Wistful Wuhan

We are back from China and it is time for some blog posts again! The past month I had no articles here as we were in China and I didn’t feel like writing any lengthy bit on my phone or tablet for this blog. I also did not  reply on any comments on my last article as I just can’t do it, at least not for now or even for a long time. However I did post more or less frequently some pictures on Instagram. All of our planning for the holidays in China was changed in a rather drastic manner after receiving terrible news few days before the flight. In fact a lot of the plans changed but we did stick to travel to Wuhan.

At the Zhongshan Park

For Wuhan we had so many plans meeting with our friends and the trip turned into something entirely different. We did see some of the city as my wife tried her best to comfort her friend by going to places away from home. It was not a week for full of merriment but we did try to make the most of it for us and our friend. We had lengthy strolls around parks, visited Wuhan city center with a bit of sightseeing, ate some nice food and tried to have as much entertainment for the kids as possible.

We visited the Zhongshan Park for a nice change of scenery and to visit the theme park there for the kids. For me it was rather interesting to see a Zhongshan Park after visiting the Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum in Nanjing back in 2016. Besides this it was very strange for at least me to find a theme park located inside that park. It is a nice little theme park with many different amusement rides for kids of all ages. From the park it is also easy to travel to many other sights by metro such as The Bund, Riverside Park and many shopping streets. Wuhan has still some very interesting “historical” buildings right next to towering new structures.

Trying to find something to eat

I can’t even say anymore exactly what we all visited as the whole trip is in some kind of blur for me. Sure we saw some sights but we did not visit any of the very famous places such as the Yellow Crane Tower or the East Lake. Our focus was on other things so I do not really have much to write about Wuhan. But what I can say is that Wuhan is certainly a city to visit when going to China as there is just so much going on with so many different sights and feelings to each area.  Besides that I can also add that Xi’an seems to be a small town compared to Wuhan. Of course I know that Wuhan is a bigger city with few million more inhabitants but it has just a different vibe to Xi’an where the long history is shown especially with the architecture in the city center within the old city walls. Something else I have to add: I did not understand anything when people talked in the Wuhan dialect, nothing at all!

Next up will be much more as it is all about our trip to Hongkong and Disney Land!

Have you been to 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

https://twitter.com/CraChineseFam

https://www.instagram.com/Crazychinesefamily

 

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In memory of a dear friend

Today I had planned for a little blog post all about our upcoming holiday to China next week. More specifics about the places we will visit, about my new camera equipment and of course all the food I am looking forward to. But all changed yesterday morning.

Yesterday (saturday) morning, early morning we received a terrible message from my wife’s best friend in China. Usually I need a long time on weekends to wake up and get out of bed but not yesterday. The message was along the lines “Don’t come to visit. Y. had an accident, he is dead.” Nothing more, just this and it was enough to wake me up in an instant.

You see we had planned to visit our good friends in Wuhan. The very same friends we had met last summer in Finland and who also visited us last year in Xi’an. It was supposed to be a great experience with all the places to see in Wuhan, all the food and of course spending time with those wonderful friends. But now it is all different. Those friends I have known for the past nine years and my wife R. even longer as they all started their university life at the same time in Finland and lived together for some time. Her best friend got to know a guy making a living with a Chinese restaurant in that small town and married him later. Together they had a little girl just few years later. Just some months ago they moved back to Wuhan for which they had planned for such long time and were looking forward to it and now this terrible death happened.

I don’t know the exact specifics but he went out with his friends and never returned. On his way back he fell asleep in his friend’s car and never woke up. His wife got in the early morning a call from a hospital to come immediately but it was already too late. He died suddenly from a brain hemorrhage and never realized what his happening to him. He could never say one last goodbye to his wife and his little daughter. He was just 35 years old and all ended just like that.

Everything just feels so unreal right now. I can still see him in my memories smiling, keeping everything under control and helping. He always helped out everyone without any hesitation. In case we would have ever needed anything, they would have given it. And now his wife and daughter will need our help. We will still go to Wuhan but not for fun. This time it will be to help a friend in need and to be just there for her. I won’t be of much use in this case but I will try my best together with Nathan to cheer up the little daughter.

Now there is just pain and we tried to bury it all under the work we have before this trip but it still surfaces in crashing waves.

All I have right now for my friend is this:

“In sorrow we must go, but not in despair. Behold! we are not bound forever to the circles of the world, and beyond them is more than memory. Farewell!”

J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings, Appendix A: “Annals of the Kings and Rulers”

 

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

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

https://twitter.com/CraChineseFam

https://www.instagram.com/Crazychinesefamily

 

My crazy Chinese Family I married into…

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