A Day to Remember

Here is another little story I wanted to share already for a long time. I really do wonder why I didn’t write about it before but well better late than never.

This whole annoyance happened back in 2015 when we were flying to China. I had everything planned out on how we get from our home to the central bus station and from there to the airport. The day started even well (except that I was pretty ill back then) and we got our taxi to the bus station without problems. The bus also arrived in time and the entire trip to the airport went without problems. But then the nightmare started and it lasted nearly the whole day.

First of all my wife had the wrong residence permit with her (The Finnish one, not the needed German) but we were able to settle that after some time. The next problem was at the customs as we had some products with us for our customers. The line there was just huge and we saw the time running away to get to the gate. After the customs we were relieved as there was still time left but oh no, more troubles were ahead. One big trouble was the security check where we found out that one of the products was a mixer and we completely had forgotten about the nice blade placed within it. The option now was 1. throw the thing away or 2. someone had to run back to the check-in to get the bag with the mixer inside as an extra luggage.

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All is still well at the bus station

Turns out I was the one to run to the check-in and the staff was so friendly to declare that suitcase as an extra luggage for Nathan and thus it was for free. What joy I felt in that moment and I really did believe now all of our troubles were over. Well while as I had this brief moment of joy my wife had other struggles at the security check as her laptop had to be checked for explosives and this whole stress made Nathan a very very upset little boy. Upset equals a lot of crying and thus making it also very hard for mommy. Even these troubles we survived and we were looking forward to just relax a bit before flying to Helsinki.

Flying to Helsinki? Not going to happen! Just as we had few minutes to calm down we heard the announcement that the flight to Helsinki was delayed by two hours. Those two hours would mean that we miss our connecting flight to Xi’an. All the stress began anew and we rushed to the gate to get more information. There we were told that all passengers with connecting flights to China got a new flight via Lufthansa going from Hamburg to Frankfurt, from Frankfurt to Beijing and then for us from Beijing to Xi’an. All in all over 23 hours instead of our booked flight with only 10 hours! We weren’t happy at all so we had to go back to the check-in area to the Service Center to make some complaints. Result was that we still had to catch that flight to Frankfurt and we needed to hurry as the Gate was closing in 15 minutes. Now the problem was that we still needed to get our luggage from the Baggage Claims. In all the hurry (only 5 minutes left!) we forgot one suitcase but we wouldn’t realize that until much later. As we ran with the staff to the Gate we saw our plane slowly rolling away…

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Brief moment of rest before finding out that the flight is delayed

Now we had to go back to the Service Center. There my wife was already in a terrible mood and it escalated into a shouting match between her and some of the staff. Meanwhile I was busy entertaining Nathan somehow who got also grumpier by the minute. After what felt like an eternity we got another flight and this one was leaving once again in just 30 minutes. So all the running madness began again (I think I do not need to point out that we had to do the security check each time we passed between the areas + having the same stupid explosive check with our laptop). Half way through the running we finally realized that one suitcase was missing. Down I ran with the staff to the Baggage Claim just to find out after spending 20 minutes there that our suitcase had by now taken its flight to Helsinki with the delayed machine. By now we had in fact already spent 6 hours at the airport, running here and there with our 1 1/2 year old son without resting, eating or drinking something. Of course we missed our new flight as well due to the delay at the Baggage Claim.

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More than two days later Nathan is exhausted in FIL’s arms

Exhausted we had to go back to the Service Center once again and the staff there was not all too happy to see my wife again in front of them. I don’t know what all happened in the following hours but it involved me going down to the Baggage Claim to the Lost & Found desk to somehow find the missing suitcase which was by now somewhere in Helsinki (indeed it was kind of lost as the tracking number was gone), my wife having an emotional breakdown and Nathan getting very exhausted and more grumpy. In the end we settled for taking the next flight to Xi’an via Helsinki two days later. We spent 11 hours at the airport, running the whole day and did not eat or drink anything during the entire time. As we got back home we were just dead tired and went to sleep after eating a bit.

