Today will be only about my father-in-law. I had so many stories about mother-in-law through which you probably got an idea how “not normal” she is most of the time. FIL however was mostly left out because he likes to be more in the background and basically doesn’t do any (most of the time) crazy things his wife tends to do.
He is now in his mid-fifties and still works in the city’s bureau which is responsible to give shops permission to open etc. There he does not have a simple desk job but drives higher officials from the bureau around when they need it or assigns other drivers for similar tasks. Long before he got this job he was a taxi driver and these days each time we take a taxi he has much to talk with the drivers. Enough about this kind of information let’s go to the more interesting ones. As I mentioned in many other articles he likes to clean. I believe it is partly because he wants to have everything clean but also due to his OCD. This means that he is not simply cleaning everything once a week or every few days, no, he cleans the entire apartment each day and each cleaning his done three times. So each day when he comes home the first thing he does is cleaning for nearly two hours before getting some rest and eats his dinner.
However this cleaning is greatly reduced when his wife is not at home, for example when she is on some holiday trip with her friends. Then he cleans much less and I pretty much know why. Because he likes to clean he was also a great asset last summer when my in-laws visited us in Finland as he could help in cleaning and polishing my car! In China my in-laws don’t have an own car because they live right in the city center of Xi’an and can reach everything very easy either by bus or taxi. Whenever they do need a car, FIL just borrows one from his work place for a few days. Even though he does not take as good care with these cars as he does with his own property, he still keeps them in a pretty good outward appearance.
As mention in the other article, he loves table tennis. Usually you would think that he has with his crazy working and cleaning schedule no time to follow his sport but you are wrong. Because his work is most of the time pretty easy he has a lot of free time in which he goes to the sports hall at his work place together with other workers and play table tennis. I guess he plays nearly every day when we are not visiting. Why not when we are visiting? Because in his free time he usually comes to help us out by bringing some boxes of drinks or fruits or goes eating with us for lunch.
From this point on you can also see his very caring and always tries his best to do something nice for his daughter and son-in-law (ME!). Sometimes he is also overdoing it a bit. For example whenever I say I liked this or that drink he will bring next day several packages of these drinks and carries them alone to the apartment (these boxes combined are damn heavy, even for me). It seems also because he always tries his best he also worries a lot. Actually, he worries about everything and this might be also a reason why he started to lose hairs and the few remaining turning grey in his twenties.
Now to his other interest: Sweets
Whenever we go to China we bring a lot of chocolate with us. These sugar/ fat bombs are mostly for MIL to give to her many friends but also for FIL. You see, he is a real chocolate destruction machine. I have never seen anybody eating more sweet stuff than him. It appears that his body does not need anything else but chocolate to keep running. Because he likes sweets so much he also brings us some traditional Chinese sweets 点心 each time we are there. I know he means well but most of these sweets are really so dry that I have the feeling of eating dust (but there are some good ones as well!).
As you can see, my father-in-law is a pretty usual guy, nothing compared to his wife. Maybe because he is so normal I prefer having him around rather than noisy and crazy MIL.