Tag Archives: Chinese in Neumünster

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?

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Duck Race Neumünster

Today was the annual duck race in my hometown. As you might have read in many other blog posts is the fact that here in my hometown is barely anything to do with the exception of a few events a year. One might say that they roll up the sidewalks here in the afternoon. This means that having such event is pretty much one of the main activities for the people here. Besides this sunday was also a “Sunday Shopping Day” as normally shops are closed on Sundays. This year marked also the 12th anniversary of this event here and was celebrated with tons of activities for children.

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Shortly after the start of the event

So what is this duck race? Basically it is a “race” of rubberducks down the pond and stream here in this town. Duck Races can be found all over the world but thus far I have only visited this one here. Any person can purchase a duck for a few Euros and gets a number for the duck. By buying one of this ducks you can participate in this race and have the chance to win some nice things such as a 2000€ travel voucher, a new TV etc. The avail of this event is later on donated to some charity programs.

The race starts by pouring all the ducks from a container which is lifted by a crane into the pond. The pond and the little river have a little race track/ plastic barriers so that the ducks follow a specific route till they arrive at a bridge few hundred meters away. Depending on the weather the whole competition might take 20 minutes or even several hours! This year we missed the start of the race as little Nathan took his sweet time waking up from his nap so we arrived few minutes too late. But we were still early enough to see the beginning of the race when all the ducks were massed up before slowly spreading all over the race track.

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Ducks racing towards the finish line

The pond and the river are at a little park located in the center of Neumünster and everywhere some attractions were offered for kids. Especially the radio controlled helicopters and ships  interested many fathers as well (me included)! Somehow I feel like purchasing an own radio controlled helicopter now myself to harass some of the annoying neighbours but I guess that would be a bad idea…

It is too bad that Nathan is still too young to fully understand everything around him and enjoy some of the attraction for the children such as the jumping castle, some little animals from the zoo or the before mentioned radio controlled vehicles. Anyways this event seems to be going strong and I have no doubt it will still be held once Nathan is old enough.

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Some of the radio controlled vehicles

Have you visited a Duck Race in your region or during travels?

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At the City Festival

Every year in the beginning of June there is here in Neumünster the city festival called Holstenköste. It is a four-day event with several music stages around the city center, food/ drink stalls and funfair rides. I haven’t been at this festival since 2005 as that was the year I moved away from here. Even though my hometown is pretty boring they still do good with this festival. This year the festival had at least during the first two days wonderful sunshine so it was pretty packed there. After those initial two days there was just a rain and we didn’t even bother going there on those days.

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Going around the festival

The whole event was first held in 1974 and evolved to the current size over the years. This city festival is pretty much THE EVENT OF THE YEAR for many people living here. But of course other cities also got their own festivals such as the Kieler Woche which is around two weeks after my hometowns festival and much much bigger. Talking about size, this city festival here attracts roughly 200.000 people during those four days, not bad for such a boring town I would say.

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Damn big ferris wheel

Besides all the delicious food everywhere on the festival area there are also those funfair rides. It was Nathan’s first time being in one and he looked rather confused. We also went to the ferris wheel which is one of the main marks of the festival for a few decades already. You know, I am terribly afraid of heights and that the cabins of the ferris wheel were open didn’t help either. However I managed rather well and wasn’t afraid at all this time, am I evolving? We were there with several friends of my wife and we all went to the ferris wheel except of MIL who seemed very afraid of it. Nathan was just Nathan and sat the entire time in my lap looking bored, I guess as a baby you just don’t care if you are suddenly around 50m in the air…

 

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Confused Nathan and friend + MIL’s head

It is too bad about the terrible weather during the last two days of the festival but there is always another year, and another and another. As mentioned before there is another festival in the next city soon as we will most likely try to go there as it is even bigger. I am really wondering what my Chinese mother-in-law thinks about these events and about the food. In her opinion she can make any food we ate so far much better than the restaurants but somehow she hasn’t even started yet to make and of those dishes. Even stranger, she never says she can make better food than the restaurants in China, or perhaps she tried and failed and thus doesn’t want to mention it anymore. MIL is full of mysteries it seems.

 

Does your city got a similar festival?

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