Category Archives: Our cute son

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.

https://www.facebook.com/CrazyChineseFamily

https://twitter.com/CraChineseFam

https://www.instagram.com/Crazychinesefamily

In search for some snow

For some time Nathan has been asking us already when we will have snow so he can go play outside and build snowmen and snow fortresses. The thing is we will most likely not have any snow this year either. For the past decade or so we barely had any snow which stayed for more than just few hours or a day. Now I know from my childhood that we had enough snow here (and pictures to proof it) to go even skiing or sledging at the nearby hill. Few times even the lake here had solid enough ice to go skating. However times are changing and we have hotter and hotter summers and milder winters.

December 24th here few years back, drowning in snow

So what to do when the kids want snow? Go to the mountain areas in middle and southern Germany or do something very different such as visiting Finland during the winter time? My wife is not really fond at all about snow and she does not want to do any activities outdoor so a little skiing holiday within Germany would be kind of meaningless. However visiting Finland would most likely mean tons of snow, stay at our own cabin and visit some friends afterwards before travelling back to Germany. So yes, my wife would prefer Finland (even though she is not fond of having the long ship cruise during winter time) and the kids could finally enjoy some snow.

The situation in Finland is a bit different

Now our plans are not set in stone at all but we have more or less an idea what to do and when to go. Our preferred time would be around the Chinese New Year as we have barely any work as all customers are busy visiting their relatives and that time is also more or less the snow peak time up there in Finland. For extra support we would force my parents to join us, especially as I have no real clue how to manage the cabin alone with all the heating and switching on the water supply.

More snow

I know that in Finland there are also bad winters with barely any snow in that region however from all the years (soon 30 years) I have lived or visited Finland it only happened a couple of times with a no snow/ barely any snow. Chances are pretty high for some snowy madness and at least Nathan could learn some cross country skiing, ice skating and perhaps even downhill skiing. Nathalie on the other hand will be still a tad bit too young for such activities but there is still so much to play around with the proper amount of snow. I remember in my childhood building gigantic snowmen, fortresses and snow caves. Right now I really hope this will work out and we should really order the tickets for the ship soon(ish) before the prices become ridiculous. The ship cruise is however a matter of mostly bad memories as during the winter we always had storms resulting in many sea sick people on board and my wife is handling it poorly as well.

What are your plans for the wintery season?

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

 

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.

https://www.facebook.com/CrazyChineseFamily

https://twitter.com/CraChineseFam

https://www.instagram.com/Crazychinesefamily