Tag Archives: crazy Chinese family

German Christmas Market

Christmas time is Christmas Market time for us Germans. Every city, every town and every village has its own Market offering a nice little Christmassy atmosphere in the midst of the cold and grey time most of Germany is going through around now. So what is all there on such a market which makes it so special? First of all it is decorated nicely according to the season and furthermore it just smells like Christmas (except the heavily packed Glühwein stands/ booze markets). Henry Lee from Fotoeins has a very nice collection of Christmas Market impressions on his blog including this guide for the Cologne Christmas Markets. As you can see there the bigger cities even got several markets!

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My hometown is not playing in the big league when it comes to these markets but it is still pretty nice. As we live now for over two months in Germany and had not much time to do anything we decided to take a look at the local Christmas Market. First of all, it is surely not very big but still filled with people. Usually this city of Neumünster is practically empty after 6pm. We even have a saying for this kind of thing  in German “Ab 6 Uhr werden die Bürgersteige hochgeklappt <…>” and translates into “They roll up the sidewalks”. It really feels sometimes that all life stops during evening hours. Anyways during Christmas Market time this rule does not apply and people seem to enjoy their life and the Glühwein. This Glühwein is actually Mulled Wine but each country has its own variations. So far my favorite version is the Finnish Glöggi which is slightly different and much tastier than the German Glühwein.

 

DSC02405Here in Neumünster the market offers all kind of things to spent your time on such as the food and Glühwein Stalls as mentioned before but also an ice skating field, little amusement rides for children and then of course the big Christmas tree. Nathan was mostly interested in the people passing by and my wife was focused on the different foods offered (in the end she bought some grilled sausage with bread and a bowl of Mushrooms  in garlic sauce). I used this opportunity to get my very first Glühwein for the past four years and bought a drink called “Schneemann/ Snowman” which is basically just mulled wine with some mix of booze and then on top whipped cream. Now as a specialist in the Glühwein section (not!) I can say that the taste was pretty good but once again there was too much alcohol for my liking.

 

DSC02368I think as a family you can easily spend even in this little market one to two hours (always depending on the child) as there is much food to try and drinks to warm up your soul. Other people who are not so restricted by the mood swings of Junior can spend without problem half a day or more there. However this is usually depending on the thickness of the wallet as the prices are much higher than off-season. I can just recommend to anyone visiting Germany during this time of the year to take a look at one of the (too) many Christmas markets around. In case you go there with your children, no problem, just leave them for some time in the amusement rides while you discover the rest!

 

The love for Table Tennis

My father-in-law is a pretty normal person if you exclude his cleaning frenzies every single day. He wakes up around 6 in the morning and goes to work from where he returns some when in the late afternoon. In his free time he loves to clean the apartment, play some weird browser games, watching some sports on TV and then its already sleeping time. Basically he is busy the whole day but you are wrong, he squeezes in still his hobby: Table Tennis!

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His work is not the busiest you might imagine as it leaves him plenty of time to go eating with us (when we are there), buy some groceries and do sports with his colleagues. Usually he plays every day at least one hour table tennis and this already for years. This resulted that he even participated and won the city political bureau championships.

I always imagined my father-in-law as a not so sporty person because, I don’t know, perhaps because most of my friends are doing sports partly even professionally and you can see from their appearance that they do something, not so much FIL. Of course every sport is different and I am used to swimming and the like which shapes the body a bit different. Anyways, last years summer FIL invited us to join his practice. I was more than eager to join as that holiday in China was more about our wedding and not so much about visiting new interesting places in Xi’an.

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FIL in action

 

As we entered the sports hall several colleagues of FIL greeted us and all of them were playing some matches. FIL was wearing already his sports clothes so he started his warm up and putting on his knee protectors (he is not the youngest anymore). Meanwhile I checked how the others were playing and it looked to me already pretty good but then FIL’s first match started. Lets just say that I could not even follow the ball. Sure, it was no World Championships level but I had never seen anything like it before and I had actually watched once in my youth the Staten Championships in Germany. I don’t know how to describe it other than that the usually so slowly paced FIL transformed into an agile table tennis playing machine.

