Tag Archives: China

Delightful Disneyland

One of the reasons I could convince my wife to visit Hong Kong was the prospect of spending a day at Disneyland. For all the past years we had plans of visiting a Disneyland. Here in Europe we got Disneyland Paris but the costs of travelling there and spending just two days pretty much equals the flight tickets for the entire family to Japan! The thought of visiting Disneyland here popped up from time to time but due to our penny-pinching nature those ideas were quickly quenched. Last year we travelled to Japan so the idea of Disneyland came up again but we decided against it as Nathalie was just way too young to enjoy it and have some faint memories of it later. This year however we planned for a day at Hong Kong Disneyland for a very long time. My wife especially planned our trip so well that she had decided on a specific day to go there based on our travel plans within Hong Kong and most importantly on the number of average visitor of the theme park. All those plans were for naught as she did not consider one factor: The Weather!

A grey sky but no rain for now

While we had pretty stable weather during our first days with some sunshine all rainy hell broke loose after our trip to Lamma Island. It was not just some drizzle but more like a constant water fall flooding the streets.  The day of our planned visit to Disneyland came and was washed away by the rains. In fact we already gave up on visiting the theme park and planned for some other trip to Hong Kong the following year or so. However the kids were so sad about not being able to go to Disneyland, especially because my wife hyped them up for it with videos of the park and Disney Movies for several weeks prior to our holidays that we decided to take the risk of being drowned in the rain and just went there on our fourth day in Hong Kong.

Just some mist, no real rain yet

We took the metro and as soon as the train left the safe underground tunnels we were surrounded by rain. However we were prepared with umbrellas, raincoats and rain boots for the kids. But then we got really lucky as the rain stopped as soon as we arrived at Disneyland and no drop fell down from the clouds until the evening. I mean we had so bad luck in the past six months that we could not fathom something lucky as that happening to us at all anymore. Arriving at the Disneyland station felt so strange as you are immediately “transferred” into some strange and happy fantasy world. Everywhere you go you have some calming background music, the park is designed that you forget the outside world and you really feel like that you stepped into some other place entirely disconnected from the outside. Well that is at least how I felt. To make matters even better was the fact that there were really few people visiting as the weather report had forecast heavy rainstorms for the entire day. This meant for us that we never had to wait more than five minutes for any ride.

I will never ever go on a rollercoaster in the dark again

The kids loved everything there and wanted to go on every single amusement ride. Needless to say that Nathalie was more than once disappointed as she was just to small for the rollercoasters and few other rides. Nathan however was able to go on every ride except one in Toy Story Land where there height requirement was minimum 120cm were he fell short by a few centimeters. All prior research and planning of my wife for this visit came in handy as we arrived at each ride at the right time in order to have short waiting times, not missing any important parade and to go to the best possible restaurant for our requirements. The food was plenty and well enough for a theme park. Nothing extraordinary but on a sad note it was one of the best food we had during our trip to Hong Kong. I know food is not everything went travelling but we had our disappointments with restaurants during our stay.

Flights of Fantasy

One of the main parts was the Flights of Fantasy Parade were pretty much every visitor came to the main road to watch. Towards the end the actors/ artists/ performers (what is the right term here?) invited some kids from the audience to dance and play with them. Our little Nathan was one of them and just beamed all the time while Nathalie screamed like a demon as she didn’t like to be apart from her brother (or just angry for not being invited, you never know with her). One of the interesting parts of this parade was in fact a person in the audience, an elderly woman in a wheelchair who apparently had the time of her life dancing and singing that even some of the performers came to her to dance. In the evening just when to “We love Mickey” Projection show ended the rain started and we quickly hurried back to the train station. By the time we arrived again in Mong Kok the rain had transformed into a proper storm and just walking from the station to our apartment left us soaking wet even with umbrellas and raincoats. For this day I have to say that we really got lucky and I hope the kids will have fond memories of it.

Have you visited a Disneyland?

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Chinese New Year celebration…

In the past weeks I read so many blog posts about the Chinese New Year and how the people will celebrate it and whatnot all. Here in Germany in my little hometown it is a bit different. Sure we would love to celebrate New Year but first of all we only hoped this time not to get sick again as all the past year. We had so bad luck each January/ February with our health that we already prepared all the medication for a week with high fever in bed. But some wonder happened and we stayed healthy! That was indeed already something new for us and actually all we hoped for.

