Troubles in China

My dear Chinese mother-in-law is staying this summer again with us and by now has been already one month here in Germany. Things have been complicated during this time. No it is not all about her destroying stuff in the apartment or behaving more strange than usual (more about that later). It is due to the health condition of granny in China.

Early this year they found out that granny has cancer and decided not to treat it as nothing would help. Back then MIL took her mother nearly daily to different hospitals to get more checkups and the opinions of various specialists in their field. They all concluded that there was nothing they could do anymore for granny so the family decided to keep it all a secret from her. Sure she knew that it was odd to go to so many doctors but she thought all the time that it was for some basic health checkups and to get something for the swelling on her throat (the lymph knots). MIL took care of everything and her brother tried to help as much as possible besides his full-time job.

MIL and the kids in Hong Kong

Due to all the troubles back in China we were not even sure whether MIL could come this summer to help us or not. In the end they figured that granny still had some more time left and she was doing fine as she was not yet affected by the cancer. Now on the very same day MIL arrived in Germany her mother got very sick and was rushed to the hospital. Thankfully it was just very high fever with the risk of developing a serious lung infection but all was taken care of in the hospital. But with this the real trouble started in form of MIL’s sister. Every single day aunty is sending messages and voice messages complaining how much work she has to do now because granny is/ was in hospital and how MIL could dare to leave them all and come to Germany. Those are not just one or two messages a day but multiple spread over all day and night, all about how much work she has and how hard it is.

Someone is not so sure about the statue

Thing is aunty was in Japan in the beginning when granny was diagnosed and did not come back to China. In fact she even prolonged her stay in Japan by one month all the while MIL and her brother were doing everything for their mother. Aunty also complained that she has to cook so much food now for everyone even though she hasn’t cooked a single dish all the time as uncle is doing that. However aunty is complaining now that his food is not good enough and I quote “disgusting” so now FIL has to bring her the food she ordered from restaurants. By the way the food uncle prepares is pretty good, at least no one else has ever complained and I actually like eating at their place. This all puts a lot of pressure on both MIL and my wife as aunty just won’t stop complaining and kind of puts a hold on our business activities as my wife has to argue all the time with her. Right now MIL is considering flying back to China one month early but that is not set yet and I hope she won’t do that as she is needed very much here.

This blog post wasn’t really anything funny, just something which has been annoying me for the past weeks.

You have a family member behaving in a very annoying way putting constant pressure on others?

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Revisiting the Middle Ages

Last weekend we visited a Renaissance Fair again after three years. The last time we went back in 2016 in Hamburg which is/ was the biggest one in Germany. This time we went to the town of Hohenwestedt which is nearby my hometown and is probably the best location of all middle age markets we have visited. The entire fair is set up in a large park in the middle of the town and a small sports field next to it. The feeling is just so different when visiting such event when nearly everything is located in a park surrounded by huge old trees compared to other fairs where you only walk around an open field.

Some interesting fellows

We all (except MIL) went there dressed up in some costumes. Nothing historical correct or whatnot all, just what we like to and this kind of fair is just right for it as the name already says “Mittelalterlich Phantasie Spectaculum” – “Medieval Fantasy Spectaculum”. You can see all kinds of people there dressed as knights, monks, Vikings, death and even some animals. Anything goes and the atmosphere is just great with music playing from several music stages and some randomn groups playing in between. We met some friends there and of course also other people we know already from my hometown such some neighbors and even a civil official working in the registry office specialized on marriages who has a Galadriel tattoo on one of his arms.

Sunken Nathalie

It was a lovely day with nice weather and a lot of walking for us. Nathan and Nathalie had tons of fun in the straw bale field playing with other kids and I could enjoy a couple of “interesting drinks”. Visiting such event, especially in Hohenwestedt, feels like entering a different world disconnected from the outside. Clothing for the event was kind of odd at first as we hadn’t done so in way too many years but as soon as we left the parking lot we were surrounded by like-minded people and everything felt right. Ruowei went once again as a Chinese princess, Nathalie was a mini princess, Nathan a General and I went in some odd mix of clothing and armor similar to the Rangers of Ithilien. Nothing too fancy but it took us long time collecting everything till we were satisfied. I think it was back in 2015 when we started this all after visiting the very same Renaissance Fair for the first time as a family. Back then my wife was shocked to see so many people dressed up for such event and loved it immediately. I always wanted to dress up for something like that but I had no idea that my wife of all people would like it as well! Even after several years of marriage she still manages to surprise me from time to time.

