Crazy Son-in-law

I have written all kinds of articles about my Chinese family and how I think that they might be a bit crazy. But how about that they are not crazy but it is actually me who is wrong in the head? It might be I am just delusional and all the crazy stuff they do is pretty normal and I am the oddball.

This idea popped into my head sometime ago and the list of things might indicate that I am perhaps not normal is adding up daily. To spare you from an overwhelming list of nonsense I picked up the biggest indicators of my craziness/ why my in-laws think that I am the crazy one.

Cold Drinks

2012-09-12-096I drink cold drinks all day long, no matter if its cold outside or so hot that the asphalt on the streets starts melting. When visiting in China and having once again a wrong order in the restaurant turning my meal into some mixture of noodles and lava I need something cold to drink. The usual hot tea served in the restaurant is not doing the trick for me, no matter how much it would help with my “inner fire”上火 according to my in-laws. Cold soft drinks or better yet a nice chilled beer is doing wonders for me. But then there is one hot drink I can’t get enough of, which is another oddity in the eyes of my in-laws and brings me to the next point.



I need coffee for breakfast, after lunch, before dinner, after dinner and before going to sleep. This might be also due to the fact that I am partly from the country which has by far the highest coffee consumption per capita in the world. However my coffee consumption is down to a bare minimum for me to survive in China as there are just no good places to get coffee. Sure, we have close by a Starbucks but first of all the coffee there is very overpriced and second of all it is the worst coffee I had in my life (my opinion). This pushes me so far that I have to get instant coffee from KFC which still can’t be called coffee but at least it tastes better than in Starbucks and it is a great deal cheaper. Especially creepy it is for my in-laws that I get tired after drinking coffee in the evening and sleep very well afterwards.


My best friend in summer time

I  do sports, a lot. If it were up to me there is always enough time to do some kind of sports. The need to do some sport every day is so high that I feel disappointed every time I can’t do at least some short exercise. I just need to go running, bicycling, swimming or do random workouts everyday and this again no matter how cold or hot it might be outside. Each time I take my running shoes with me to China and each time they stay packed in the suitcase as my in-laws think that either it is too dangerous to go running or it is too bad for your health. Due to this I am always a pitiful mess looking forwards to the few times we go the open water pool in the city.


Sun and getting some color

I am the pale thing with the red wristband

One of the main reasons I look forward to when going to the open water pool in the city is not only that I can do some swimming but also to get a bit tanned. By no means I mean the leather color many Europeans seem to strive for when going to get baked in the sun but just a bit darker than my usual ghost appearance. As a child I was often so pale that my parents were scared that I have some kind of sickness that we had several appointments with doctors to determine that my facial skin is just a bit “thicker” than usual bringing up an even more pale complexion than others during the dark months. Whenever I am proudly showing some tan lines after swimming my in-laws just shake their heads.



I eat too less. I should be able to eat heavy breakfast, then all food placed on my plate during lunch by MIL and then easily shrug of the combined efforts of MIL, her sister and granny of filling up my plate during dinner, but somehow I fail in this. I am not just too thin according to MIL but also according to any other person she knows. It seems elderly females in China not only prefer babys to look like Michelin Man but their son-in-laws as well. Actually I am so pathetic when it comes to eating that I skip breakfast completely and don’t even manage half of the food piled up on my plate.



2012-09-20-221As you can see there are already enough points to show that I am the strange or crazy one in the family. I mean, how much more weird can a person be? Furthermore I am actually so weird that I really do enjoy my daily ice cream, even when we do have -30°C/ -7.6°F. So yes, it seems that all the crazy stories of my in-laws are actually not that crazy but pretty normal.



Over and out from crazy son-in-law.

