Tag Archives: Chinese-German mixed child

Nathancuty at Thomas Land

And another article about our trip in Japan. We had only seven days in that wonderful country and way too much to see. As mentioned in the previous blog post Epic Tokyo we had a trip planned to Thomas Land. Ever since Nathan heard about Thomas Land in February he asked us all the time when we would go there. Little did he know how far that theme park is from our home and was getting more and more excited each day. So when the big day arrived he was so happy and jumping around non-stop. Once again my wife’s cousin joined us to help out and of course play with Nathan.

Nathan got some big butt

We left shortly after breakfast from our Airbnb house to Shinjuku station which was just 20min away by foot. From there we took a train to Otsuki Station where something very special would take us further to Fuji-Q Highland. Nathan had no idea that we would board a special Thomas Themed train to get to the park. In that train you could take pictures with different “Trains” and the kids could pretend to be driving the train itself. Our little boy was busy the entire journey to the park “steering” the train. Meanwhile MIL was complaining as usual about the aircondition and was the only person in the entire train wearing even a jacket.

Nathan the train operator

Once we arrived we got us something to eat at one of the restaurants at the Fuji-Q Highland park. The food was okay but not worth mentioning any further unlike all the other restaurants we visited during the Japan holidays. Thomas Land is just one little part of the entire Highland Park and it was so full there. Yes, it is very smart to go anywhere in Japan during the Golden Week and we will never do that again! Each ride had a waiting time of at least one hour and we decided plit up to go to different waiting lines so that Nathan could go at least on a few rides before the closing time of the park. He had tons of fun and also got some little Thomas souvenirs from the Gift Shop. In fact the gift shop was a bit too much for him as there were so many Thomas toys, shirts, cups and so forth.

Unicorn Gundam

After few hours in the park it was time for us to head back to Tokyo. for our last night there. We had some wonderful food again together with the cousin and her future husband and made plans for the next day. For the last day in Tokyo we headed to Odaiba for some last sightseeing. It was kind of interesting to be on a fully automated train to Odaiba. Here in Germany people distrust already automatic doors and in Japan you have trains running without any staff! Of course there had to be an October Fest in Odaiba making the whole area even more crazy with people.  Our time in Tokyo was really wonderful and worth every Cent (very many cents…). The time just went by too fast and we did not really feel like leaving Tokyo already but we had other big plans for the following day as Osaka was next on our list!

Have you visited special Theme Parks such as Thomas Land?

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Sunday of the Dead

No this is not the title of some old gore horror movie but a Lutheran holiday in Germany. Totensonntag (Sunday of the Dead) was introduced back in 1816 by the Prussian King  Frederick William III of Prussia to make the last Sunday before Advent a general celebration in remembrance of the dead. This holiday is observed in all German states and there are some special rules as well such as no music is allowed to be played in public and dancing is forbidden as well!

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This Sunday of the Dead we drove together with my parents to Hamburg to the Ohlsdorf Cemetary, trying to find for the very last time the grave of a dear relative of my Dad (Uncle Kurt). Not that he was a close relative, my father does not even remember anymore how they were related but my dad loved him and even bicycled in his youth all the way to Hamburg from our town to visit him. I don’t have too many memories of dear Uncle Kurt as I was just five years old when he passed away. What I still remember is strangely the layout of his apartment, the smell of the cigar smoke and that we always ate cheese cake there. When he passed away he was buried in Ohlsdorf Cemetery and with this cemetery the trouble starts when trying to find a grave again.

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The grave of dear old Uncle Kurt

Ohlsdorf is a bit special as it is actually the biggest rural cemetery in the World and the fourth-largest cemetery in the world. It is just huge with wide streets for cars to pass through and even bus stops. With an area of 391 hectares (966 acres) you might understand why they need those streets and the bus stops. Only once after the funeral my parents were able to locate the grave and that was back in the 90’s. We had tried several times afterwards but to no avail. This time we really needed to find it as by next year the grave will be most likely be removed. The thing in Germany is that you pay for the grave for 25 years. In case no one pays again for another 25 years the grave will be most likely removed by the cemetery to make space for some new arrivals. However this time we were prepared as I had contacted the cemetery and asked about location of the grave. Though we knew where to search we still had to check several hundred graves till we found the right one. We were probably the only relatives who had ever visited his grave since the funeral and lit for the last time a candle for him and his sister.

