Faith in their Son in law

I actually don’t know how to explain this situation entirely but somehow it seems that my parents in law do not really trust in my abilities. Okay, I don’t mean my abilities to function as a human being but to be more precise, some of my special skills.

When we moved to our current apartment I did together with my old dad all the renovations such as painting, wallpapers, removing some walls, building a new kitchen etc. I was pretty proud of the work we did. After I had been several times in China I realized that most of the building crews/ renovation crews do a piss poor job. I don’t want to go too much into it because it would deserve an article on its own. So when my parents in law came to visit us they did not believe that normal people can do such renovation work. They explained to me that only professionals in China can do such things and that you need to learn everything first. They even suggested that I had hired some help. Yeah well, maybe I am just too good with such stuff that my work looks too professional, hehe.

Another matter is swimming. In China I have met only elderly people who can actually swim (besides youths from swimming teams). Every other person my age or still in their teens can not swim. I was told that kids learn already in elementary school that swimming is dangerous because only if you swim you can drown…oh dear. I have been swimming nearly all my life, I made it even as far as to represent my country at European Championships. Even though I have all this experience, my mom in law does not trust my abilities in swimming and sports. Whenever I go swimming she is afraid that I will drown because I just ate something an hour before it or that I will suddenly get a cramp, panic and then drown…It seems she knows everything about sports better than me.~ZZCN3K07]EFPXT18$J%7DKLM

It is really weird for me as I think I am still pretty good in it. So this summer I was again at the pool but this time it was not only my mom in law being concerned about my swimming abilities but also the swimming pool staff. I had to do some basic test first before they allowed me into the deeper section of the pool and even after that they did not believe that I had been in a swimming team before… Only after some random Chinese kid challenged me for a short sprint they finally started to believe me. So sad, I have to proof every single thing in China.

Has anybody else similar experiences with Chinese people/ parents in law/ own family or whatsoever?

How to make life…

…with crazy mom in law more survivable. First of all I must say that I have nothing at all against my mom in law, just the creepy little things can get rather disturbing.

These small things consist for example of buying always the fattest meat she can find, because she things it tastes much better. The result is always that I mostly don’t see any meat in my dishes because I only find fat. Or her opinion that clothes made in China are always bad but as soon aFat Fats she buys them same ones from, let’s say Europe, they are perfect. There is much more but I want to focus now on the part on how to make life with her more survivable or actually how to make it better for my wife.

This is because soon mom in law will be joining us again for a period of three months. Yes, you read it right, three whole months. All of this just because our son will be born and my wife wants some help. In the beginning my wife was really excited to have her mom here for such long time because then she doesn’t have to cook and gets some help with the baby and much other stuff. But then it dawned on her that it will be during the time of zuo yuezi 坐月子 and that’s the time she started to worry.

For anyone who doesn’t know about this zuo yuezi, it is a period of around 30 days after giving birth, in which the mother is confined to her bed, she is not allowed to wash, to move around or to do basically anything at all. I will have about this soon an extra article as I am amazed by that tradition and how it is mostly rather ridiculous. (Well, what you expect of a 2.000 year old tradition, I mean, in Germany you don’t go around drinking hot beer against flu anymore either…)

Mom in law is very conservative when it comes to old Chinese stuff so my wife got really worried about the zuo yuezi. We decided we need a plan on how to counterattack her mom’s intentions during that resting time. The facts we know about her make it even easier to create such a plan. Main things to know about her to make the first outline of the plan are 1. She loves shopping 2. She believes Europe is great an 3. She also believes all medical stuff is better in Europe. I can’t really say what is all better but I must agree to some of the medical stuff, especially when it comes to baby’s. Additionally Finland got something like a baby box in which mothers, no matter which social status, get a package from the government with Kela Boxeverything needed in the beginning for the baby. This also gives becoming parents an idea what is all needed for the baby when buying new things. Check out this for further information http://news.msn.com/world/baby-in-a-box-works-for-finland.

 

You may wonder now, how on earth does this information help for that resting month. Oh, it’s easy, so very easy. For example her love for shopping can be used very well during the resting month. My wife is not supposed to go out during that time but the thing is, how can mom in law go to the shopping malls during that time without her daughter?

