Tag Archives: chinese in germany

Too many Passports in the Family

A couple of years ago I had a little blog post about the various passports in our family. Back then I thought it was rather amusing to have so many different ones but by now I have changed my mind.

I have both the Finnish and the German nationality and this also applies to both kids Nathan and Nathalie. They got both nationalities due to jus sanguinis which is applied both in Germany and in Finland. I on the other hand have both nationalities as my father is German and my mother in Finnish. But as my wife is Chinese and maintains her Chinese passport both kids are by Chinese law also Chinese citizens. However as China does not recognize dual citizenship they are per se really Chinese. Some smart people in some higher ranks in China probably realized that this is not such a great idea to just say no to such interracial kids and thus they soften the regulations and voila the Chinese travel document was created. At the beginning it was only valid for two years but by now (at least according to our embassy visit in 2018) our kids can (re)apply for it untill they are turn 18.

Just a few of the passports in our collection by now

Alright so we got now actually three Nationalities for the kids (kind of three, more like 2 1/2 right now with the travel document). This all sounds pretty nice to have especially when traveling as the Finnish and the German Passport belong to the most powerful ones in some rankings. It basically means that they have one of the most visa free travel rights around the globe. Really great isn’t it? Well that is till you actually travel somewhere as a family. No we do not take all the passports with us as that would be just madness. But alone for the two kids we need to have already 4 Passports with us! Especially when we are at the check-in/ luggage drop at the airport things can get a bit messy. For example last year in Japan (Osaka) the check-in took nearly an entire hour for us as the staff was just too confused with all the documents we had with us. To make it even worse for the staff we had not checked beforehand which passports we took with us. This means that Nathan and Nathalie had both their German passport and the Chinese travel document with them. But what was so confusing for the staff was the fact that I had only my Finnish passport with me and they could not quiet understand how the kids can have the German passport but non of the parents have one!

What is my nationality?

For this years’ trip to China (and perhaps Thailand) we will make sure to take the “proper” passports with us. Meaning that the kids and I have all the German papers with us in order to not overly confuse any staff at the airports. Besides this year my father won’t be coming with us so there will be one less passport to handle. I never imagined back in the day that the whole passport matter could cause trouble at the airports. I did started to realize it first time when applying two years ago for a Visa for China here in Germany and I brought only my Finnish Passport along. Oh what trouble that was as I had to bring a paper from my hometown stating that I am a registered foreigner even though I am actually German but just could not prove it at the Visa Center.

Did ever run into any troubles at an airport?

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

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Living as an Interracial Couple in Germany – Three Years Later

In January 2015 I described our life in Germany with all the difference challenges and difficulties we had experienced in the first few months of living here. First of all I was rather shocked when I saw that the article Living as an Interracial Couple in Germany is already three years old! Up till this point I did not even realize that we have lived for so long time already in this country. For me it feels like we just left Finland one or maximum two years ago. This just shows that time passes by faster the older you get/ when you have kids keeping you busy.

Demons from Hell have arrived to stop the digitalization in Germany

My first point of annoyance three years ago was about applying for the residence permit and Germany still being in the stone age when it comes to digitalization.  Thing is we had to renew her residence permit half-year ago and it was once again a very special experience when the nice lady at the office for foreigners was once again going through countless of folders and law books. No Germany did not manage to reach the digital age within those three years. Besides the nice lady was even surprised that we had a second child by now and we were required to hand them the birth certificate. Not that I received that very certificate from the same building just 20m away in another office last summer…nothing really nothing can be viewed from their PC’s as everything is kept in folders and each office still requires their very own copy of every certificate.

#Nathancuty and grandpa are busy watching TV

What about the weird stares on the streets and people taking our mail out of the trash to spread it all over the street? The thing with the mail stopped and I suspected a couple of neighbours but nothing can be proven any longer. Those certain neighbours have moved away or died in the past years so we will never know.  Surprisingly also the weird stares on the streets are very rare these days and I can’t even remember when it happened the last time. In the past years many Asians (majority of them are Chinese) moved to this little town and its surrounding villages. The people here see pretty much every day several Asians and also WMAF/ AMWF couples can be seen daily. No one has yet said anything towards us or “behind our backs” so I am pretty happy with the current situation when it comes to this aspect.

