Category Archives: Crazy Germans

Family Gathering

This weekend we had just our first Family Gathering since 2005. Back in the day it was organized, just like all the previous Family Gatherings, by my Uncle who passed away a few years after that last meeting. For twelve years we did not meet in such a way again until my cousin (daughter of my uncle) decided to change this and started contacting us last autumn.

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The old boys playing some game together (cousin and my brother), in the background my father

First of all it started with a simple family group chat on WhatsApp and from then on the planning progressed quickly (Even my 75 year old father is in that group). The destination for the gathering was found in short time as it was the same place the family had met before. In my case I was around ten years of age when I was there for the first and only time. Back then the group was much smaller as none of the many cousins had children. Even at our last gathering in 2005 there were still many children not yet born. For this meeting we had ten kids making it a total of 21 family members at this gathering. This is the “close” family we have here in Germany. I doubt we would ever manage to plan a Gathering for the entire family as it could easily reach up to 150 people or more.

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All in one group picture

The little village called Tönning was our meeting place right by the North Sea. It is a fairly small village with just 5000 inhabitants. Due to its location it was an important sea port till the end of the 19th century. Then the Kiel Canal was built which made the route via the Eider river obsolete. These days the historical port is a tourist destination with lovely old houses which have been transformed into restaurants and hotels. Just few minutes from our hotel is the Multimar Wattforum which is an information center for the Wadden Sea National Park. This place is just great for kids as they can learn everything about the Wadden Sea from the tides over the important work of the many different worms to the big sharks and wales living in the North Sea. I’d say we all enjoyed the time spent there and it was just so fascinating to see what animals are all living there.

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Later at the dinner (table with tons of kids not shown is to the left)

Later that day we all had a lovely dinner together which lasted until the late evening hours. All in all it was a wonderful time and so great to see all of my cousins again. Especially Nathan had a great time with so many other kids around playing with him. By the end he was so exhausted that he started to fall asleep while sitting at the dinner table. Even my late Uncle was present at the dinner in form of a picture one of his daughters had brought with her portraying him with a big small and raising a pint. The good thing about our close family is that we all live in the same State and that from my hometown (which is right in the middle of the State) it is to each one of my cousins it just take a bit over one hour by car. Now I just hope that we will be able to organize such gathering again in the near future and not to wait another twelve years. We have high hopes to have such meeting again perhaps next year!

Do you have family gatherings?

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Sunday Shopping

After battling with a persistent flu for over a week it is time for a small blog post. I actually tried to write something before but no coherent thought was possible with constant headaches, running nose and coughing. Enough of my excuses and I present you here again some fun fact about Germany.

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A little fire

Sunday shopping sounds not too strange for most people. Well, Germany is a bit different. Here we have the “Ladenschlussgesetz/ Shop Closing Law” which determines when retail stores have to be closed. Sundays and public holidays is a dead zone in the cities, Monday through Saturday stores need to be closed before 6 AM and after 8 pm followed with the tricky December the 24th where shops needs to be closed already after 2pm. Sounds stupid and in fact the law was a bit changed in 2006 when the different  German States got the power to decide themselves how the law is applied. Because of this the different States have different opening hour regulations. We live in Schleswig-Holstein where shops are allowed to be open at any given time from Monday till Saturday so we have it pretty good compared to conservative Bavarians who still follow the old Shop Closing Law.

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Nathan’s new favorite truck

Now coming to the Sunday Shopping. As Germany has a predominant Christian population and is one of those old creepy countries, work is by tradition and religion prohibited on Sundays. Okay this sounds a bit harsh, it is not prohibited but nothing is opened on Sundays so you better get all shopping done by Saturday. However cities are allowed to have this thing called Sunday Shopping which they may have up to four times a year. As they are so rare most cities try to make together with bigger shops some kind of event out of it. We had the first Sunday Shopping of the year on the 5th of February in my hometown and we decided to check it out. No not because we wanted to go shopping but to see what the event would be like.

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Must have been cold wearing that!

 

In the market square was a small stage with live music, a fire to warm up and the volunteer fire department were presenting themselves in order to recruit for their youth division.  There were also some artists and a fire show which we kind of missed each time it was on. One of the artist was walking on stilts with an interesting costume making her look like some kind of firebird/phoenix . Nathan was at first amazed by her but then he realised that she was just too tall so he decided that running away is the best option.

 

The reason why we missed the fire show was because we were busy eating cakes in a new cafe. This cafe just open recently with the great name “Layali Lebnan – Köstlichkeiten aus 1001 Nacht/ Delights of 1001 Nights”. As you might guess from the name it is not a German cafe and that is also why it is so great. The cakes and pastries were just amazing and so different compared what the standard bakeries here are offering. Even my mother who is always so annoying  with food enjoyed it so it must be pretty good. I know that this cafe will be visited more often this year by us.

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I am hungry again

So that was it, our first Sunday Shopping (more like Sunday cake eating) in 2017. I actually do look forward to the following Sunday Shopping dates this year as they seem to be interesting with their special events and artists.

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#Nathancuty approves

What are the opening hours 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/

 

Our Christmas 2016

First of all I hope you all had some nice Christmas days whether you celebrated it or not. For us these few days from the 24th till the 26th of December were the first real “holidays” for a very long time. Not really any customers to deal with, no purchasing to do and of course no packing and with it no trouble with MIL.

 

This Christmas was also a bit special as it was the first time in years that both my brother and I were at home for the festivities. During the past 10 year it was always either me who was in Finland or my brother being somewhere else in Germany over Christmas. So this year my father had finally both of his sons home again. This also meant that Nathan had some time again to annoy his big Uncle as big uncle is barely ever here due to his work all around Germany. Let’s just say that Nathan surely enjoyed terrorizing big Uncle.

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We even stole my brother’s Christmas Pyramid (Weihnachtspyramide)!

As for what we did over the past days: eating, nothing but eating. Oh, of course we exchanged gifts in between the eating but that is about all we did. Originally we had planned to go to the Arche Warder on the 25th but as usual the Northern German weather decided to come around with storms and tons of rain. I think this might have been even the greyest and wettest Christmas for me thus far! As you might imagine staying at home for three days and do nothing but eating is not really the healthiest you can do in your life but as my dad would say “You only live once so you have to enjoy all the food while you still can”, what a wise man.

 

So here I am still stuffing myself silly with food while checking the calendar with dread as my goal weight for the end of year seems a bit impossible to achieve within the next 5 days (that is if I do not find my own Room of Spirit and Time from Dragonball).

P.S. it is the first time that I use pictures/ videos from Instagram, hope it works.

So what have you done these past days?

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/