Another Trip to China

Yes, we will be travelling to China this year again. We haven’t been there since 2016, the year my father joined us there and we had the awesome City Tour Extreme . We did not visit China last year as Nathalie was just born in summer and we did not feel like travelling anywhere by plane with her (afterall she is the Thundergoat). This holiday in April/ May  is something we have been planning ever since last year. Not only because my father will be once again with us and additionally we will have two kids to entertain but we will be also travelling to Japan!

Soon again at the airport

Okay, Japan is like 90% certain as we are still waiting to get the visa for my wife. Turns out the whole process is a bit annoying for Chinese when travelling not with a tour group. Thankfully we had a wonderful person giving us advice at the embassy on what to do in order to make the application much easier for us. Japan is a country we wanted to visit for so many years as even nearly did so on few occasion. We did not manage to do so as each time something got in the way such as unfriendly embassy staff telling us in Finland it is impossible for Chinese to enter their country without a tour group  in 2014 to being just not healthy enough back in 2015. So right now the only thing stopping us is not to get a visa for my wife (or she just gets too lazy again to travel once we arrive in China).

How much luggage we will have this time?

My wife has been planning the entire trip for the past two months now and has a small folder with all the details! We will be flying from Xi’an to Tokyo spend few days there and then travel to Osaka for another few days before flying from there directly back to Xi’an. Within Tokyo we have not really planned anything yet as we just don’t know what to do there. However while there we will visit the nearby Studio Ghibli Museum and Thomas Land (that idea I got from Eleventh Monkey as little Babel is also a huge Thomas fan as Nathan). We hope that my wife’s cousin will have a bit time to show us around Tokyo as she has been living there for nearly ten years. In Osaka we will be doing standard sightseeing as that city is a must see in Japan according to basically everyone I know. I would have loved to visit the Nature Aquarium as I am a huge fan of the late Takashi Amano and his work but Niigata is just too far away from our two destinations.

No Nature Aquarium for me this time 😦

Except the trip to Japan we do not plan anything big in China itself. We definitely will have a photoshoot for the kids, similar to the one we had 2015 for Nathan. I guess we will be doing our standard sightseeing around Xi’an with my dad and I plan on eating as much different food as possible there! Besides those little things I hope we will have another trip to the Qin Mountains or some other countryside visitation just to get out of the city and all the pollution. I do wonder how well my father will manage this trip as he will turn 77 this year. One thing he told me already, he wants to go to gym during the holidays in China in order to stay in shape for his bicycle competitions during the summer time in Finland. Guess he is the most active person from all of us.

One of the dishes I need to eat!!!

Have you planned your holidays for this year already?

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

DNA Ancestry and Family Tree

For many years I did not really care about my family history and didn’t really know much more except my parents birthdays and some information about my grandparents. This changed back in 2015 when a former colleague mentioned something about his family tree research. For some reason I was immediately interested and started my own research. Within short time my family tree had more than 200 (now over 300) people in it but I ran into many problems finding information regarding my father’s side of the family. Reason for this was very simple: World War II happened and the area where he was born belongs now to Poland. Most records had been burned back in the day so we had very little to work with.

The “close” family in my research

Then I read one blog post from Lani called “Identity, what is it good for?” and there she mentioned about a DNA test her brother had taken. Fast forward to the year 2017 where I decided to take a DNA test at FamilyTreeDNA. At first there were problems with sending it to the United States and then somehow I kind of forgot about the whole thing. This year I read yet another blog post about DNA tests by Katie from Hot & Sour Blog and I got into the whole research again. I checked upon my results from the previous year and even found  distant relatives living in the USA whose ancestor with the same family name as mine “Glander” migrated from Germany back in the 1870s or so. As I was back into the reseach game I contacted researchers for Info about my father’s family and got few interesting information already and I hope more will follow. Anyhow these DNA tests give you also a approximate Ancestry composition and I was fairly interested how “messed up” my ancestry was.