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Some Finnish Christmas Decoration

After the cemetery we wanted to have something more fun and visited the Christmas Bazaar in the Finnish Seaman’s Church. You might remember that church from the time I wrote about Nathan’s Baptizing there back in 2014. All the Nordic Seaman’s Churches which are next to each other ( The Swedish, Danish and the Norwegian Church) hold this Christmas Bazaar every year for two weekends in a row. As always it was full there, really full. It kind of felt like going around the streets in China just that it was more quiet and organized.  Right in the beginning Nathan attracted the attention of Santa and got some chocolate (which he didn’t share!!!). There was all kind of Finnish Christmas decoration for sale and of course food. We also met some other Finnish people who live in our town and even met one of my old Confirmation pals (Affirmation of Baptism). We only went around the Finnish Seaman’s Church as we had little time left so we could not visited the other Nordic Churches and see what they had to offer. Anyhow it was surprising for us that the Finnish Church even got a little supermarket in the basement with all kind of Finnish (overpriced) goods.

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#Nathancuty eating up all of Mommy’s Blueberry Cake

This Totensonntag was the first I went to a cemetery and it felt a bit strange. I guess it might be also because I know it was the last time I was able to visit Uncle Kurt’s grave and that all things come to an end at some point. Luckily we went to the Christmas Bazaar to lighten up the mood a bit otherwise it would have been a really depressing and rainy Sunday today.

Do you have some special day such as the German Totensonntag in remembrance of the dead?

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The Annual Airport Festival

In the beginning of September (so half a century ago according to my blogging schedule) we went to the annual airport festival here in my hometown. Yes my little town has an airport, okay it might be more a very small airfield and not so much of an airport. Only small aircrafts can start and land there so there is no issue of noise complaints ever. I was actually checking out just now what kind of airfield it is but the Germans surely got their own laws and regulations which do not even translate into English so I won’t bother you with that! This airfield was a military airport back in WWII and after the war the airport was reduced in size to give way for a new city district which was built for the thousands of refugees arriving here such as my dad back in the day.

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Enough of the history and categorization of this so-called airport and let’s get back to the festival. Though I have lived rather long here already before moving to Finland I had never visited this festival. I do not even know for how long this festival exists already except that it must be going on now for at least 8 years. I know that because back then my parents visited the festival as they have a friend, who is flying a glider, invited them. As this festival was right between the time MIL had left us to return to China and my parents return from their 4 month-long holiday we took this opportunity for some family time.  From our home it is only 10 minutes by bicycle to the airport which made it very convenient for us to go there on both festival days. As you can imagine it was a very confusing but also exciting event for a 2 1/2-year-old boy! When he saw the first helicopter flying over our heads he went crazy, not as in crazy as everyday MIL, but happily crazy.

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One of the bit older gliders at the festival

On one side of the airfield were several food stalls and the tents of the different companies offering flights in either helicopters, gliders, gyrocopter, historical planes or different light aircrafts. You could also sign up for some parachute jumping but that is not really my thing as I might have some little fear of heights. Most surprisingly for us was that two of our friends were also at the festival and were just preparing for their parachute jump! I bet that the girl would have not jumped if she would have known back then that she was already in her first month of pregnancy. They also provided tons of entertainment for kids with several amusement rides, jumping castles and also a little track for quad driving (small quads with not so much power). In retrospect the quad driving was probably more intended to give the dads some fun while pretending to take care of their kids sitting in front of them.

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#Nathancuty loves to drive the Suzuki

The whole festival was very interesting as you could see all kind of different planes and other flying vehicles. They also had the Antonow AN-2 flying around which is the biggest operational single-engine biplane. We had plans to take a little tour with a light aircraft but the waiting list was a bit too much for us with its 2-3 hours of waiting time. So in order to let Nathan enjoy his time there we let him have some rounds in the amusement rides. We  had the before-mentioned quad ride for him but he clearly did not really care about as he kind of looked depressed in the pictures.

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The huge Antonov is arriving

For us it was a nice experience to go to this airport festival. We learned a few things about the different planes, Nathan had lots of fun, it is nearby and best of all the entrance is for free. Next year we will definitely go again and then we will sign up early enough for a flight in one of the planes!

Have you visited something like an airport festival before?

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 I also have a YouTube Channel in which some videos might pop up from time to time

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