New Year and no real news

2020 has been going on already for a while and it has been over one month since my last blog post. There are multiple reasons for that such as stress with work and with it also an uncomfortable few weeks. As some know my wife and I have our own exporting business and it has been going downhill since summer. As the business is our only means of income it is really not a nice feeling when you realize that everything you built up for several years just vanishes in your hands. It is not that we were running our business in such bad way but due to the market changes in China ever since the trade war with the USA began. All the products we are selling are now available just like that in China as all the companies opened up their own webstores as exporting for them became easier last year for German companies (to fight against the trade war…). In the end small companies such as ours are the losers in such wars and all other people in Germany my wife know with a similar kind of business say that 2020 is the last year for them.

Nathalie checking out the situation outside the hotel

So now it is time for me again to start some job hunting but at least we are not in such hurry as back in 2014 when we moved here as I couldn’t get any kind of insurance for us without work or a “thumbs up” from the employment agency (we got a “thumps down” from them after I was already employed for a few months, bureaucracy is just insane and slow in Germany). So back then I just took the first opportunity I got and the payment wasn’t the best in the world. Anyhow now I can carefully select were I will apply for and won’t rush anything.


For January 2020 we had the great plan to travel to Finland so the kids can finally see some snow. That plan was scratched as Finland is experiencing the mildest winter in recorded history and there is no snow anywhere near our cottage (never happened before). This winter is also the first time that the big lakes are not freezing which also is just wrong. But hey, Global Warming is just a hoax anyways invented by the Chinese according to a very trustworthy source from the USA.

Haruki also wants food at the restaurant

Besides these not so nice things we had last weekend a family gathering just like in 2017 and it was wonderful to see so many of my cousins with their families again. Next gathering might be my fathers 80th birthday! However not all plans are scratched for this year as we will still travel to China from April to May again. This will be the last time for us to travel outside the school holidays as Nathan will start his school life this August. After that we won’t be able to travel anywhere outside those set school holidays for the next 16 years or so.

Nothing new in China from the crazy family either as Granny is still doing fine despite that the cancer has spread to muliple organs already. She doesn’t feel any changes in her life yet and she also still does not know anything about the disease either. She won’t be told at all till the bitter end. Last year the family was afraid of losing her already by summer time but she is still going strong so I bet we will meet her this spring again.

How has 2020 started for you?

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 there is also my Instagram account in which from time to time some pictures and short videos might pop up.

19 thoughts on “New Year and no real news”

  1. I am so sorry to hear about the issues with your business (and also very sorry my fellow white Americans elected such a terrible ignoramus as President). It’s hard to see all that work slip away, although you have a pretty good attitude.

    1. At first I surely had not such got attitude, afterall everything just slipped away and I am actually still not that keen to start working somewhere else again. Here with our business i was most of the day at home and could do a lot with the kids which will be very different once i have fixed working hours again. However this time I will take care to get into a good company here and in fact some bigger local companies are expending here in my town right now and are searching for lost souls such as me 😅

  2. Thinking of your Granny in China, I wonder if you’ve seen the movie, The Farewell, starring Awkwafina. I liked it a lot.

    I’m really sorry to hear your business is having troubles, and I’m sorry our stupid president is one of the reasons. He’s done a lot of harm in our country and the world. I’m worried that he will be reelected.

    Your children are adorable. I love that photo of Nathan.

    1. I heard about the movie but I somehow don’t dare to watch it. Too much loss has occured already in this family so I don’t know how I will manage through “The Farewell”.

      We all have to see about Trump, I still cannot believe how he actually can be still President after all the scandals and terrible decisions.

      The kids had so much fun at the family gathering and loved the view from our hotel room towards the ocean

      1. I suppose it would be hard for you to watch The Farewell. But, spoiler alert, it turned out better than they all expected. The grandma was tough.

  3. Oh, I’m so sorry to hear about your business. What kind of products were you working with? I didn’t notice seeing more German products on stores but maybe I wasn’t paying attention.

    Nathan is already 6? Time flies! He looks so big in the picture! All grown up already!

    Any plans to travel around while in China?

    1. About travelling to and around china we will see for now how this new virus situation is developing.

      We exported mainly baby products eg food, clothes, medications and things for the parents mostly skincare and food supplements. These days most of those brands have their own page on taobao and co with pretty much the same prices as we are offering but the customers gets it from those stores much quicker than from us. I don’t think that these brands are really in any physical stores as that would be too big of an investment for them

  4. That must be quite a blow. Sorry you’re facing a tough time 😦 Our little guy starts school this year too… although at 4 because the UK is nuts. Unfortunately we can’t even take advantage of some last out of school holidays trips because my husband works in a school.

    1. Yeah I heard about the UK and school starting at the age of 4. What on earth are they studying at that young age? I am really not looking forward to tie the holidays to the school seasons…always the price for flights etc is skyrocketing and of course half the country tries to travel somewhere at the same time resulting to chaos on the streets, railway stations and airports 😱

    1. Well it had to happen at some point to this business as the Chinese government set up more and more restrictions over the past years. However that all suddenly crashed within a few months that was the real shock for us. In the end we will figure something out 🙂

    1. Finding a job wont be that hard but to find one which pays well enough and is to my “liking” will take some time and a lot if research. Well I guess latest by summer I should find something and it is also great that there is no pressure this time around to find something as soon as possible as was the situation nearly 6 years ago

  5. There is a Canadian firm, Shopify that is setting up their European office in Berlin. The CEO is originally from germany.
    I know you live far away…but think of the foreign foreigns who could use multi-lingual folks like you for support services. The firm’s strength is an e-commerce sotware service to small to large businesses worldwide. A business owner can set up their own online ordering hooked up to major banks, have backend dashboard sales metrics which is downloadable to Excel..which can go into book keeping software and for tax filing purposes. Their stock is doing very well. They are like a Canadian Amazon in terms of its value..

    My partner uses the online software to help his son’s butcher sandwich shop which is why I can see all its benefits and potential world-wide. Shopify is trying to penetrate Asia..

    Go for it…arrange online remote support service…let me know. 🙂

    1. Thank you for the idea. I know Shopify and I think I even had a case study during my studying years about the company.
      I checked out the website and all info, sadly the only positions they have currently in Germany are located in Berlin, roughly 3-4 hours drive away. In some other European countries they offer remote work, so you don’t have to go to the main office.
      Due to the long travel distance Shopify is not an option, especially relocating from here to another region in Germany would mean new applications for the schools and kindergartens, let alone the other paperwork required.
      As for now I will be only applying here in my region as more and more businesses are expanding here so I should get something easily.

      1. CCF, Shopify needs online remote access support staff in other languages to support on call businesses using Shopify or trying to set up.

      2. Dearie has received remote customer service from Shopify staff who are all over the place. Sure the office job is something to work towards. Life is full unknowns. Take the chance… you have much to gain with also a Chinese speaking wife.

      3. Thank you, right now we are still fairly busy with all the work and my wife is planning to set up some English online school with two of her friends in China resulting that I had no chance yet to apply anywhere. When things calm down a bit I will start searching and checking my options 🙂

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