Category Archives: Travels

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

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Experiencing China

It has been now over six months since our last holiday in China. It was a great trip and we are already planning for next years holiday session in the Middle Empire. I have mentioned it countless of times that for so many years we never really managed it to go anywhere besides Xi’an. This year was different as we had that wonderful week in Japan (Tokyo, Thomas Land and Osaka) and we are kind of planning on having next year a week-long trip in Thailand. This is not set in stone especially when taking into consideration that we should have been already to Korea, Taiwan, Bali, the Maldives and so forth. Main problem was always that my wife turns into a complete couch potato once we arrive at her home in China.

Some temple somwhere in Sichuan

Anyhow even in case we won’t manage it to Thailand I am still looking forward to visiting China again. For one it is of course the food and I think I don’t need to touch that subject again as writing about it and sharing pictures makes too many people hungry. It is for me more like the whole experience in China. Even though I have seen so little so far it has been always such an interesting experience especially as each region or even parts of the city are so different. I have been mostly only to Xi’an but already there each section of the city has its own vibe. It goes as far as each “block” can be so different compared to the next one. For example the area where my in-laws are living looks to many people (like my parents) like a city shortly after an air raid while as the next block is a complete different matter as everything is relative clean and nice looking. However between those blocks the feeling is already different as in the older parts everywhere you have those wonderful street kitchens which are more rare or even non-existent in richer areas.

Music in the streets

It feels sometimes to surreal to drive on some roads passing by mountains which look like just from paintings. To have old temples and other historical buildings right next to some huge shopping centres. Just going a bit outside the cities you even encounter traditional clay brick buildings and even cave houses. Of course there are always downsides to the whole experience especially due to pollution or overcrowded tourist spots but it does not really bother me that much. For me each holiday in China is unique as even in Xi’an I find new interesting thing which each visit. For next year we have another novelty as we kind of have to decide where we want to stay: Either in MIL’s new apartment in the middle of nowhere or in the old one where FIL is staying right in the city center with all the best food around. Guess this decision is a no-brainer.

Do you have already plans for holidays in 2019?

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

The Family at Legoland Billund

Last week we visited Legoland in Billund, Denmark. The whole trip to Legoland was rather spontaneous as we had no intention at all to go there this year but my wife found suddenly an offer (nearly 50% off)  we just could not resist. Our little Nathan who is a giant Lego fan had no idea at all about visiting Legoland and we kept it a secret till the end. Lego is the most valuable toy brand in the world for the past four years or so when it surpassed Mattel. The brand has its roots in Billund, Denmark,  where it still has its headquarters.

I’d say this is old Hans Christian Andersen

I had tons of Lego in my youth and so did my dear brother (who is 20 years older than me…) so Nathan got already a lot of Lego from my old sets and will receive more in the next years  (old Pirate ships and of course lots of trains). I can’t really say why but I have always loved these toys and still love to “play” with it. For me it is just so fascinating what can be all achieved with these simple plastic bricks. Nathan quickly got a bit bored of Lego Duplo (which is for smaller children) and changed to real Lego when he was 2-3 years old. By now he has built on his own some sets for 8 + years old kids and together with me for 16+ years. The instructions are usually no problem at all for him but few smaller technic bricks can bring some difficulties.

Adventure Land!

Back to our trip to Legoland. As I said before we didn’t tell Nathan at all about this journey to Legoland, he only knew that we would visit some nice place far away. The theme park is roughly 2h away from our hometown by car so it was no problem at all for the kids. Even though we tried our best to keep it a secret from Nathan he eventually found out about it. We managed it really close to the theme park but just 5min away he spotted a road sign with “Legoland” written on it. Though our big surprise was gone it was still lovely to see how happy he was so we went to the check-in at our motel at the Legoland Holiday Village. Needless to say everything is Lego inspired there and our rooms had one of the old Pirate Themes (from the 1990s).

Scary boatride

We had the bad luck that on both days it was raining. Thanks to the rain Nathan got his only souvenir, a Lego rain poncho. Even though it was raining on both days we had fun and even got in between some sunshine to warm up a bit. Each time the rain got too big we went into one of the inside locations such as the Atlantis by Sea Life Aquarium, some cafe or the 4D Cinema. Somehow we managed not to get soaking wet and let the kids have fun. As our visit to Legoland was so close to Halloween they had started to decorate the park a bit. This was not entirely to Nathan’s liking as he got scared a bit by a few things such as some witches or a Mummy sitting on a bench.

Mighty Nathancuty not scared at all

The park is very well maintained and clean. Nothing appeared to be worn out or dirty even though we were there during the off-season, on a Monday and it was raining. So the staff is doing a great job no matter the weather and time of the year. We had such a good time there with the kids that we definitely want to revisit the park again. Not that we go next year or so already but when Nathalie is also old (and tall) enough for some of the rollercoasters. This time she always had to stay behind with one of us and watch Nathan having the time of his life. Thankfully the kids were not too demanding and we were spared the fate of spending money on overpriced Lego in Denmark (+30-40% more compared to Germany!).

Lego Diver

In case you are interested in visiting Legoland in Billund I recommend to stay at least for one night there to visit the park on two days. There is really much to do there, especially with kids so one day won’t be enough. Besides that I suggest also to eat in one of the restaurants in Billund as the ones in the theme park are a bit on the expensive side and really full the entire time.

Have you visited a Legoland before?

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