Tag Archives: crazy Chinese family

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.

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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.

 

 

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My Parents first trip to China

In the year of 2011 was my first visit to China. Nothing too special about that but it was also the first time (and only time thus far) that my parents visited China. Through this Guest Post by my wife you learned already few basics about my dear mother. As you can imagine the whole idea of visiting China was not a dream of my mother. She was scared of the country itself, the many people, the food, the hygiene, the plane, getting lost at the airport and did I mentioned the food before? My father on the other hand was really excited about this trip. He pretty much didn’tt care at all about all the things my mother was scared of except one thing, public toilets in China. My old man is not the youngest anymore, meaning that any kind of “squatting” his pretty much impossible for him.

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Picture at the Drum Tower

Everything started during spring time when we had the great idea to have our engagement dinner in China, together with the whole family. As a joke my wife suggested that I should invite my parents as well. I kinda didn’t get the joke and actually asked my parents. My mom was shocked, and said she wouldn’t even board the plane and my father wanted to know the details already on the phone. Three months later my wife and I were waiting in Xi’an for my parents to arrive at the airport and of course my parents actually arrived without any harm (just a bit exhausted).

The entire trip to China was already an adventure worth writing a very own article about. Lets just say it involved them not being able to park the car at Helsinki airport, hearing their names mentioned through the airport announcements about gates being closed, having very noisy people on the plane, arriving at Beijing and being lost, mobile phone without service and thus not being able to call us for help, not being able to ask for help as they only speak German and Finnish,  a changed gate to Xi’an at Beijing airport and running all over Beijing airport…

 

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Arrival in Xi’an

Anyways my parents arrived during late afternoon and were welcomed by my in-laws and family friends. Already during the first evening we had a program planned for them (even though they were pretty exhausted). We visited the fountain show at the Big Wild Goose Pagoda with a short tour around the surrounding area and of course a big dinner. As you can imagine dinner time meant horror time for my dear mother and MIL was not exactly helpful in this situation either as she just piled up more food on my mothers plate. Mom ate always bravely the plate empty, without having a clue what food it was, and MIL piled up more…

 

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During the one week in Xi’an we visited together most of the main attraction such as the Terracotta Army, the Tang Paradise, Tang Dynasty Dinner & Show, Drum and Bell Tower and also the Muslim Quarter. My parents both got a new hairstyle plus massage at a hairdresser, a full body massage (my father with cupping) and a lot of food. For my mother at least one dream got fulfilled, she got a silk shirt tailored, something which is of course also possible in Europe but usually very very expensive.

 

Import_020I am not sure anymore what we all ate but it was very much. The engagement dinner was interesting as we had also Camel served which I didn’t mention to my parents until the dinner was done. Otherwise it was pretty uneventful, probably due to the exact planning by my wife who had an “activity plan” done already weeks before the trip. In the end we also spent one day in Beijing and did a little sightseeing tour. Beijing has mixed feelings when I think back due to the fact that we never could get any taxi and then we a wild “black taxi” trip back to the hotel.

In the end I can say that it was a nice trip but a bit too exhausting for my parents. We had too much in the program and it all involved walking around a great deal. To make it worse it was during Juli, meaning temperatures to make the asphalt on the streets melt. Furthermore my mother couldn’t handle the air-condition and ended up getting sick in the end and suffered the last day when flying from Xi’an to Beijing. For the next time they come to China (my mother doesn’t know about her luck yet) we have planned a much more relaxing holiday for them with trips to the nearby hot springs and it will be either during spring time or during autumn to escape the hot summer.

Guest Post: How to get by in China

I don’t know if it’s just me, but it seems that people the world over are far more adventurous than ever before.

Maybe it’s the availability of cheaper flights or the greater knowledge of foreign places that people now have owing to the vast amount of data on the internet, I’m not sure.

Whatever it is, China is now a favoured destination and, for some, still remains a country shrouded in mystery; an exotic land of diverse culture, adventure and excitement. More and more, especially younger people, are travelling there, maybe for a short holiday or, increasingly, to work and settle down.

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Therefore, we spent some time thinking how we can best help travellers in China and came up with some ideas. Firstly, if you are one of those people thinking mid to long term and are planning on looking for Chinese friends, or are just interested in learning more about mainland Chinese or Taiwanese women in general, you can take a look at our website.

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Secondly, we came up this infographic! It was created by one of our writers from mynewchinesewife.com and its aim is to help the newcomer or even people who have been in China for some time assimilate and blend in easily with local people. We hope it will help them get familiar with the right ways to do certain things and also offer caution about the wrong ways!

Using our infographic will make it that much easier to get by and enjoy your life in the country as it provides 10 of the top tips for getting by in China with pointers about social and business practices.

Much thanks to Timo for letting us to share the infographic at his blog. Take a look and see, we’re sure you’ll be glad you read it!

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