Have you visited any events where you have dressed up in a similar way?

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 there is also my Instagram account in which from time to time some pictures and short videos might pop up.

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Delightful Disneyland

One of the reasons I could convince my wife to visit Hong Kong was the prospect of spending a day at Disneyland. For all the past years we had plans of visiting a Disneyland. Here in Europe we got Disneyland Paris but the costs of travelling there and spending just two days pretty much equals the flight tickets for the entire family to Japan! The thought of visiting Disneyland here popped up from time to time but due to our penny-pinching nature those ideas were quickly quenched. Last year we travelled to Japan so the idea of Disneyland came up again but we decided against it as Nathalie was just way too young to enjoy it and have some faint memories of it later. This year however we planned for a day at Hong Kong Disneyland for a very long time. My wife especially planned our trip so well that she had decided on a specific day to go there based on our travel plans within Hong Kong and most importantly on the number of average visitor of the theme park. All those plans were for naught as she did not consider one factor: The Weather!

A grey sky but no rain for now

While we had pretty stable weather during our first days with some sunshine all rainy hell broke loose after our trip to Lamma Island. It was not just some drizzle but more like a constant water fall flooding the streets.  The day of our planned visit to Disneyland came and was washed away by the rains. In fact we already gave up on visiting the theme park and planned for some other trip to Hong Kong the following year or so. However the kids were so sad about not being able to go to Disneyland, especially because my wife hyped them up for it with videos of the park and Disney Movies for several weeks prior to our holidays that we decided to take the risk of being drowned in the rain and just went there on our fourth day in Hong Kong.

Just some mist, no real rain yet

We took the metro and as soon as the train left the safe underground tunnels we were surrounded by rain. However we were prepared with umbrellas, raincoats and rain boots for the kids. But then we got really lucky as the rain stopped as soon as we arrived at Disneyland and no drop fell down from the clouds until the evening. I mean we had so bad luck in the past six months that we could not fathom something lucky as that happening to us at all anymore. Arriving at the Disneyland station felt so strange as you are immediately “transferred” into some strange and happy fantasy world. Everywhere you go you have some calming background music, the park is designed that you forget the outside world and you really feel like that you stepped into some other place entirely disconnected from the outside. Well that is at least how I felt. To make matters even better was the fact that there were really few people visiting as the weather report had forecast heavy rainstorms for the entire day. This meant for us that we never had to wait more than five minutes for any ride.

I will never ever go on a rollercoaster in the dark again

The kids loved everything there and wanted to go on every single amusement ride. Needless to say that Nathalie was more than once disappointed as she was just to small for the rollercoasters and few other rides. Nathan however was able to go on every ride except one in Toy Story Land where there height requirement was minimum 120cm were he fell short by a few centimeters. All prior research and planning of my wife for this visit came in handy as we arrived at each ride at the right time in order to have short waiting times, not missing any important parade and to go to the best possible restaurant for our requirements. The food was plenty and well enough for a theme park. Nothing extraordinary but on a sad note it was one of the best food we had during our trip to Hong Kong. I know food is not everything went travelling but we had our disappointments with restaurants during our stay.

Flights of Fantasy

One of the main parts was the Flights of Fantasy Parade were pretty much every visitor came to the main road to watch. Towards the end the actors/ artists/ performers (what is the right term here?) invited some kids from the audience to dance and play with them. Our little Nathan was one of them and just beamed all the time while Nathalie screamed like a demon as she didn’t like to be apart from her brother (or just angry for not being invited, you never know with her). One of the interesting parts of this parade was in fact a person in the audience, an elderly woman in a wheelchair who apparently had the time of her life dancing and singing that even some of the performers came to her to dance. In the evening just when to “We love Mickey” Projection show ended the rain started and we quickly hurried back to the train station. By the time we arrived again in Mong Kok the rain had transformed into a proper storm and just walking from the station to our apartment left us soaking wet even with umbrellas and raincoats. For this day I have to say that we really got lucky and I hope the kids will have fond memories of it.

Have you visited a Disneyland?

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 there is also my Instagram account in which from time to time some pictures and short videos might pop up.

https://www.facebook.com/CrazyChineseFamily

https://twitter.com/CraChineseFam

https://www.instagram.com/Crazychinesefamily

 

My crazy Chinese Family I married into…

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