My Ethnic Makeup according to FamilyTreeDNA

The DNA results from FamilyTreeDNA I uploaded in DNA.land and also on the platform where I am doing my family tree research MyHeritage. All three platforms gave me about the same result regarding my Finnish ancestry between 48% to 49% which is really no surprise at all as I am half Finnish thanks to my mother. The other results vary as for example DNA.Land does not go too much into detail and thus there is for example no “Scandinavian” listed. So according to the other two tests I am for around 32% Scandinavian. No this is certainly nothing I got from my mother as Finnish people are not Scandinavian. I believe that the reason for this is very simple as the area where my father’s ancestors come from is Pomerania and that area belonged to the Swedish Empire for a while.

According to MyHeritage

 

 

The rest of the of the my DNA is Baltic/ East European.  This I got from a very small percentile from my mother as her ancestors from her mother’s family side are from Ingria an area between Estonia and St. Petersburg. Then the rest of the Baltic Genes are from my father as Pomerania/ Prussia extended to the Baltics. The rest of the tiny Percentages I have in the various tests are <2% Asia Minor according to FamilyTreeDNA, Ashkenazi 3% via DNA.Land and last but not least Melanesian 1% according to MyHeritage.

DNA.Land sadly does not go into too much detail

What do I learn from this? Not really anything new except that I am not Central European at all. To take it further I am genetically not really German at all, at least not central German as the German Empire spread throughout a lot of areas back in the day so it can be said the Prussian’s are not even genetically real Germans to some degree depending on how German people are viewed. For some reason I have the urge to force my wife for a DNA test to see how much she is Han Chinese but I guess I will never be able to convince her to waste money on such a test.

Have you taken a DNA test or are doing some family research?

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

New Apartment Part II

Remember when I wrote about the apartment my in-laws had in mind? Back then they were not 100% whether to buy it or not. They did not even know if they move into the apartment  or rent it out in case they buy it. Shortly after that blog post my in-laws decided to buy it and keep it for a few years before selling it for some profit. Everything seemed so fine back then as I was happy that they wouldn’t move out of their old apartment. Well my in-laws are apparently changing their minds very often. Because they could not decide on a certain move I did not give any further updates as I hoped, nay prayed that they would change their mind again.

As the situation is right now (actually ever since the beginning of December) is that they buy the new apartment and move in! This is like the worst case scenario, it just can’t get any worse than that. I have no clue at all how on earth they got the idea to actually move to the new apartment. Not only is it on a very bad floor (nearly the top thus the water pressure is miserable) and the location is terrible as well. You might think that the area will be developed soon as so much is being build there right now but you are wrong. Sure it used to be an industrial area for half century but the factory workers actually lived right there. It is full of old apartment blocks from the 1950s-60s and never any supermarket or similar has opened there. According to the city planning there is nothing at all in the books for the near future so my dear parents in-law will have to take the bus for every little thing they need.

He ain’t happy with his grandparents as well

The only good thing right now is that they have decided to move into the new apartment towards the end of the year. Thus our trip to China in April/ May is saved and we do not need any terrible bus rides just to buy some snacks. I do not kid you the busses (at least in Xi’an) are terrible. They are always stuck in traffic, they are filled to the brim with people, they would definitely not pass any safety inspections in Germany (for what could you possibly need breaks or or mirrors?) and they are like a bad-smelling sauna during summer time. Yes there are also busses with air-condition but they are very rare and I do not really like to wait half hour for a certain bus in the terrible heat when the other scary ones are stopping every 5 minutes.

I guess my in-laws expect from me and my dad such miracle work as in our apartment few years back

My dear parents in-law now want that we (my father and I) will go with them to check for the materials to use for the new apartment and make some basic plans. Sounds like tons of fun to do during your holidays. The best is that both MIL and FIL have completely different opinions and “taste” when it comes to refurbishing that place. While MIL has some crazy Italian materials and furniture all planned out good old FIL wants to keep everything more subtle with dark and light coloured contrasts (dark floor and cream coloured walls for example). I really do not know what I will do this holiday in China, enjoy my time there with great food or renovate an apartment I hate?

Do you know people who change their mind all the time?

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

 

My crazy Chinese Family I married into…