Category Archives: Chinese Wife

Pregnancy in Germany compared to Finland

Oh no, it seems that I missed once again some blog posts in the past weeks. Running your own business and having to prepare for a second child is certainly time-consuming. With the birth of our little baby girl approaching I want to share some info regarding how different the whole pregnancy process was for us thus far here in Germany compared to Finland. I must admit that both my wife and I have forgotten already a great deal about the pregnancy in Finland so I hope I get it still more or less right.

Puffed up Nathan

Back in 2013 my wife went for a pregnancy test to her “normal” doctor. The same doctor she always went when she had the flu, needed stitches when one bunny ripped her ear or for some allergy check-ups. She had taken the home pregnancy test before but she just wanted to be sure about the result. After her doctor confirmed that she was pregnant she gave us an information flyer and told us which steps to take next. For one we had to contact Neuvola, which is something like a guidance centre/ midwife centre. I believe that Neuvola is something which every country should have! There the mother gets all the pregnancy check-ups and information before giving birth. After the child is born all the doctor visits are being done in that center and the child is “being taken care” (checking the development, helping with questions etc.) untill going to Elementary school. That is certainly an all-inclusive package and it is all for free in Finland.

Nathan chillin on the groun in our Finnish Apartment back in 2014

The only other thing we had to do was to inform Kela, which is the Finnish Social Insurance Institution. Why contact the Social Insurance Institution? Well Kela is so much more than just that as it also handles retirement pay, child benefits, unemployment benefits, sickness benefits, health insurance and student benefits. We had to inform Kela when the child would be born and a few months before the due date we received the famous baby box. That box has everything needed for the first month and it gives parents a good idea what to buy later on. The box itself can be also used as a crib for the first weeks. The total worth of the box is around nearly 600-800€ by my estimation and it is yet another thing which is entirely free in Finland.

By just informing Kela and Neuvola everything was pretty much set and we did not have to contact any more places for “registering” our baby. After Nathan was born we simply had to give the birthdate, confirmation of life birth etc. to Kela so all correct information would be in his file. I believe that is all we had to do but perhaps some Finnish person might add to this in case they stumble upon this article.

Just one hour after being born in Finland

Now I come to our endeavour here in Germany. Already now, way before our baby girl is born, everything is very much complicated. Let’s start with the simple part as my wife went to her gynecologist in order to confirm the pregnancy. After that all further check-ups were done at that gynecologist. Thus far it all sounds still very similar to the Finnish Neuvola however now I come to the differences. We needed to find also a midwife for us (who we will meet for the first time next week). We went for the easiest option and made an appointment at the local hospital as it has a midwife section. There the midwives are of course working at the maternity ward however they also are self-employed as midwives in order to give information for expecting mothers, come to your home every few days to check on the new born (the frequency changes later on when the child is older) and helps the mother getting back into normal life. Already now we have the gynecologist my wife needs to visit every few weeks and we have to take care on our own to have a midwife.

A surprised Monk

The midwife is also important in order as she takes care of the paperwork needed for the hospital when giving birth. It is not so much but it gives the doctors and midwives at the hospital all necessary information about the mother and the unborn child so nothing goes wrong (for example allergies to certain medications). Now I come to the part with the health insurance. This was in Finland automatically done by contacting Kela. Now as we live in Germany, a country where digitization is something for the unknown far away future, we have to go everywhere on our own as no bureau here gets information automatically. So the health insurance we need to contact before the birth so they can already give the needed documents for us to fill out once the child is born. Besides going to the health insurance we also need to go later on to the registration office with all kind of different documents in order to “register” the child officially. It may not look so different but trust me, it is a huge change for us compared to Finland were everything was so easy and worked nearly automatically.

Baby in a bucket

You can see that we favor the Finnish way much more but Germany got also a few good points. In Finland we had two ultrasound check-ups to make sure that the baby is fine. In case we wanted a 4D Ultrasound for some better pictures and get 99% certainty about the gender we would need to pay around 200 Euros. Here  in Germany my wife has every 2-4 weeks ultrasound check-ups and we had also those 4D ultrasounds twice already and paid only 40 Euros for it, as you can see it is a big difference compared to Finland. I’d say the perfect system would be a mix of both of them but you can’t have everything in life. Both countries offer with their health care systems very good methods which are for free and everyone living in those countries receives those benefits.

Last but not least I have to mention that we got a little present from the Finnish community here in Germany. Finland has this year its 100 year anniversary and it also started a huge knitting fever in Finland and for Finnish people living abroad. After emailing the Finnish community here we received for our baby girl hand knitted socks held in the colours of the Finnish flag (blue and white). Surprisingly the person who send us the socks is even the mother of a guy I know from way back when I had my Confirmation Camp in Finland (2001 or 2002). It is not the same as a Kela Baby Box but it is a nice gesture of the Finnish community and our girl will wear those socks next month!

How is the whole “process” in your country?

