Category Archives: Crazy Germans

Staying at home with the kids during COVID-19

It has been now three weeks since school, kindergartens and all public facilities have closed here in Germany. The streets are more or less empty here in my area but supermarkets are still very busy. So far barely anyone wears any “masks” so I still get sometimes those weird looks when I go out to get groceries wearing a mask and gloves. Well I don’t really care about those looks by the others as long as I am able to protect myself a bit with these methods. After all I am the one going out for my family and my parents to get everything necessary and I don’t want anyone to catch COVID-19 here. In my hometown there are over 30 cases by now and the refugee center is on quarantine as there are multiples cases there with over 400 refugees in that center.

This is how it feels for me now with too many people spending time at the local parks

Life at home is pretty wild. The kids haven’t been outside for the past two weeks except for running around the big balcony. We don’t want them to go out as there are still tons of kids playing together outside and we want to keep the risk as low as possible. Nathan has now twice a week Mandarin classes online to kill some time and we try to let him study on his own each day for 30 – 45 minutes. Nathalie on the other hand is still too young for studies so well there is only madness with her right now. Sure Disney+ is available here as well now but no way we would let her watch TV several hours a day.

And this is how I would prefer it to be!

To make things even worse is the weather. Since January we had only rain until the 13th of March, the very same day everything closed and people are not “allowed” to meet up anymore with others. We had the past three weeks so good weather and no way to use it with the kids. Today was the warmest day of the year with wonderful sunshine and the kids had to stay home, just wonderful. Of course we could take them to the nearby parks and forest but they are so full of people right now. I have not seen so many people there ever in my life and I am there every day due to taking Haruki out for his daily walks.

Let’s see how the situation will develop in the next weeks. So far Germany is still managing it rather well but it could be much better if people really took better care and not disobey the regulations all the time such as having big meetings in public etc.

How are people following the local guidelines during this crisis?

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Current situation in Germany and for us

The corona virus madness has now reached Germany entirely. On Friday the 13th it was announced that all kindergartens, schools and universities will be closed at least until the end of the Easter holidays (19.04.2020). Of course this is the right decision and it took way too long to reach this point. However now there is this slight problem that the kids are at home and most of the parents are working, so what to do? It won’t be easy for many families, some will have to take their paid holidays for this now, and some have to take unpaid holidays or take sick leave. Depending on the company they might also work from home (home office) or can stay home with less payment. Now we come to the problematic people such as us who are self-employed. Business has to go on for us but how to work with the kids at home? We do not get paid holidays; we do not get any paid sick leave or any other kind of support. The monthly bills still have to be paid, especially the health insurance which cost a ridiculous amount for self-employed people.

For now we will just try our best and see how we can handle it. Public life is more or less on a standstill right now, all kind of events are cancelled, gyms and other sport facilities are also closed. For some unknown reason there are some crazy people out there buying all the supermarkets empty each day so when “normal” people go to buy groceries after work they are confronted with empty shelves. Even from the government came a statement to stop these “hamster purchases” as there is no shortage of food or any other things needed for daily life and that it only causes problems for other people. It is very doubtful that those people listen to reason. My friend’s better half works at a supermarket and she is really angry with the people buying several shopping carts full at once and some of them even get violent when they are stopped by the staff.

For the next five weeks we have to see how everything develops. Thankfully both my wife and I are anyways introverts and only go out in order to buy groceries or for our business. We also have to “take care” of my parent’s groceries from now on as they are both in the critical age group with both being way in their 70s (actually closer to 80). On a side note I turned 33 yesterday but well we didn’t do anything special except that my mother had made cherry cake and the rest of the day I was busy with work as usual.

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

Study time for the children

Here in my hometown we got to know over the years other Chinese-German couples with kids. This town is not big but it is interesting to see how many Chinese leave here by now (compared to my childhood when the only Chinese here were running restaurants). We never really thought much about it until we met last month for a hot pot round at a friend’s place and we had suddenly eight mixed children running around and making some noise. Back then we (okay mostly the mothers) were thinking how great it would be for the kids to come together more often and play and talk in Mandarin.

Some of the kids during the first lesson

Just a week after our eating round we decided to meet several times a month for a little study round for the kids. Actually it can’t be really considered real studying as it is more about having more access to Mandarin for the children such as reading books, learning some about the numbers and characters. As we are no small round it was difficult at first to figure out where to have these meetings but one of the couples are also managing a club home (in fact the very same club I used to be a member in during my swimming days) and there is more than enough space for all of us. Best of all is that the club home is located very close to us so it is just 10 min away by walking.

And another picture in that awful phone camera quality

The children always “study” a bit for half hour, play together for half hour and then study a bit more. Children that young are not really fond of just sitting still for such long time so the playing time helps them to let out some energy. All of the kids are really looking forward to each Sunday as they can meet their friends and play. Our Nathan is the oldest with his five years and the youngest one is just half year old though she is not yet participating and usually clings on her father while we chat. We were always wondering how to get our children more access to Chinese and never thought how many in the very same situation as us are already living here. One couple just moved here from China this summer and they are certainly happy to meet up with other parents with the same background here in this little town.

Did you visit similar “meetings” in your childhood or sent/ are planning to do so with your children?

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.