We already tested it when my wife called last time her mom and was talking about what warm clothes her mom will need here in Finland during winter (easily -30°C /-22°F) and that she wants for herself something warm.

Mom in law got all scared and was like

I will use your warm clothes! Why you need warm clothes? You stay inside!

But my wife had planned for this and asked her

But without warm clothes, how can I take you to the shopping malls? Oh, I forgot, it is not good to walk in the cold for me, so you have to stay with me at home

and mom in law suddenly changed her opinion very quickly

Oh, but it’s very good to take walks in the shopping malls, it is not so cold there and you can sit down there and rest as often as you want. Don’t worry, I will get extra warm clothes for you for the short time outside.”

Of course we still have to see how this will work out when the time comes, but honestly, we don’t worry about it. It’s pretty much a perfect plan.

So what about the other two points where mom in law believes everything is so much better in Europe? This is once again fairly easy as Finland has one of the lowest infant mortality rates in the world and is thus far better ranked than China. With this we can convince mom in law to do as the doctor and other intelligent people suggest here in the country (it appears Finland/ Finnish people are doing pretty well with this).

When we told one doctor about the resting month including the not washing, she was pretty much shocked, as it can easily lead to skin irritations and with it due to the “unhygienic” surroundings to infections which are never good. Besides that it is usual here to start taking longer walks around a week or so after giving birth, to get the body working again / get the system refreshed after the stress of giving birth and then the week of rest. If mom in law tries to go against it, well, we will just tell her to convince our doctor about her Chinese opinion…

This is just an outline so far of our battle plan and further details will be added in the upcoming months. My wife is very confident that she will be able to persuade her mom without much trouble but just in case we will work on some additional details for our grand plan. You can never be safe enough!

Crossing a Road

Hi everyone once again

Today’s topic will be crossing a road in China…

You can find endless articles about the terrifying traffic regulation in China, terrible accidents occur on a daily basis everywhere there.  It is dangerous as hell there on the streets!

Now it comes more to my observations over the past years, especially when going around with my mom in law.

First Rule: Chinese drivers will never stop for you if your group is smaller than 10 people

Second Rule: Trusting the rules of a pedestrian crossing (or cross walk) will get you killed

Third Rule: Even if you have green to cross the street, there will be cars, bikes and electric rollers coming from any direction

Fourth Rule: To be on the safe side, don’t go to China 🙂

My mom in law is on a whole different level entirely. For example, she never ever checks if cars are coming, she just walks on the street and wants us to not fall behind (scares the shit out of me every time).

However there are also exceptions, sometimes she does checks if some cars are coming. Whenever a car is far away, lets say you can barely see in the smog ridden distance, mom in law won’t cross the street and will wait for the car/s to pass by. But when she notice that the car/s are just meters away, she storms on the street…

Many cities do have some underground street crossing, especially on the bigger cross roads etc. Those make the survival of the average human being much more likely than the standard suicide street crossing method. I have seen many of those but every time with mom in law they are being ignored and she throws us into the danger of crossing a 10 lane road or something similar, because according to her: “Going down the stairs there is too dangerous!” Well, somehow I doubt that the stairs hold more danger to me than a transportation vehicle coming down the road, only being hold together with duck tape and apparently no brakes…

Another matter is, she also thinks that crossing the street the normal method is so much quicker than going below the road. Yeah, so much quicker, crossing lane by lane can take sometimes 10min or more, depending how many people try the suicide crossing with us. (remember the rule, the bigger the group, the faster the crossing will be in the end)

Problematic with mom in laws approach is that most cross roads with the underground tunnels have some fence or even wall on the street level, intended to stop the pedestrians to enter the road and forcing them into the tunnels. This means that each time we even have to go all around those walls or fences until we reach the end of them, then cross the road, and then walk on the other side all the way back again behind the wall/ fence. So as you can see, I have some reasons to doubt my mom in laws reasoning when it comes to safety on the streets…

My crazy Chinese Family I married into…