31 thoughts on “Crazy Son-in-law”

  1. LOL, crazy but funny.
    It probably won’t be too long before the coffee craze spreads to China though, I think they are even starting to grow some in Yunnan. In Taiwan, the coffee culture is already widely spread, and it’s not unusual to see some coffeeshops roasting their own beans.
    Sounds like you should pack a moka pot and some coffee beans on your next trip to China 😉

    1. I reallu hope the coffee craze starts soon ans would love to try Chinese coffee. I always plab to take my coffee equipment with me but we never seem to have enough place in our luggage 🙂

  2. Hahaha. This was a hilarious post from you, not just the stories that were funny but also language-wise (see, you do have it in you to write a book!). I actually thought all the stories were normal except for the one where you mentioned you must have icy cold drinks all the time, and ice-cream when it’s below 0’C. How can you not get a brain freeze, it’s a wonder to me. I heard that if a Chinese dish is too spicy for your tongue, the best drink for you is milk – cools you down in an instant.

    You can always bring some 3-in-1 packet coffee or coffee sachets with you to China. Just pour boiling water and that should be some okay coffee for the time being 🙂

    1. I am just crazy for ice cream I believe and to make it even more odd, I don’t like ice cream during summer 🙂

      The past articles I have actually written without any big revisions, just checking for some spelling mistakes. Seems that sometimes I have few good writing days.

      1. No ice-cream in the summer…well, you might as well give me your share of ice-cream in the summer then 🙂

        Very nice to hear you’re having good writing days and it’s all flowing along. It’s a great feeling. I am experiencing the opposite at the moment 🙂

      2. Somehow this current writing style is very easy for me, it feels kind of natural. My wife warned all her friends before they met me because of my stupid sarcasm 🙂

        I believe that kind of writing style would be good when writing something in a “diary-style” however it is pretty hopeless for my kind of story I want to tell. I am really aiming to visit some writing classes when settled down in Germany

  3. Hahaha, hilarious! So you are the crazy one! 😀

    I just have one comment regarding food: I don’t think your MIL wants you fat, she just wants you to eat a lot! You know, like those Chinese guys who eat the whole day and never get fat (my boyfriend is one of those, oh how I hate him!!! :D). On the other hand, babies, yes, they want them Michelin style!

    1. Yeah, I really wonder with some Chinese how they can eat and eat and eat (duracell…)and dont put on any weight. My in-laws belong to that group of eating machines. FIL eats tons of chocolate all the time and has zero fat and MIL is eating “normal” food in masses, even wakes up at night to grab some food and is also too slim for that amount of eating..

  4. I love it! You really have the comedic touch.

    I thought China would have better coffee by now. In 1986, I spent three weeks traveling around China, and since I like tea and all kinds of Chinese food, I wasn’t missing anything at first. But after a while, I longed for some coffee. Finally, I found a simple coffee shop across the street from the Peace Hotel in Shanghai. Hurray! When we moved on, it was back to tea and the jar of Nescafe my Chinese husband brought along. As you know, the Chinese are always well prepared for travel.

    1. Thank you 🙂

      It seems that coffee/ coffee shops are more widespread in the bigger cities in China or lets say cities with more foreing influence. Xi’an is certainly developing well so I hope to find my very own favortie coffee shop some day soon there 🙂

  5. looks like I’m not the only one who loved this post 😀 but actually if you count the amount of people (East vs West) we really might be the crazy ones haha 🙂 you might not even know that your Momzilla has micro-blog on Weibo ‘crazy son-in-law drinking cold drinks and tanning’ 😀

  6. I feel ashamed for saying this, but McDonald’s actually has decent coffee and it’s not that expensive…I only go there when I’m in China, I would never go there when I’m in the US, just to clarify. Maybe your MIL should start a blog about how weird you are. Really great post.

    1. Oh yes, McDonald’s coffee is actually also pretty good there however I mentioned KFC as it is just a couple of minutes away from my in-laws apartment 🙂

      Thus far I have only found very few coffee shops I like in Europe and these were normaly small companies/ their only shop. The bigger ones failed my testing but then again, I must have a wicked coffee taste after living so many years in Finland…

      1. With the exception of Starbucks at Helsinki airport where every type of coffee drink, real or imagined is made, my experience of cafés in Helsinki is that they nearly all sell filter coffee after it has been stewed for 3-5 hours and then charge €4-5. To prevent having stomach ache after drinking, it is then necessary to spend a further €8-9 on cake. Maybe Finns have cast iron stomachs 🙂 ?