Eating some fruits, drinking tea, Chinese New Year Gala and a dog harassing us

Back in Finland we had this big New Year celebration in Helsinki city center but here in my hometown? Not so much. Even though there are pretty many Chinese living here (we know perhaps 5% of them) there is never any event taking place. Of course they always plan to celebrate with some nice food and invite many friends over but that never happens. Thing is this is still Germany and there are no holidays over the Lunar New Year so people are just too busy to actually celebrate on a working day. We had “holidays” ourselves as we are exporting to China and we just have no customers at all for an entire week due to the holidays over there.

So what can you do when there is authentic Chinese restaurant anywhere nearby and the supermarkets have only limited amount of ingredients for making some nice Chinese dishes? You do nothing but stay home, eat snacks, have video chats with the family in China all the while the Chinese New Year Gala is blaring from the TV.  I must say it was a rather uneventful day for us and my wife was a bit down as all chat groups were filled with pictures and videos of the food in China while she was stuck with some grapes and chips.

No that was not our food this year as we couldn’t get any useful ingredients

But it all ain’t bad as this uneventful day and the entire weeks gave us time for other things. My wife finally started studying for her driving license again after starting it back in 2017! I also had time to do some video editing and finished our holiday “movie” from 2015 and started now the editing process for 2016 in which we had the crazy city tour in China.

How did you celebrate the Chinese New Year?

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.

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Sightseeing in Xi’an

We have been multiple times in Xi’an and visited each time some new locations. The most we saw back in 2011 during our first holiday there when my parents were both visiting. Over the years I developed a better understanding about the city compared to my wife who grew up there. She is kind of resisting in learning anything new about her home town and she has zero sense of direction thus making every place we visit new to her even though we had been there before. So how to decide what places to show when friends are coming for a weekend visit?

Peaceful times at the Guangren Temple

Those friends are all from my wife as they were together in the same dormitory when studying in Finland during their first year (in Kajaani to be precise, my wife moved later to Helsinki). All those friends kept close contact over the years even though some moved back to China, others stayed in Finland and we moved to Germany.  Now when we had our holiday in April/ May in China and some of them decided to come over for a visit. All of those friends married and got kids so we had a bit bigger group coming over which required some good planning. My wife had grand plans for her friends, very grand plans. They all failed.

View from the City Wall

They did not fail because of not putting enough heart and time in them. No they failed because my wife didn’t consider two things. First of all she has zero sense of direction and has no clue at all how long it takes to go to some location and second of all she did not consider that her friends mess up plans completletly each time, every single time and are always, really always late. Because of this mess we only saw few sightseeing spots such as the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda with the Fountain show, the Small Wild Goose Pagoda, the City Wall, the Muslim Quarter, Guangren Temple, Qinglong Temple, the City God Temple and few other temples of which I have no clue about theirnames any longer.

Some Booze at the Guangren Temple

Just to show you why all planning failed I give you two examples. The complete lack of any kind of sense of direction of my wife lead to a rather embarrassing failure. She had the grand plan of going with all people to the City Wall, walk a bit on it till we reach the city center and go eating in some famous restaurant. You see the City Wall goes all around the old city center and is roughly 14km long.  So we entered the City Wall at the West Gate where my in-laws live. For some unknown reason my wife had the idea that you could walk on the city wall straight to the old city center (note it still goes all around, not through the city…). She had this plan also while facing 36 Degrees Celsius and walking together with little kids. Needless to say everyone gave up after not even managing 800m on the wall (out of the needed 5km on the wall and further 2km walking to the restaurant) and going to eat in some small restaurant near the wall entrance.

#Nathancuty just like a real German tourist, Sandals and Socks! (plus Adidas Shirt)

Now to the problem how her friends mess up plans each time and are always late. On the second day we planned to meet up at 10 in the morning to take a little walk and eat at a restaurant famous for Liangpi. Shortly before we arrived they called us that they just woke up and bought some beef noodles for breakfast. For breakfast! By the time everyone was ready to move it was already 12 and all of them were too full to go eating for the next hours leaving my wife, Nathan and me starving. You might say something like this can happen from time to time but this actually happens each time we meet them (also during our short Finland trip this summer, but that is stuff for another blog article).

Even though nearly everything went wrong what could have gone wrong we still had a great time with them. It was really nice to meet them again and their kids. Sure there were frustrating moments but living each year 3 months with MIL made me kind of immune to such things.

Do you have friends who are always late or mess up all your planning?

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