This has been thus far our worst flight experience as it was a day where nothing worked out at all, everything going wrong. Two days later everything went as smooth as it could go. I must also add that the staff at the Hamburg Airport did an excellent job by helping us out and not to actually trying to kill my wife.

What was your worst experience when it comes to flying/ being stucked at the airport.

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/

Sunday Shopping

After battling with a persistent flu for over a week it is time for a small blog post. I actually tried to write something before but no coherent thought was possible with constant headaches, running nose and coughing. Enough of my excuses and I present you here again some fun fact about Germany.

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A little fire

Sunday shopping sounds not too strange for most people. Well, Germany is a bit different. Here we have the “Ladenschlussgesetz/ Shop Closing Law” which determines when retail stores have to be closed. Sundays and public holidays is a dead zone in the cities, Monday through Saturday stores need to be closed before 6 AM and after 8 pm followed with the tricky December the 24th where shops needs to be closed already after 2pm. Sounds stupid and in fact the law was a bit changed in 2006 when the different  German States got the power to decide themselves how the law is applied. Because of this the different States have different opening hour regulations. We live in Schleswig-Holstein where shops are allowed to be open at any given time from Monday till Saturday so we have it pretty good compared to conservative Bavarians who still follow the old Shop Closing Law.

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Nathan’s new favorite truck

Now coming to the Sunday Shopping. As Germany has a predominant Christian population and is one of those old creepy countries, work is by tradition and religion prohibited on Sundays. Okay this sounds a bit harsh, it is not prohibited but nothing is opened on Sundays so you better get all shopping done by Saturday. However cities are allowed to have this thing called Sunday Shopping which they may have up to four times a year. As they are so rare most cities try to make together with bigger shops some kind of event out of it. We had the first Sunday Shopping of the year on the 5th of February in my hometown and we decided to check it out. No not because we wanted to go shopping but to see what the event would be like.

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Must have been cold wearing that!

 

In the market square was a small stage with live music, a fire to warm up and the volunteer fire department were presenting themselves in order to recruit for their youth division.  There were also some artists and a fire show which we kind of missed each time it was on. One of the artist was walking on stilts with an interesting costume making her look like some kind of firebird/phoenix . Nathan was at first amazed by her but then he realised that she was just too tall so he decided that running away is the best option.

 

The reason why we missed the fire show was because we were busy eating cakes in a new cafe. This cafe just open recently with the great name “Layali Lebnan – Köstlichkeiten aus 1001 Nacht/ Delights of 1001 Nights”. As you might guess from the name it is not a German cafe and that is also why it is so great. The cakes and pastries were just amazing and so different compared what the standard bakeries here are offering. Even my mother who is always so annoying  with food enjoyed it so it must be pretty good. I know that this cafe will be visited more often this year by us.

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I am hungry again

So that was it, our first Sunday Shopping (more like Sunday cake eating) in 2017. I actually do look forward to the following Sunday Shopping dates this year as they seem to be interesting with their special events and artists.

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#Nathancuty approves

What are the opening hours in your country?

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/

 

Winning the Liebster Award

Hello all, it is time for the Liebster Award! Not that I am a new blogger any longer with my nearly four years writing about my crazy mother-in-law but I think I am still considered a “small blogger” so it still fits.

Anna Sherchand from annasherchand.com nominated me for this Award. She is a fellow blogger who has already done some serious travels around the world and writes now about her experiences. She just started recently with blogging and in her blog posts you can see some of her amazing pictures.

Now what is The Liebster Award ?
“Liebster” is a German word meaning beloved or dearest. It is an online recognition in form of virtual award which started in 2011 passed on by bloggers to fellow bloggers for enjoying and valuing their work. The idea is to recognize the effort and give credit.

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Dresden back in July of 2016

 

My Answers to Anna’s questions:

1.Are you an Introvert or Extrovert?