      2. Oh yes, the terrible coffee you get in most stores in Finland, stomach ache guaranteed but it will keep you awake (and on edge) the whole day. Like most normal Finns I prefer the self brewed fresh coffee. After one hour it gets nasty already so when buying at the airport during evening hours a coffee you will taste immediately that this black poison might be very well already half day old (I worked at the airport for a few years :P)

  7. Being from Miami, FL, I found it really strange when I first moved to Korea in the dead of winter to see people walking through the SNOW and eating ice cream. I thought they must be nuts. Somehow though, I became one of them. They do it here in Qingdao too, and so do I. Ice cream forever, bro!

  8. Since I started reading your blog, this is definitely one of my favorites! We all have different aspects of our personality that are a little “crazy,” and it was fun to read about some of yours. 😉

    I also enjoy staying active, although it generally takes the form of running, swimming, or playing soccer. Haha. At least those are the primary options available to me here in China. Back home I played in an ultimate frisbee league, and yes I miss it very much. 😀

    1. It is great to see good feedback. I hope to maintain a good level of writing/ good stories however there will be most likely many not so good once following (I just know myself too well , hehe)

      It is a bit hard to do your favorite sports in China and especially in your case. I doubt that there are too many people playing frisbee there 🙂

      1. You seem to have a knack for writing good stories. And like they say, practice makes perfect!

        I’m always wracking my brain for new stories to tell. Sometimes I think I worry too much about having a good story to tell, but thankfully it seems like I’m constantly encountering crazy and funny things that are worth sharing.

        I have never seen a person in China throw a frisbee. Hopefully that will change sometime in the near future!

    1. Japan sounds better and better do me (coffee would be alone a reason though, just need my daily intake). It seems the bigger cities with western influence are much better with coffee shops than cities inland such as Xi’an.
      When my mother-in-law was here for three months we bought her a little coffee machine as she likes the smell of coffee in the morning and started drinking it a bit 🙂

      1. >Japan sounds better and better (to) me

        Japan is wonderful, if you ask me.

        I can’t believe that coffee isn’t drunk in China!
        Not only are there coffee shops all over Japan…almost every restaurant, fast-food place, donut shop, convenience store etc sells coffee…and, Japan has more vending machines than any other country—and almost all of them have canned coffee available.

      2. Few people drink it in China thats for sure but thus far the market seems to be pretty small for it. I often ran into a McDonalds, KFC or whatsoever here and they had no coffee 🙂

      3. >I often ran into a McDonalds, KFC or whatsoever here and they had no coffee

        It’s surprising to me…but I guess coffee isn’t popular there.

  9. Haha, certainly proof that we’re all a little crazy. Great insight! 🙂

    I can relate to quite a few of those: the coffee (thank you for being one of the few people that agrees with me re Starbucks!!), the sun/swimming, the ice cream… Perhaps these are mainly Northern European traits. ^^
    When I took my fiancé with me to Sweden for the first time this summer he discovered some crazy things too: eating hard bread that tastes like cardboard (to him!), eating wild strawberries from the roadside, singing before taking a shot at dinnertime (constantly). <- I think midsummer is a good lead-in for newbies, as a crayfish party may have been too much for him to take. XD

    Conclusion: we should all embrace the crazy (to a certain degree, at least) 😀

    1. Yeah, the hard bread. Couldnt get my wife nor her parents to start liking it thus far. Here in Finland many of the Finnish-Swedish families also do the crayfish parties. Certainly not my favorite thing but nice to see it at least once in a life time 🙂

      1. My fiancé took to it after piling on lots of cheese and meat etc. ^^
        To be honest I don’t really eat crayfish myself, but I’m more than willing to present this rather traumatizing event to others if I get the chance! (As a kid I couldn’t even sit at the table when people were eating because it grossed me out so much)<-some of my crazy has been spotted ^^;

      2. To be honest I still can’t sit comfortably at the table as I really hate it how they rip the crayfish apart and well, the smell and stuff, I am no big sea food person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.