Already by watching him I started to sweat (might be also because it was too hot in that hall!) but he barely got out of breath in three matches. After he was done he asked me if I wanted to play a quick round of table tennis. The stupid me thought of course that he might be exhausted despite the fact that he was not out of breath and not sweating. I lost, I lost terribly. He made me run non-stop and I barely got any points on him. After 15 min I was lying on the ground, out of breath and created a little lake of sweat around me. How embarrassing but at least it seemed I was able to bond a bit with FIL even though I must have looked like the worst table tennis player in history.

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The strawberries seem to pull him down!

 

Latest from this experience I learned not ever to judge someone by their appearance!

 

The Good and the Disturbing

Today is the continuation of last weeks article. Back then something good and something bad happened. First of all the good thing was that I got a job and the bad thing was that the stupid Internet technician failed to arrive and thus delaying our moving date.

What else should I write about today other than the internet technician. This nice man finally managed to arrive yesterday to set up our internet connection and with it we should be able to move in Soon™. What we did not think about when it comes to our internet connection is that all around the phone line is not a single power outlet for the wi-fi router! Just who designs such things? Really, something like that is driving me crazy and forces me to doWP_20141119_13_52_57_Pro[1] stupid things like drilling a hole into a wall to pull a cable through just to realize when I am nearly through the wall that there is a metal support and the drill won’t go any further…indeed, now we have an ugly hole in the wall which is leading into nowhere.

As you can see I have some mixed feelings when it comes to my families internet luck but yesterday something good happened as well as I signed the job contract. However there is a little issue as every time someone asks me what I do in my job the stabdard answer is ‘I don’t know’. I really have no clue at all what I will do and furthermore the job title is not helping me any further as I am supposedly in the sales management even though I do nothing sales related, crazy & weird world.

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Off Topic: My wife assembled this little chairs

Missing the Crazy Chinese Family part in the article? Do not fear as my mother-in-law is so gracious in providing once again some odd and disturbing things. The odd part is about our TV. I fulfilled my dream and bought a nice 55″ TV which I got for nearly half price (I just search and search and search some more for products I am interested in until I find a real bargain). It is even not too big for a living room as we have plenty of space with about 3.5m between sofa and TV, it actually appears to be perhaps too small…BUT there is MIL. Of course my wife showed via Weixin/ WeChat our living room and MIL got a glimpse on that TV. ‘Too big’, ‘No good for you and ‘It is too close to your sofa, your eyes will get bad’. Normally those would be reasonable concerns but in this case they are so, how to say it, so MIL. My in-laws have a 65″ TV hanging about 1.50m away from their sofa but that seems fine. Apparently MIL didn’t notice this until her daughter mentioned what monstrosity they have hanging on their own wall. What is MIL’s reaction to this? Of course, its FIL’s fault! Whenever something bad happens or something which might look bad on her it is always her husbands fault, even when he is not anywhere close by or even knows what is going on.

You just want to hear the disturbing thing, I know it. Well the thing is that MIL is kind of threatening us. Okay, not threatening us in a way you might imagine but it is dangerous enough for me. She is probably coming next year again to visit us but she does not want to eating8take her husband with, no no, she wants to take her mother with. Grandma might be a nice old lady but her with MIL combined is an explosive mixture, not to mention when my wife is coming into the battlefield. When those three are together it will be war and that war would be in our new apartment, no thanks. I just have to figure out how to escape this life threatening situation when those two people really do come to Germany to visit us! Perhaps I should just go to China and visit father-in-law, nothing crazy there at least except the cleaning.

p.s. Changed some parts as the TV’s were too huge with 55 and 65 feet. Hope it is correct now :p