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.

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.

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…

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.

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.

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?

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23 thoughts on “Family is the Best”

  1. I think my family is just weird in structure, with all the divorces and remarriages.

    My husband’s family is a little like your wife’s in making crazy (to me) demands and not listening to any advice about why those demands are crazy. Exhausting.

    1. My family is more or less normal in structure as I am from the third marriage of my dad and my brother is from the first..
      Chinese, or pretty much Asian families have those strong hierarchical structures which are just soooo old fashioned

    1. I,think MIL is unbeatable when it comes to expect everyone to know exactly what she wants. I mean she even hangs up the phone mid conversation (in China the other person doesn’t get any sound confirmation that the other hangs up) so you never know what she even heard!

  2. I thought MIL was crazy enough. These other family members just add to it. It must run in the genes.

    3 hours in an LV store is a long time and hopefully the sales assistants understood it was for Uncle. It must have been frustrating for them too. Maybe Uncle would be better off with a fake bag but then again, Chinese like the real thing.

    My Chinese family is not that crazy. But they all like to talk very loud and talk over each other all the time. It can be hard to get heard or worse, even have a normal conversation.

    1. I think by now the talking loudly is just normal. At least those are my experiences when being in China 🙂
      The whole family is some special, I mean the more distant relatives don’t even want to invite them as no ones likes them!!
      Uncle would even have enough money by now for such stupid expensive things but I guess he still views himself/ the financial situation as he did before with a much worse job.

      1. I actually can’t say how divided they are. My wife hasn’t seen her fathers family nor the extended mother’s family for like 20 years now…
        I tried to convince them few times to go to the countryside to visit FIL’s bigger family who seem to own rather much land there but no they always have some excuse :p

  3. Lol…poor you. Having to deal with such a cast of characters. Haha. The sofa request is too much, but I think not all that uncommon for Asians of all sorts. My dad’s family is a little insane themselves (for example his twin sisters refuse to be in the same room together because they think it’s bad luck!)

    1. In Asia they surely got some interesting superstitions. I noticed that in China some superstitions are created out of nowhere these days as people tend to believe those viral messages shred via WeChat(Chinese version of whatsapp) too much. For example MIL believes anything shared on that platform, it is insane

  4. The sofa incident reminded me of something that happened in my previous job… I was asked to buy some tools because they were 20 euros cheaper than in Spain and give them to a guy from the finance department who had been sent to do an audit in the China plant. He was told to put them in his luggage. The company ended up having to pay for excess weight in his luggage because guess what, who would have thought, metal tools are heavy. So the tools ended up being way more expensive than if they had been bought in Spain…

    1. Taking stuff from other countries/ sending them is often so much more expensive in the end due to excess weight. How often MIL wanted to take furniture from Finnish or German IKEA to China as she things in China the IKEA is totally different (several kitchen cabinets she wanted to buy weighing more than 400kg!)

  5. I think it’s both funny and sad. Spending 3 hours in LV store for nothing?! Oh my god I’d be so mad.. I am amazed how you guys try to put up with these crazy demands and the family doesn’t even realize it I guess. :/ Luckily you have to deal with them just few times a year.. Who in their right mind would think that buying a big sofa in Germany + shipping it all the way to China would be cheaper? Ha ha.. I do understand the Asian relatives though since we have similar culture in Nepal. 😀

    1. I really believe that they don’t even realize what trouble they cause us so often…actually few times a month some crazy demands are coming. Well we ignore most of it but still you always got to wonder what is going on in their heads 🙂

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