Tag Archives: chinese in germany

Shopping Frenzy

It is week three in my old-new hometown and nothing is done yet. Our apartment is still under construction, German bureaucracy is killing us and still no job on the horizon. To take our minds away from all the troubles we decided to go to the Designer Outlet Center in my city for some shopping frenzy.


This Designer Outlet is a pretty interesting thing as it does not fit into the image of my hometown at all. Neumünster is, lets say, a very boring town with nothing at all to do there. The only good thing so far is the fact that it is located in the middle of the state of Schleswig-Holstein, thus making trips to the nearest cities like Kiel and Hamburg very short. But apparently something big happened in 2012, the Designer Outlet opened and attracts ever since then a huge amount of visitors and tourists from other cities and countries. I had been at this place already before but didn’t pay so much attention to it but now, as we need pretty much everything new in our home, it feels like heaven to have this outlet center here.


WP_20140927_014There are not only all kind of brands people desire (at least this is what I heard, I have no clue about clothes and kitchen ware) but there are also few restaurants and Starbucks. Okay, Starbucks I will never enter as I just don’t like the coffee there, but actually seems to be a tourist magnet on its own. The Outlet Center has been build to resemble an old middle European town with each building housing at least one store. I wonder why they chose to create this little town in this certain style but I must say that it looks pretty neat. I believe it takes half day to visit actually each store but I will never try this unlike my wife who seems eager to stay there from morning till evening closing time.


WP_20140927_006When we visited my wife asked me why we didn’t go there with her mother during Spring time when she visited for three months. Well, actually she did not remember that she did not want to go to there with her mom because of MIL’s insane shopping frenzy. As I know MIL by now, she would refuse to leave the shopping area and camp there to be the first to enter at opening time. Nobody would be able to drag her away from that place so it was pretty smart by my wife not to mention the existence of the Outlet Center. Yes, I have indeed a crazy Mother-in-law but at least she is not spending (yet) every penny on such stuff.


cropIt seems also that the Outlet Center is an attraction for Chinese Tourists.There is even one Chinese tourists organization doing bus trips to Neumünster to go specifically to that one Outlet Center and furthermore two big Chinese restaurants opened in the past two years as well. I can’t say much about the quality of those restaurants as I still have to visit them but there are certainly many Chinese in the Outlet Center.


In the end I can say, or actually my wife that it is just great to buy some needed kitchen ware from certain brands so much cheaper than usual. I doubt that I will be there too often in the following years but I bet my wife will be there especially after our apartment is done to purchase all kind of (weird) things.



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!

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).

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…

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…

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…


Hagenbeck Zoo

Some basics

Its been now over a week that we have been in Germany. I barely had time to read through other great blogs or to even make some drafts for new articles. The past week has been busy with renovation work such as carrying a lot of the previous owner’s furniture out, cleaning the roof in the apartment due to 40 years of smoking inside, ripping the wallpapers of and tiles from the kitchen and bathroom. All this does not appear to be that much but it was each day 12 hours of work. And believe it or not, mother-in-law was helping us pretty much with the wallpapers!

The Zoo

Even though we were so busy we had time to visit Hagenbeck Zoo in Hamburg. It is a pretty famous Zoo which started out 1863 and was officially founded in 1907, furthermore those open enclosures for animals which are often used now were “developed” there. The park is also pretty big for a Zoo which is nowadays within the borders of a big city. It spans over 25 hectares (~62 Acres) with all kinds of animals from around the world. On the premises itself many animals such as peacocks, chickens and the Patagonian mara are running around freely so in some lucky cases you can even touch them.


Besides the main Zoo there is also the Tropical-Aquarium however we were not able to go there as it took us already nearly 6 hours to go around the park and in the end we just were too exhausted. I would have loved to go to this Tropical-Aquarium as I had heard many good things about but maybe next time, as we will live after this summer only around 40 min away from Hamburg.


The Animals

It was very nice to go around as you have rarely and cage bars or similar in between the animals and yourself (actually only the bird enclosures have to safety measurements). We had a good view at each enclosure and could see all of the animals. I am saying this as I have been in many Zoos before where I saw in the whole day maybe only a handful of animals.

At Hagenbeck are Tigers, Lions, Bears, Horses, Giraffes, penguins, Orangutans, Elephants and and and, especially nice it was at the Elephant enclosure as most of them were standing at the moats and the visitors could feed them (with food sold near the enclosure, so no bad stuff here) and even touch their trunks. To prevent any kind of accidents several Park employees were standing behind the animals to check that nothing happens or that anyone gives them some bad food.

Tiger going around
Meet the Alpaca
Meet the Alpaca

My wife also enjoyed her favorite animal, the Alpaca. Especially the Chinese “nickname” for the animals is pretty amusing 草泥马,cao ni ma which made the alpaca famous in Chinese forums. Mother-in-law also found some new friends, the goats. In the Zoo you can enter the goat enclosure and also feed them. As soon as she saw that you can enter the cage she ran in and we pretty much had to drag her out of there to go on…

Mother-in-law and the goats
Mother-in-law and the goats

Our little baby

We were there with the whole family so naturaly little Nathan had to come with us. We left our pram in Finland so I had to use some kind of baby carrier for the chest. Thankfully he is only around 6 kg at the moment so I managed the day relatively pain-free but as Nathan is only 7 weeks old he did not really see any animal. He was more concerned with sleeping the entire time. Later, when he is old enough we will go there again!

What to remember

We were a medium sized group (7+baby) but already this size can get annoying at time as some people prefer walking onwards wheras others want to check out the animals for some longer time.

Furthermore you should eat before going to the Zoo or have something small with you. Not that the prices in the Zoo for food are that high but because there are just too many people lining up to buy food. Besides, lining up for the food and eating it adds up easily to one hour of lost time you could spend going around.

What a cute thing!
What a cute thing!

For some further information check wikipedia or the German website