Airport Adventures

My crazy Chinese mother-in-law is back. I mentioned in the last post already that some destructive force is living with us once again and I have to say that so much has happened already in the past two weeks. I do not know how she does it but she certainly has this profound ability to wreak havoc where ever she is. It is not only about the stuff she can destroy without even trying it is also about the way she thinks (mentioned multiple times on this blog already). In her opinion there is only one way to do something: Her Way.

I know best

Though the title of this article is Airport Adventures is actually started already before she even reach any airport. Just two weeks before flying to Germany my wife double checked with her that everything is in order. This means that all necessary snacks for us have been packed (serious business!) and that she has all documents with her. Documents such as the invitation letter that she needed to get the Visa and also is required to have on person when arriving in Germany as there is our telephone number listed so the border control can call us when needed. This is important as MIL has messed it up before in 2014 when she was nearly sent back to China again. When you have such a traumatic experience you will always remember what mistakes to avoid – not MIL. She did not only forget about the whole invitation letter but she had thrown it away months ago! All she had to say way “I didn’t know that this is important”.  Well she also threw away her flight tickets because she had taken pictures of them with the phone so that should be enough according to her…

I bet her Marriage Certificate has been thrown away years ago

As you see we had our fair share of trouble already before she entered the plane. Needless to say my wife had to organize all the papers in record time and get them somehow to China in that short time period. After that my wife actually thought that the worst was over before her arriving in Germany, oh how wrong she was or let’s say how naive. The journey started pretty well as she got from Xi’an to Helsinki without any troubles. In Helsinki she then had to wait for nearly three hours for her connecting flight to Hamburg.

Yo, Granny is Crazy

My wife told MIL to send her a message when the boarding would start. Nothing happened within 5 min so my wife asked her again about the boarding and to take a picture of the boarding screen – no reply. Then 15 min before the boarding would close MIL said that the flight is delayed as there is no boarding. So my wife asked MIL yet again to take a picture of the boarding screen to make sure that she is at the right Gate – again ignored by MIL. Wife all nervous started to check on her phone about the flight and voila the Gate had been changed to another one just 20 metres away. Quickly she sent her mother about it and to rush to the new Gate. You can guess what happened. MIL did not listen to her daughter and still insisted that the flight was just delayed. Then when she finally went to the right Gate the plane had just left.

You can’t even imagine how furious my wife was. MIL had ignored all messages, it could have been all avoided by just taking a picture of the screen right in the beginning. MIL’s excuse was only “But I was at the right Gate, how could I believe that you would know  what is going on and which Gate to take?”. Through some miracle my dear Chinese mother-in-law got another flight to Hamburg a few hours later but it was all so exhausting especially as I had to pick her up from the airport around 1am instead of 7 pm.  This whole situation was so frustrating and I do not even dare to mention it again in front of my wife.

What is your worst Airport experience?

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32 thoughts on “Airport Adventures”

  1. UGH! Yes, the not listening thing makes me crazy with my own in-laws. And they never seem to understand how much of a pain it is when one’s hard work is wasted and you have to do all this extra work that could have been avoided if they had just listened in the first place.

    1. This behavior is sooo annoying. Even my own dear mother is doing it to some degree but MIL…she just ignores everything we say. All the extra work it causes, let alone the money some of the actions cost us .

  2. Oh dear …
    Even though it is entertaining to read about MIL (you know, cause it isn’t happening to myself ^^”) I really cannot understand her thought process. I assume this is the most frustrating part, to not know, what is going on in that head of hers.
    Good luck and a truckload of patience for the remaining time!

  3. That would drive me crazy….grr if only she would listen. But I do look forward to your entertaining stories even knowing they will be frustrating events for you and your wife.

  4. How infuriating! Even with your wife trying to help her, your mother-in-law still missed her plane.

    My travel experiences are usually good. I get to the airport early, and before I leave home, I double check everything. Years ago, though, I had one bad experience, and it was all my fault. My mother was visiting from the United States. After spending some time in the Philippines with the family, the two of us toured Taipei and then Hong Kong. After a couple of days in Hong Kong, my mom went back to the US. I still had four or five hours before I had to leave for Manila, so I walked up and down Nathan Rd., shopping. I made it back to the hotel just in time for the shuttle to take me to the airport … or that’s what I thought. Unfortunately, I’d confused the time for leaving the hotel with the time for the plane to take off. I had all the information in my purse, but I didn’t look. I thought I remembered. That’s why I double check now.

    1. There is no helping with my mother-in-law, she will just ignore everything we tell her.

      Oh such similar experience with confusing the time happened to me also twice. That was back in Finland and it was always for work. For some unknown reason I confused the time I had to leave with the time which my work actually started…thankfully it was only a 15min car ride to work so no one ever noticed that I was late 🙂

      But with travelling, by plane or by ship, I double and triple check everything to make sure that everything is in order at least on my side.

      1. That mistake meant had to stay overnight in Hong Kong. Now I also double and triple check.

  5. And this was just the beginning 😀 I hope they didn’t charge MIL extra for the other flight she boarded instead. Hopefully meeting her at Hamburg airport was pretty straightforward and there was no issue going through the security customs with the food and all… Come to think of it, I wonder how MIL manages her luggage on flights like these.

    I’ve never had that bad of an airport experience except for flight delays that can sometimes last up to a few hours. And you don’t have food and you have to buy the expensive food and snacks at the airport.

    1. Oh Mabel, why you had to remind me that this is just the beginning 😮
      She is a total mess and will never learn. With the luggage it is another thing. She only has like two pieces with her otherwise she would lose the rest. She did so many times before that is why we force her to only take two luggage pieces these days

      1. Two luggage already sounds a bit much for her. Good luck with the next few months and hope the kitchen won’t be as messy as last time 😊

  6. You shouldn’t have gone to pick her up and let her get home on her own. Next time she would be more careful!! (Am I very cruel? Haha).

    Ah, airports. I’ve had the usual in China, you know, flights delayed for hours or cancelled…

    1. I doubt she would ever make those 80km from the airport to us without our help :p
      In China I had plenty of delays as well when flying between different cities in China but never any troubles when flying back to Europe 😮

  7. OMG I can’t even understand how she thinks. I hope not every Chinese MIL is like this. If she is my relative, I would have run away from her many years ago. All the best to you and your poor wife. Hope no major incident while she is here.

    1. No idea about other Chinese MIL’s but somehow I do not even want to think about it :p
      My wife says it was the best possible idea to leave home and move to Finland when she was 18!

  8. OMG. No, you take the cake. I don’t want to mention any horrible airport experiences. You win. *bow down*

    No, please. You win.


  9. I’m sorry that this latest airport thing with MIL is exhausting..and especially on your wife.

    My mother is controlling and stubborn but she does listen to her adult children on critical things related to safety, health, travel and food. 🙂

    1. Somehow her behaviour does not shock me anymore. I even expected that something like that might happen so I wasnt surprised. My wife on the other hand always hopes that nothing happens but thus far all her hopes were shattered by her mother

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