even with Western food. I already wrote about this particular event in the post “At the Guangyun Lake” but I still have to mention that Granny ate two whole plates of raw seafood and guess what, she got terrible food poisoning. She never had eating such food before and there she just piled to plates to their limit and devoured everything in few minutes. My wife even warned her Grandmother about it but you know the drill about telling your Elders what to do in China, they won’t listen…

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Little little sister terrorizing a Minion

Another story is about Uncle. He is the youngest of the three siblings and the one living with his family together with Granny. A few years ago he got a well paid job at the company of one of his old school friends. After some time working there he/ his wife decided it is time to show some wealth and get him a Louis Vuitton wallet (or was it some business bag?). Here again my wife asked them if they are 100% sure about it and they answered “Of course, just go to the shop and take some pictures of the best ones”. So we went to the Helsinki LV store and the embarrassment for my wife began. She told the sales person that she is there to find a wallet? for her Uncle and needs to take pictures. She quickly found something nice and Uncle was happy with it immediately. That was untill my wife send  the price and the answer was like “is there perhaps something smaller?”, so my wife got the same thing a size smaller. Again Uncle and his wife were happy untill they heard the price. Here again their reply was “Is there perhaps something even smaller?” and yes there was actually something even smaller and cheaper. By then the sales person had already a questioning look on her face. You can guess what happened here again “is there something smaller?”. The sales person even showed other products untill they reached the key chains level but no, Uncle and his wife were suddenly not so keen about showing wealth any longer. Long story short, we spent nearly 3 hours in that store going through a multitude of different LV products were the most expensive was over few thousand Euros and downgraded slowly to products costing about 150 Euros. The thing for my wife was also she knew most of the staff there (many Chinese!) so it was a matter of losing face for her.

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Little sister, my wife and Uncle’s wife looking at something

Let’s talk about Aunty. She is the younger sister of MIL. That alone is already fact enough to feel sad for her. There are many stories as well about her but I will only tell you about the most recent one from a few weeks ago. Last week, it was a rainy day and my wife had just dealt with her competent MIL when Aunty sent her a picture of a sofa with the text “Buy me this one”. Nothing more, just a picture of a sofa without any brand or other hint where that might come from. After asking Aunty several times she still did not tell her the brand just “Oh, I saw this sofa here in the store and it says it’s from Germany so you MUST know it”. Yeah right, anything advertised in China by being Made in Germany must be known to my wife by now, can’t be that many products. After hours of sending messages Aunty basically wanted that we buy for her that sofa here in Germany and send it to China. Her train of thought was that the sofa costs in China roughly 2000 Euros so it must be much much cheaper in Germany and sending the sofa must be cheap as well. She was rather confused when she got to know that the sofa was only few hundred Euros cheaper here than in China and the delivery would be far over 2000 Euros. She hasn’t contacted my wife since then but I guess soon there will bet yet another ridiculous request.

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Has nothing to do with the family but I believe in Angient Health

Oh, I realize my time is up already (wife staring threateningly at me as I haven’t done the dishes yet) so the stories about little sister will have to wait. By the way, stories about little little sister won’t be published any time soon anyways as truth to be told she is still too young to know better so perhaps in another 8 years I might bring her up again in case things haven’t improved.

Have you ever felt that one whole family is pretty much out of their mind?

Be sure to follow me also on Facebook and on Twitter as I will post there occasionally pictures which do not find their way into my blog posts. Furthermore I also have a YouTube Channel in which some videos might pop up from time to time

https://www.facebook.com/CrazyChineseFamily

https://twitter.com/CraChineseFam

https://www.youtube.com/

 

My crazy Chinese Family I married into…