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 I also have a YouTube Channel in which some videos might pop up from time to time

https://www.facebook.com/CrazyChineseFamily

https://twitter.com/CraChineseFam

https://www.youtube.com/

A Day to Remember

Here is another little story I wanted to share already for a long time. I really do wonder why I didn’t write about it before but well better late than never.

This whole annoyance happened back in 2015 when we were flying to China. I had everything planned out on how we get from our home to the central bus station and from there to the airport. The day started even well (except that I was pretty ill back then) and we got our taxi to the bus station without problems. The bus also arrived in time and the entire trip to the airport went without problems. But then the nightmare started and it lasted nearly the whole day.

First of all my wife had the wrong residence permit with her (The Finnish one, not the needed German) but we were able to settle that after some time. The next problem was at the customs as we had some products with us for our customers. The line there was just huge and we saw the time running away to get to the gate. After the customs we were relieved as there was still time left but oh no, more troubles were ahead. One big trouble was the security check where we found out that one of the products was a mixer and we completely had forgotten about the nice blade placed within it. The option now was 1. throw the thing away or 2. someone had to run back to the check-in to get the bag with the mixer inside as an extra luggage.

night4
All is still well at the bus station

Turns out I was the one to run to the check-in and the staff was so friendly to declare that suitcase as an extra luggage for Nathan and thus it was for free. What joy I felt in that moment and I really did believe now all of our troubles were over. Well while as I had this brief moment of joy my wife had other struggles at the security check as her laptop had to be checked for explosives and this whole stress made Nathan a very very upset little boy. Upset equals a lot of crying and thus making it also very hard for mommy. Even these troubles we survived and we were looking forward to just relax a bit before flying to Helsinki.

Flying to Helsinki? Not going to happen! Just as we had few minutes to calm down we heard the announcement that the flight to Helsinki was delayed by two hours. Those two hours would mean that we miss our connecting flight to Xi’an. All the stress began anew and we rushed to the gate to get more information. There we were told that all passengers with connecting flights to China got a new flight via Lufthansa going from Hamburg to Frankfurt, from Frankfurt to Beijing and then for us from Beijing to Xi’an. All in all over 23 hours instead of our booked flight with only 10 hours! We weren’t happy at all so we had to go back to the check-in area to the Service Center to make some complaints. Result was that we still had to catch that flight to Frankfurt and we needed to hurry as the Gate was closing in 15 minutes. Now the problem was that we still needed to get our luggage from the Baggage Claims. In all the hurry (only 5 minutes left!) we forgot one suitcase but we wouldn’t realize that until much later. As we ran with the staff to the Gate we saw our plane slowly rolling away…

night3
Brief moment of rest before finding out that the flight is delayed

Now we had to go back to the Service Center. There my wife was already in a terrible mood and it escalated into a shouting match between her and some of the staff. Meanwhile I was busy entertaining Nathan somehow who got also grumpier by the minute. After what felt like an eternity we got another flight and this one was leaving once again in just 30 minutes. So all the running madness began again (I think I do not need to point out that we had to do the security check each time we passed between the areas + having the same stupid explosive check with our laptop). Half way through the running we finally realized that one suitcase was missing. Down I ran with the staff to the Baggage Claim just to find out after spending 20 minutes there that our suitcase had by now taken its flight to Helsinki with the delayed machine. By now we had in fact already spent 6 hours at the airport, running here and there with our 1 1/2 year old son without resting, eating or drinking something. Of course we missed our new flight as well due to the delay at the Baggage Claim.

night2
More than two days later Nathan is exhausted in FIL’s arms

Exhausted we had to go back to the Service Center once again and the staff there was not all too happy to see my wife again in front of them. I don’t know what all happened in the following hours but it involved me going down to the Baggage Claim to the Lost & Found desk to somehow find the missing suitcase which was by now somewhere in Helsinki (indeed it was kind of lost as the tracking number was gone), my wife having an emotional breakdown and Nathan getting very exhausted and more grumpy. In the end we settled for taking the next flight to Xi’an via Helsinki two days later. We spent 11 hours at the airport, running the whole day and did not eat or drink anything during the entire time. As we got back home we were just dead tired and went to sleep after eating a bit.

This has been thus far our worst flight experience as it was a day where nothing worked out at all, everything going wrong. Two days later everything went as smooth as it could go. I must also add that the staff at the Hamburg Airport did an excellent job by helping us out and not to actually trying to kill my wife.

What was your worst experience when it comes to flying/ being stucked at the airport.

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 I also have a YouTube Channel in which some videos might pop up from time to time

https://www.facebook.com/CrazyChineseFamily

https://twitter.com/CraChineseFam

https://www.youtube.com/

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.

family1
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.

family7
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…

family3
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.

family8
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.

family6
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?

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 I also have a YouTube Channel in which some videos might pop up from time to time

https://www.facebook.com/CrazyChineseFamily

https://twitter.com/CraChineseFam

https://www.youtube.com/