I am pretty much an Introvert. I  prefer staying at home and I could go days without talking while feeling perfectly normal. This is probably due to my Finnish roots. There you can go on a full bus and you will only hear the engine, no one speaks!

 

  1. How has that (answer to #1) changed the way you travel?

To be honest I never travelled on my own much. In my youth all my travels were basically either to my parent’s summer cottage in Finland or they happened due to swimming camps or competitions around Europe. In the past years I did some travelling with my wife to China and some European countries. In those we always preferred doing everything on our own and try to relax away from other people. Of course there were exceptions like when we had those terrible tourist group tours in China

  1. What is your favorite, unique travel experience? Did you plan it, or did it just happen?

I guess it is when we went to Prague last autumn. We did plan on going there but we didn’t decide on what to do there at all before arriving. Those three days were wonderful and we would love to go there again.
4. If attached, how do you stay at peace on the road?  If not attached, how do you date on the road?

Haha, I would say that our time is usually pretty peaceful when going around. The only times when we might have some arguments it is always, always about the food!

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The best food you find where no tourists usually go and only the locals know about
  1. Where would you want to live the rest of your life and why?

This is really a hard question to answer and right now I really don’t know.

  1. What are few of your travel tips to save money?

The best way is usually by avoiding to buy anything at or near tourist hot spots. Go a few streets further,  food and drinks can be there in many countries easily half the price!

  1. Are you planning on working 9-5 again or keep travelling until your money runs out?

Now as we have a family with our second child soon arriving we prefer saving up our money. We have our own business so theoretically we could go on travels whenever we want (we did have few travels last year) but we always have to consider that we pretty much don’t earn anything when abroad.

  1. How much of your time is spent on writing new posts, versus promotion on social media?

I spent much more time on articles. All promotion I might do just happens when I feel like it and consists usually only some pictures or links to other bloggers.

  1. What made you break the norm and become a traveler?

When we do travel it is because life is just too boring at home. Last year we went as a family to several cities in Germany, to China, Finland and last but not least to the Czech Republic. Sure we are not the biggest travelers around but I’d say that this is pretty okay.

  1. What is your biggest fear?

That I fail to protect and help my family.

  1. What 3 books changed your life positively?

Too many books to consider! I am a person who prefers reading whole “Epic Tales” consisting of many books. I’d say “The Lord of the Rings”, “Malazan Book of the Fallen”, and “Wheel of Time” have to be most important books that also changed some of my view towards the world.

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Lord of the Rings, should read it again I guess

 

Now that I answered more or less successfully Anna’s questions I nominate the following blogs and hope they are able to accept them.

https://pinayindeutschland.wordpress.com/
https://ourchinesewedding.wordpress.com/
https://theberlinbook.wordpress.com/
https://bunnyandpandablog.wordpress.com/
https://justbluedutch.wordpress.com/

Your (11) Questions:

  1. Why did you start blogging
  2. How does blogging and connecting to other bloggers change/ help you?
  3. What are your favorite topics to write about?
  4. In which country do you see yourself living in ten years?
  5. Couch or Sports?
  6. A good Book or TV?
  7. What would you do with 1 Million Euros (or Dollars, whatever you prefer…)
  8. How long do you prepare for a blog post?
  9.  Your worst experience with blogging
  10. What is your hobby with which you find some peace?
  11. Last but not least: Would you ever dare to try Surströmming?

If you have been nominated for The Liebster Award and you choose to accept it:

  1. Display the award on your blog and write a post about the award.
  2. Thank the person who nominated you and post a link to their blog.  Tell the reader a little about your nominator.
  3. Answer the 11 questions given to you by the blogger who nominated you.
  4. Nominate 5 – 11 blogs that you feel deserve the award.
  5. Give the nominees 11 questions to answer on their blog.
  6. List these rules in your post.
  7. Notify the nominees of the Liebster Award and ask if they would be happy to accept? If so, send them a link to your post.

My crazy Chinese Family I married into…