Category Archives: Travels

Travel plans for this year

Our trip to China is getting closer and with it also the (probably) the last time to see Granny. As I mentioned in the last post she is not doing fine. Back then the doctors couldn’t pinpoint what is exactly going on but by now they figured it out. She has malignant melanoma what they already suspected one month ago. However they could not find the spot untill few weeks later as it is actually located in her upper throat. Because she never really goes to the dentist they never saw it growing there and by now it is just too late.

Granny surrounded my her family at our wedding in China 2013

This cancer won’t be treated except with some Chinese medications as she is too weak for any surgery (and this surgery would be very risky as well) and chemotherapy would not help in this case either. She does not know that she is seriously ill and the doctors and the family decided to keep it that way. In the best possible scenario she still has a few years to live and we hope for that one though I hate to imagine how the last months of her life will be.

Because of this turn of events we “rescheduled” our plans for this trip to China and will stay mostly in Xi’an. Our planned short holiday to Thailand has been postponed to some other year. However this does not mean that we won’t travel at all this year at least within China. In the end of April we will be going for a few days to Wuhan to  meet up with some friends from Finland. No they are not Finnish but they are in fact Chinese who studied together with my wife back in Kajaani over 12 years ago and lived in the same dormitory. Last year they visited us in Xi’an and this year we shall visit them in their city. Besides Wuhan we will be going in May to Hong Kong! Now this is a city I wanted to visit for so many years but my wife never really had any interest in it. However now I convinced her finally though I must say that mentioning Disney Land might have helped a bit here.

Standard Chinese apartment block, let’s see how they look in Wuhan and Hong Kong

My wife does not even have the chance to change her mind on these travels as all tickets have been booked already so she won’t be able to turn into a complete coach potato this time around. Oh and also our plans for the summer changed again. My wonderful Chinese mother-in-law will be coming to Germany. We had first planned for FIL to come as ´his wife prefered staying with her mother in China but because doctors think that Granny still has way more than just few months or even several years my wife could convince her. Another big reason to convince MIL to come to Germany was about work. FIL is always handling the packages we send to China such as opening them, checking the items and repacking them to smaller boxes to send to the customer. Every time MIL did this job it was a total disaster as products would just go missing or she would forget to send them/ send them to the wrong customer. Her doing that job for 3 months would be the possible end of our company. Thus MIL will be coming to Germany in order to help us with the kids while my parents are in Finland for the entire summer.

Have you been to Hong Kong or Wuhan?

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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https://www.instagram.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

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