Tag Archives: Chinese Germany baby

Holidays in Greece

WP_20140803_16_28_08_ProThe past week I was with my little family on holidays in Greece, to be more precise on the famous island Rhodes. Right from the beginning I must admit that we were more of the lazy tourists kind as we did not go out to see any sights such as the city of Rhodes itself. Okay, maybe not only because we were lazy but because traveling with a little baby in +35 degrees celsius/ 95 degrees fahrenheit is not really the smartest option (hey, I need at least some kind of excuse for just sleeping at the beach…).

 

Our plane left Helsinki on sunday afternoon and we arrived in our hotel room in late evening hours. Due to the late arrival we had no dinner but we had a great view over Rhodes (city) by night which is pretty impressive! The hotel itself was advertised as a family hotel and there were a lot of families with their young kids there. The hotel/ trip organizer offered for kids a daycare option to give the exhausted parents some rest. This was no option for us a Nathan is just too young for that and anyways he is perfectly happy by eating and sleeping the entire day.

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View from the beach

 

Our days were actually really busy even though we had mostly nothing but being at the beach, at the pool, eat and go during evening hours to the nearby village. For me being lazy and at the same time to be feeling busy and exhausted at the end of the day is something new to me! Usually I went for a short 2km swim in the “action” pool each morning before breakfast, went with my wife and baby to the beach and later on to the pool area and finished the day with a great dinner and stroll around the village.This was the first real holiday I have ever had. Before I only went to sunny places for swimming camps, in my childhood I went during summer holidays to our cottage which is in the end mostly work and the China trips were usually to be with the Chinese family, eat a lot and go overweight back to Finland.

 

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Someone wants some dessert?

 

Remember that my wife belongs to that Chinese majority who can’t swim (I know, it’s very embarrassing for me as a former professional swimmer)? As she really wanted to enjoy the ocean as well we got her an air mattress to float at the shore. No, she was never in rhodos5danger as I watched out that nothing happened and besides, she was also only as far as her feet could touch the ground. To her dismay her skin got tanned! To my amusement no day passed where she didn’t complain about her dark skin (he he!). Now you may wonder what did little Nathan do the entire time. He sometimes enjoyed the pool in his full body suit and extra thick layer of sun screen and of course mostly only in shadowed areas or slept in his stroller always nearby us. As he can not speak for himself yet I must say that he looked pretty damn happy when going for a little swim with me. At least the different crazy sounds he can do were all of the happy kind, not the upset heartbreaking kind.

 

During our time spent at the beach we got to know another Chinese guy who is going from beach to beach and offering massage for the tourists. At first we thought he might be employed by the hotel but later on he told us his not so happy tale. As many other Chinese in Greece he came illegally to the country to find work. Before the economic crises it was actually pretty okay till he lost his job and ended up doing the massage at the beach during summer times. This apparently happened to many other Chinese and there are whole crews going around, waving their little pamphlet with the prices of the different massages. He said also that the bigger beaches are mostly controlled by Chinese black society (when it comes to services Chinese can offer there) which leaves people like him only some smaller beaches with less business possibilities. He also wants to go back to China but he first wants to make a little profit before going back as the illegal way of getting out of China is very expensive. I just hope for him, the other Chinese and any other people who suffered due to the economic crises there that their situation will improve again over time.

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Hotel area by night

 

What else to say about this trip other than it was pretty much perfect for us? The food was great, the area was wonderful and everything was working out well. Everything? Okay, there was this issue with the terrible internet connection which was driving me insane sometimes but then again it was a holiday, so why did I care so much about having a good internet connection and getting annoyed by not being upload stupid pictures to twitter…who knows…

 

Anyways, I am very glad we took this trip and I am also surprised that everything went to easy with Nathan as you usually hear that it can get pretty rough to travel with a baby.

 

Our Son’s Baptism

Today we drove once again to Hamburg but this time not because of another visit at the Zoo but for our little boy’s baptism. We chose a little church in Hamburg because I was myself baptized in that church nearly 27 years ago. Back in the day my parents decided on that church because it is the Finnish Seamen’s Church and I am myself 1/2 Finn and 1/2 German. Now that our little son was born we thought it was just right that he would be baptized in the very same church as me and besides he is also to part Finnish!

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Nathan really enjoys it

 

The Church

The church was built at Ditmar-Koel-Strasse 6 in 1966, in the same street are also the Norwegian, Swedish and Danish Seamen Churches (sorry if I forgot other churches but I never paid too much attention which other ones are located there).

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Seamen’s church indeed, an anchor and a model of a ship inside!

It is a pretty small church in the corner of few other buildings so some people even miss it passing by. Within is a small coffee shop where you can buy all kinds of Finnish little items and food stuff. I have to add that the prices are not even that high, sure higher than normal food etc in Germany but still mostly cheaper than in Finland itself. One of my favorite parts in the church building is the parrot named Tseki which is probably just a “Finnishnized” version of Jacky. One of the things you don’t expect in your everyday church is most likely the sauna…

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Nathan is still sceptical about his uncle

 

Our day at the church

The main  ceremony at the church started at 11am and the church was packed (okay, it is a really small church and we weren’t more than 30 people in there…). Besides the main church service there were two baptisms on the program, one for a young boy (he had surely a lot of family with him) and one for our little baby. I don’t have much to say about the whole event as it was in my eyes a standard Lutheran (Finnish) church service but for my mother-in-law it was something new as she his herself catholic and besides that only witnessed church services in China. Everything was going on without any issues,  little Nathan slept throughout the whole service and the only sound he managed to produce was a little fart…

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My wife and HER mother-in-law! (hi mom)

After the service was done we left the church and went to the coffee shop in the same building. My parents had a little cold bread table ordered so we had time to relax a bit with coffee/tea, bread, pulla and some muffins. It probably does not sound like a very exciting day but we liked it as we prefer to keep things simple and it was an excellent way to get body and mind away from the ever going on renovation work in our apartment. Besides, it was very nice that everything went so smooth this day as we had some little drama the two weeks prior to the baptism as one of the papers necessary for the process was missing. Not any paper but the BIRTH CERTIFICATE itself vanished somehow so we had to get some certified paper from the Finnish resident registration office asap to Germany which was not as easy as it sounds now but in the end we managed everything just fine and the pastor received all necessary documents couple of days before the deadline.

 

Some information about the Finnish Seamen’s Mission on wiki and the website of the church itself in Finnish language…