Tag Archives: Chinese mother in law

First Days in China

It has been a rather long time since my last blog post and yeah, I’ve been really lazy it seems! But fear no longer as I am back now with some spare time on my hands just for this blog. The main reason for my hiatus was actually our holiday in China which lasted nearly a month and also few exhausting weeks battling with taxations once again. Right now we even have the joy of surviving dear Chinese mother-in-law as she arrived yesterday.

MIL’s dancing group

 

This first blog post after such long break will be rather uneventful as it will be just about the first days in China during our holidays there. Unbelievable but true this trip has been our first real holidays in nearly two years! I guess you can imagine how exhausted you can get with work without any holidays for such long time so we were very excited. However as we are running our own business work did not stop with us going to holidays and thus we had few working days even in China.

Finally good food!

So what you do after such long time without holidays once you arrive in Xi’an? Go eat! The first few days we went to each one of our favorite restaurants, it just felt so good to be able to eat those wonderful dishes again. Well, we loved it but my father was not that fond about Liangpi 凉皮 (cold noodles) and few other dishes we devoured. However we usually found a good compromise and he got something he liked each day, in fact he stated later that this holiday to China was the best of them all as he really liked the food during the entire trip. Besides eating we went for many walks around the neighbourhood and I could not help myself to take few more pictures of the area and building where my in-laws live. My father feels always reminded how Germany looked like after WWII when going through that area in the city center of Xi’an. It appears that standard maintenance is unheard of in parts of China.

Just to the left there you shall find the entrance to my in-laws building

 

The first week in China was more like getting used to having holidays again and doing few sightseeing tours around the city. Even though we had started there our holidays it did not really feel real. Xi’an had changed once again a lot in just two years and just had a different “vibe” compared to before. My father liked this new feeling to the city especially as car drivers suddenly stop for pedestrians (scooter riders will still try to kill you) and that everything is much cleaner now as there are hundreds of people going around each day collecting trash in the city center with a bucket and pick-up tools.

What a boring blog post!

 

 

What was the longest period you went without holidays?

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Wonderful Relatives: There Are Never Enough Stupid Questions

Every family has at least one odd person. In case of my wife’s family there are actually many of them and they all hail from her mother’s side of the family. Last year I introduced in this post Granny, Aunty, Uncle, little sister (cousin) and little little sister (cousin) and that there is certainly something weird going on in that family. The problem for my wife is that no matter how far away she is from them they can always contact her thanks to modern technology.

I Don’t trust Crazy Great-Grandma

 

Nearly every day someone from her family is contacting her. No, it is not about asking how her day was but about buying stuff or asking question about things they had bought in the past. The two worst of the family are MIL and Aunty. Those two seem to have no ability at all to actually to use their brain before asking certain things. The way they both think can not be understood by anybody else. Father-in-law gave up on that probably over thirty years ago as he does not care about anymore.

You tellin’ me that German shops don’t exchange expired products two years after purchase?

About two years ago Aunty bought some hair dye from Germany (we bought it for her and send it to China) and few weeks ago she starts asking questions about that hair dye. For one why the expiration date is so bad as it was only till end of 2016. Well, easy to answer for my wife as “Why haven’t you used it before?” and Aunty’s answer “I wanted to sell it here but no one wanted it”. Too bad for her but still why asking us about the expiration date…However the whole story went on as Aunty wanted to know how to use it exactly. Of course she expected my wife to know immediately how to use that certain kind of hair dye she sold two years ago. So my wife asked that Aunty takes a picture of the instructions. First two pictures where showing only a table and the third picture had the instructions in them but taken roughly from the other side of the apartment so you could not read anything. Aunty blamed then that the camera in her phone is not good enough. Then she wanted that my wife returns that hair dye and gets a new one. Really, she thinks that it would be for free to send it from China to Germany and that any shop would just return some expired product two years after it was bought? To this day she still does not understand why my wife is not doing it.

Not a skirt, her trousers!

Then let’s move to my favorite topic in this blog: My dear Chinese mother-in-law. Her stories are already legendary but there is always more. I mentioned in this post already briefly her interesting dressing style which is similar to a Circus performer. Recently she tortured contacted my wife about buying clothes. Apparently she was in some store and tried on several clothes. Some friend of her took pictures and those were sent to my wife so she could say which one was the best. As you might imagine the clothes were certainly very special. My wife’s comments where basically like “You look in this one like a begging monk from some mountain temple”, “You look like the clown we saw in the circus last year”, “Why would you wear a carpet?”, “How could they fit that much Brocade in that dress?”. MIL did not understand at all why her daughter didn’t like the clothes because “They cost each at least 1500RMB (~200 Euros), they are all great!”. Yes a high price always equals in her brain that it is great. Then my wife send her pictures of normal clothes she could buy but her concern was “What should I do when the clothes don’t look as good on me as on the model?” That was reason enough not to buy the clothes my wife recommended and she ended up with one of those weird dresses. Really I do wonder why she asks her daughter for her opinion when she does not really care about it at all.

