Bargaining

Bargaining – A skill highly common in Asian and Arabic countries…

In my own home country we know some kind of bargaining but it pales compared to what I experienced for example in China. wherever we went together with my mom in law to buy something she tried to get some extras out of it or to lower the price. You may think its okay if its something special like some a bit higher priced electronic equipment, but no, don’t be fooled. She bargains everywhere.

I remember from last year when she wanted to buy a new dust mob for the ever cleaning dad in law. We ended up going through several shopping malls and looking at dozens of different brands and models (I never imagined that product would be so popular in China, as I never see any clean apartments). The sales people tried their best to convince my nice mom in law to buy their product, they showed how easy to use those dust mobs are, how good they clean and so on. Now the thing is, the all have nearly the same price and the sales personnel went as far as giving even extra interchangeable parts which might get worn down after time. But no, they couldn’t convince her to buy it until one sales person offered another unit of some of the interchangeable parts and voila, mom in law bought it immediately.

Once again, as in so many other stories, a normal person might think that this aint so bad…okay…wait for this.

My wife and her mom were discussing about visa regulations. This is because next year our family will finally grow a little bit and mom in law will come to us for three months. Three months because that is the limit someone can stay in Europe with a normal travel visa from China. Both of them were upset because three months are not really that long and we really could use mom in law’s help for some longer time. My wife told her then that after few months break we will invite her again for another three months.

What was mom in law’s reaction then?

“Are you stupid, why waiting?”

My wife then.

“Because you need to get another visa after the 3 month.s”

Mom in law

“Dont be silly, I will just get a longer visa”

Wife

“But mom this is impossible, tourist visa in only valid maximum for 3 months.”

Mom in law

“No no, I will go to the embassy and talk with them, bargain a bit, because this is a special reason with the child so they will give me a longer visa.”

Wife o.O

“What? There is nothing to bargain, visas are fixed, you can’t negotiate on that!”

Mom in law

“Everything can be negotiated.”

Wife

“…”

One of the many examples. I guess I could come up with many more stuff like this about mom in law bargaining but it is just too much.

Anyone else has experienced similar weird stories with their Chinese or Asian families?

Keeping it clean

Anyone who visited China knows that it’s not always so “clean” there. Especially many apartments look so messed up that you might think they were constructed at least half a century ago even though they are only few years old. From this you can see that most Chinese don’t take cleaning and taking care of their things too serious.

However there are also other Chinese specimen, including my nice dad in law. Sometimes I have the feeling that his first priority in life is cleaning, ahead of anything else.

As an example I give you the daily routine of entering the apartment.

Normal Chinese just go into an apartment and keep their shoes on, sometimes change to some slippers.

He on the other hand is “dusting” himself of before entering the apartment, means slapping himself with some special clothes or wet towel, so the dust from the outside is not getting into the apartment.  Then he has the slippers for the apartment which he puts on before entering through the door. Btw, even though those are house slippers they are cleaned daily by him, because of the dust which according to him, falls down the body and makes everything so dirty in the flat.

I don’t go into too much detail about his daily cleaning routine but lets say, its extreme.

But what I noticed about the cleaning: It is all superficial! On the one hand he cleans and cleans and cleans the apartment more if he wouldn’t need sleep and go to work but on the other hand it is mostly pretty useless.

So he might hand-picked every single hair he finds on the floor and clean it at least twice a day but more important things like changing the AC filters and cleaning it from time to time are not happening at all. Also the kitchen, especially the cooking zone, it’s a mess, a war zone. The exhausts hood in so full of oil and other food stuff that its falling constantly down, the cooking plate is full of burned things so that the pots are a bit elevated when cooking…

But then again, I should be probably happy that he is doing something and the apartment looks neat and not like some old dormitory room where you can’t even tell what the colour on the wall might have been.

My crazy Chinese Family I married into…