You can have never enough Lego Duplo

By now Nathan has also overcome more or less his language difficulties as he is pretty fluent in Mandarin and in German. In fact his Mandarin is better than his German languages skills but we do not worry about it as he is improving a lot in it ever since he started kindergarten last summer. Besides those two languages he knows a bit of English and at least few words in Finnish. In the kindergarten they also do not discourage parents and the kids anymore when it comes to growing up bilingual unlike back in the day when my mother was forced to quit speaking Finnish to me. At least in Nathan’s kindergarten they teach also a bit of English for the older kids.

That little man will turn 4 next month!!

I am very surprised how much the situation  improved for us here in the past years especially with some neighbours passing away. We are not even that annoyed anymore when it comes to giving each office here some extra copies of this and that certificate or document, you just get used to it. It is a fact that Germany is far behind when it comes to digitalisation than other “leading nations” in the world. At least we can have now again normal internet speed as our connection went up from the terrible 16 Mbps to 500Mpbs. It was really strange when we moved here and they could only give us that kind of slow connection as nothing else was possible here in this city.

Both my wife and I do not regret moving from Finland to Germany at all. We had a good life in Finland without too many difficulties but everything improved ever since moving here. Life is cheaper in Germany and we can earn more than before in addition to be working from home which is so much better also for the children.  The only thing worrying us right now is to make plans for buying or building a house in the next few years as this apartment won’t be big enough anymore once the children want to have separate rooms, but that is something for another time.

How has your life changed in the past three years?

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

The Christmas Markets in Kiel

Once again we have December and with it the prime time for Christmas Markets here in Germany. Back in Finland we had also some Christmas Market in Helsinki but it was rather pathetic. However here in Germany each little town has its own market and big cities even several markets! For the past few years we only visited the market here in my hometown. That Christmas Market is also not anything special as you can only buy some overpriced food there and lots of booze. Sure there is the ice-skating ring and then one or two amusement rides for children but that’s about it.

One of the amusement rides for the kids

So this week we decided to visit the markets in Kiel which is the capital city of Schleswig-Holstein. Even though the city is not the biggest either it has several Christmas Markets and all of them are so wonderful compared to all the ones we have visited in Finland and in my hometown! All of the Christmas markets are in close proximity of each other so you can walk from one to the other in a few minutes. The markets have different sizes but even the smallest is decorated very well and does not even give you the feeling that is consisting of only few food/ drink/ decoration stalls. The biggest one even has something very special which I have never seen anywhere else. Few times a day a small wooden ship pulled by four reindeers is “flying” from one end of the market to the direction of the Town Hall up to 40m in the air. This is achieved by a steel cable and some engines within the ship. On the ship one of Santa’s Little Helpers is explaining why this year a ship is being used instead of a sleigh (Kiel is located by the Baltic sea with a rich history of ship building and trading).

Here in North Germany Santa’s reindeers a pulling a ship instead of a sleigh

Our little Nathan loved all of the markets and it was hard to drag him home later that day. His favorite was a talking and singing mechanical Moose head at a food stall. At first he was a bit scared when the moose suddenly started singing over him but then he always wanted to return to that location. Besides the moose head he loved the amusement rides and the giant Christmas Pyramid. My favorite part were the many Christmas decoration stalls with handcrafted items. Some of them were so lovely and only the incredible high price for them stopped me from buying anything at all as I had only enough money with me for some of the amusement rides.

Lovely lights in the evening hours

We hope that we will manage next week to visit another city or town for its Christmas market because one thing is certain: Any of the markets will be better than that tiny excuse in my hometown. Believe it or not the market here is so full each evening that you can barely walk there without getting stuck all the time. Needless to say that all of them are only there for the food and the drinks…

Have you already visited a Christmas Market this 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.

https://www.facebook.com/CrazyChineseFamily

https://twitter.com/CraChineseFam

https://www.instagram.com/Crazychinesefamily