Do you know someone asking stupid questions all the time?

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Real Competence Vol. 2

I honestly did not expect to write so soon again about the competence of my dear Chinese mother-in-law. Back in November I wrote about her most recent disasters and I must say it helped a lot to let it all out. However she did not stop there and the whole madness accumulated till now to unbearable levels.

All the misshappenings of her always have either one of these reasons

  1. She does NOT listen!
  2. She decides ON HER OWN what is best!

Usually I have nothing against when people decide on their own what to do as long as it does not affect us negatively. The problem is that each and every single of her own decisions has only created trouble for us.

I am in control of this
I have this situation under control!

Now I am going to tell you just one story which lasted for a couple of months. In those couple of months both of the reasons of Chaos happened. It all involved that we wanted to transfer some money from China to Germany. As over 95% of our customers are from China they pay in RMB and that money stays for a while there. We keep it always in China for a while as we have to wait for the best exchange rate. The thing is we are only a small small company and can not afford staff in China and thus in order to do all the money related things we are stuck with MIL. She takes care of all the money transactions and I know that sounds very scary. We wanted father-in-law for this job but MIL ain’t going to give any money into FIL’s care. So what could possibly go wrong?

First of all she told us one day “I can’t send this year any money anymore. The banks are only allowing X Amount of Euros per year per person”. Okay that sounds reasonable but that got us thinking how on earth other small businesses run by Chinese can possibly continue their work when they run out of money in between. So my wife asked around and they all answered that they have several accounts in the different banks so it is no problem. My wife told this her mother and she said it is not possible. Strange, very strange why would it be different in our case? After days of annoying MIL about this topic she then finally answered “Oh, I don’t want to exchange and send the money from the other accounts as they might have higher handling fees.” What? She knew about it the entire time and let us run dry on money on several occasions because the other banks MIGHT have higher handling fees? Why on earth would we care about few RMB higher fees when we have a business to run? My dear wife all furious asked her mother about it but no reply for nearly the whole day. Later that day she send a message “Oh, I had a long nap, didn’t see your messages till now”…a 6 hour nap, alright.

CIMG3068
I am the best, even this big fish knows it

Sounds bad? It will just get worse. The money we earn stays always for a few months in China due to the exchange rate. My wife checks daily when it might be the best time for changing it and then tells her mother to do so. Guess how often we got the reply “Oh, you should have told me sooner, I exchanged it just few days/ weeks ago”. Indeed she found thus far always the worst exchange rates and thus destroying some of our money. This is the reason my wife told her last time not to change all the money but just a small part of it. No, somehow that message never arrived in MIL’s brain as she did the exact opposite and now we get to the part where she sends the money to us.

Since the beginning of the year the whole banking system changed a bit once again and now you can only pick from a few “Reasons” when transferring money abroad. MIL told us all of those reasons we can choose from and it all didn’t really make sense. There was stuff like “Needed for travels”, “Buying an apartment abroad”, “Investment” and stuff like that. Mh, strange and none of the things we could select did fit our purpose. Again my wife did all kind of research and in fact there was one reason which fit our purpose but MIL never mentioned it. In order nothing could go wrong my wife got herself the form , filled it all out and send it to her mother to use when transferring the money. Now we got the money but hey: The reason did not fit at all with what was on the form and also the amount of money was wrong. Thing is MIL had ignored the printed form entirely and just freestyled everything. Furious wife sent MIL again dozens of messages which were not replied till the next day “I was at dancing class and afterwards I was just too tired to check my phone”. Too tired to check her phone? In fact she shared on WeChat (kind of the Chinese version of WhatsApp) all kinds of weird stories of other people for the whole day but she could not answer her daughters messages.

P.S. by now we got it more or less figured out with MIL when it comes to transferring money. However this whole story meant also countless of hours harassing the local tax office/ getting our tax statement right as MIL had messed up so badly.

Do you have experiences with people who do always the exact opposite of what you told them?

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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https://twitter.com/CraChineseFam

https://www.youtube.com/