Category Archives: Crazy Germans

Revisiting the Middle Ages

Last weekend we visited a Renaissance Fair again after three years. The last time we went back in 2016 in Hamburg which is/ was the biggest one in Germany. This time we went to the town of Hohenwestedt which is nearby my hometown and is probably the best location of all middle age markets we have visited. The entire fair is set up in a large park in the middle of the town and a small sports field next to it. The feeling is just so different when visiting such event when nearly everything is located in a park surrounded by huge old trees compared to other fairs where you only walk around an open field.

Some interesting fellows

We all (except MIL) went there dressed up in some costumes. Nothing historical correct or whatnot all, just what we like to and this kind of fair is just right for it as the name already says “Mittelalterlich Phantasie Spectaculum” – “Medieval Fantasy Spectaculum”. You can see all kinds of people there dressed as knights, monks, Vikings, death and even some animals. Anything goes and the atmosphere is just great with music playing from several music stages and some randomn groups playing in between. We met some friends there and of course also other people we know already from my hometown such some neighbors and even a civil official working in the registry office specialized on marriages who has a Galadriel tattoo on one of his arms.

Sunken Nathalie

It was a lovely day with nice weather and a lot of walking for us. Nathan and Nathalie had tons of fun in the straw bale field playing with other kids and I could enjoy a couple of “interesting drinks”. Visiting such event, especially in Hohenwestedt, feels like entering a different world disconnected from the outside. Clothing for the event was kind of odd at first as we hadn’t done so in way too many years but as soon as we left the parking lot we were surrounded by like-minded people and everything felt right. Ruowei went once again as a Chinese princess, Nathalie was a mini princess, Nathan a General and I went in some odd mix of clothing and armor similar to the Rangers of Ithilien. Nothing too fancy but it took us long time collecting everything till we were satisfied. I think it was back in 2015 when we started this all after visiting the very same Renaissance Fair for the first time as a family. Back then my wife was shocked to see so many people dressed up for such event and loved it immediately. I always wanted to dress up for something like that but I had no idea that my wife of all people would like it as well! Even after several years of marriage she still manages to surprise me from time to time.

Have you visited any events where you have dressed up in a similar way?

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.

https://www.facebook.com/CrazyChineseFamily

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Too many Passports in the Family

A couple of years ago I had a little blog post about the various passports in our family. Back then I thought it was rather amusing to have so many different ones but by now I have changed my mind.

I have both the Finnish and the German nationality and this also applies to both kids Nathan and Nathalie. They got both nationalities due to jus sanguinis which is applied both in Germany and in Finland. I on the other hand have both nationalities as my father is German and my mother in Finnish. But as my wife is Chinese and maintains her Chinese passport both kids are by Chinese law also Chinese citizens. However as China does not recognize dual citizenship they are per se really Chinese. Some smart people in some higher ranks in China probably realized that this is not such a great idea to just say no to such interracial kids and thus they soften the regulations and voila the Chinese travel document was created. At the beginning it was only valid for two years but by now (at least according to our embassy visit in 2018) our kids can (re)apply for it untill they are turn 18.

Just a few of the passports in our collection by now

Alright so we got now actually three Nationalities for the kids (kind of three, more like 2 1/2 right now with the travel document). This all sounds pretty nice to have especially when traveling as the Finnish and the German Passport belong to the most powerful ones in some rankings. It basically means that they have one of the most visa free travel rights around the globe. Really great isn’t it? Well that is till you actually travel somewhere as a family. No we do not take all the passports with us as that would be just madness. But alone for the two kids we need to have already 4 Passports with us! Especially when we are at the check-in/ luggage drop at the airport things can get a bit messy. For example last year in Japan (Osaka) the check-in took nearly an entire hour for us as the staff was just too confused with all the documents we had with us. To make it even worse for the staff we had not checked beforehand which passports we took with us. This means that Nathan and Nathalie had both their German passport and the Chinese travel document with them. But what was so confusing for the staff was the fact that I had only my Finnish passport with me and they could not quiet understand how the kids can have the German passport but non of the parents have one!

What is my nationality?

For this years’ trip to China (and perhaps Thailand) we will make sure to take the “proper” passports with us. Meaning that the kids and I have all the German papers with us in order to not overly confuse any staff at the airports. Besides this year my father won’t be coming with us so there will be one less passport to handle. I never imagined back in the day that the whole passport matter could cause trouble at the airports. I did started to realize it first time when applying two years ago for a Visa for China here in Germany and I brought only my Finnish Passport along. Oh what trouble that was as I had to bring a paper from my hometown stating that I am a registered foreigner even though I am actually German but just could not prove it at the Visa Center.

Did ever run into any troubles at an 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 there is also my Instagram account in which from time to time some pictures and short videos might pop up.

https://www.facebook.com/CrazyChineseFamily

https://twitter.com/CraChineseFam

https://www.instagram.com/Crazychinesefamily

Sunday Shopping and Duck Race

Today we had one of the few Sunday Shopping days in which the city is opened on a holy Sunday. Last year I actually wrote about this so you can find in this article more information about this stupid situation here in Germany and why there are barely any people around on Sundays. This Sunday was also a bit special as we had the yearly Duck Race in the city once again (here the article about it from 2015), we had some Street Food gathering going on and a Classic Car Meeting as well.

All the ducks shortly before the start

This year we skipped the Duck Race and I only took few pictures before the start. It is not because we have no interest in watching it but we have a little puppy who needs to get out around 3pm each day and that is also the time the race would start. We had surprisingly good weather with a lot of sunshine unlike the entire last week which had only storms for us.  I would love to tell more about the Street Food gathering but we tried to not get too close to it as it would have certainly ruined our wallets and give us some extra pounds. The only part where my wife was getting weak was the stand with Japanese styled Crêpes but thankfully the waiting line was so absurdly long that she gave up on it.

The Japanese stand

For me the highlight was the Classic Car meeting. The local club has several meetings each year but somehow I have never visited one. Always something happened such as holidays, too much rain or simply no energy to leave the apartment. It was really interesting to see cars from the last 70 years gathered here. As we are in Germany there were mostly only German brands such as Opel, Mercedes, BMW, Audi (Auto Union) and so on but there were also few US brands, British and French. My brother always wants to purchase a classic car but in the end it is just too much work to maintain it properly and you need also a safe garage as those cars can be really expensive.

Lovely old Mercedes

This Sunday was finally a day to relax a bit. Funny enough even though we had the Sunday Shopping day we only went around the city to watch all the interesting events rather than going to any shop at all. Tomorrow and the day after we have some big things happening but more about it in next weeks blog post/ some hints on Social Media the next days.

Have you visited a Classic Car meeting?

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.

https://www.facebook.com/CrazyChineseFamily

https://twitter.com/CraChineseFam

https://www.instagram.com/Crazychinesefamily