Tag Archives: crazy Chinese family

Moving Away

Moving to a new home is always both hard work and fun. Hard work as you have to get all your belongings sorted, pack everything up, rethink if this particular item you bought few years ago has a spot in your new home or should better end up in the trash bin (probably it should already years before) and sell furniture you don’t need anymore. Fun because it is basically a fresh start for you, you are able to set up in the new home everything how you like it (as it was nearly impossible in your old home because of the mass of furniture and other stuff). Now think how much work it is just to move to another building, street, city or province and then think about how damn hard it is to move with all your stuff to another country.

WP_20140824_001Yes, it is nearly time for us to move finally to Germany. Wednesday my parents will arrive with their car and a trailer. However we won’t go directly to Germany but first to the cottage again as my parents decided to take our sofa and washing machine. This trip to the cottage is actually a nice idea as it will give us the opportunity to relax for a few days before starting the next part of our journey. Okay, we anyways have to get out of the apartment before we can go to Germany as our renters will move in right after we leave.

 

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The rice cooker is still needed

Now there are a few things which come in very handy when moving and they show that I am just really unable to plan such events. First of all my I want to share my original plan. My grand idea was to rent a truck, pack it full with our stuff and I would drive it , have my father with our car and my mother would be with their own car. This might sound pretty good until you see how much it actually cost to rent a truck in Finland and use it only one-way to Germany. Latest the truck costs for a ferry spot would blow your budget! A ferry? Yes a ferry as we do not wish to drive thousands of kilometres, especially with a little baby in the car and our bed on the car roof.

 

 

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and more moving boxes…

Now I come to the part where it is just great to have parents or people who think a bit different and looking always for how to keep any costs low, to have a wife who is really fond of internet auctioning websites and last but not least be able to admit that the own plan is a horrible one. You see, my parents have friends who visit Finland every summer and few agreed to take several boxes filled with our earthly possessions with them to Germany by car. I am not talking about one or two boxes which might find a little corner in their trunk but about over 20 huge moving cardboard boxes! Then also the fact that there is my old man buying all those moving boxes for us and bringing them to Finland in the first place. My own idea was to put all our stuff into, well, I have absolutely no clue at all, probably scattered around in the truck.

 

Now why it is so good to have a wife who loves internet auctioning websites? We had to either sell much of our furniture or simply throw it away. Thanks to my wife we were actually able to sell most of the stuff and earned few extra bucks which can be used later to buy great new things for our new apartment. Yay, to my pathetic plan…

 

Now to the sad part of us moving away and not to have enough space in the car: Our beloved George as to stay in our old apartment and will find a new home with the people renting our apartment. George, I am sorry and we will miss you! But don’t worry, we will do our best to take you to Germany as well some when in the future. I hope you are not too hurt by the fact that I don’t remember whether you are a Dracaena or a Yucca…

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George, we will miss you
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Crazy Son-in-law

I have written all kinds of articles about my Chinese family and how I think that they might be a bit crazy. But how about that they are not crazy but it is actually me who is wrong in the head? It might be I am just delusional and all the crazy stuff they do is pretty normal and I am the oddball.

This idea popped into my head sometime ago and the list of things might indicate that I am perhaps not normal is adding up daily. To spare you from an overwhelming list of nonsense I picked up the biggest indicators of my craziness/ why my in-laws think that I am the crazy one.

Cold Drinks

2012-09-12-096I drink cold drinks all day long, no matter if its cold outside or so hot that the asphalt on the streets starts melting. When visiting in China and having once again a wrong order in the restaurant turning my meal into some mixture of noodles and lava I need something cold to drink. The usual hot tea served in the restaurant is not doing the trick for me, no matter how much it would help with my “inner fire”上火 according to my in-laws. Cold soft drinks or better yet a nice chilled beer is doing wonders for me. But then there is one hot drink I can’t get enough of, which is another oddity in the eyes of my in-laws and brings me to the next point.

 

Coffee

I need coffee for breakfast, after lunch, before dinner, after dinner and before going to sleep. This might be also due to the fact that I am partly from the country which has by far the highest coffee consumption per capita in the world. However my coffee consumption is down to a bare minimum for me to survive in China as there are just no good places to get coffee. Sure, we have close by a Starbucks but first of all the coffee there is very overpriced and second of all it is the worst coffee I had in my life (my opinion). This pushes me so far that I have to get instant coffee from KFC which still can’t be called coffee but at least it tastes better than in Starbucks and it is a great deal cheaper. Especially creepy it is for my in-laws that I get tired after drinking coffee in the evening and sleep very well afterwards.

Sports

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My best friend in summer time

I  do sports, a lot. If it were up to me there is always enough time to do some kind of sports. The need to do some sport every day is so high that I feel disappointed every time I can’t do at least some short exercise. I just need to go running, bicycling, swimming or do random workouts everyday and this again no matter how cold or hot it might be outside. Each time I take my running shoes with me to China and each time they stay packed in the suitcase as my in-laws think that either it is too dangerous to go running or it is too bad for your health. Due to this I am always a pitiful mess looking forwards to the few times we go the open water pool in the city.

 

Sun and getting some color

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I am the pale thing with the red wristband

One of the main reasons I look forward to when going to the open water pool in the city is not only that I can do some swimming but also to get a bit tanned. By no means I mean the leather color many Europeans seem to strive for when going to get baked in the sun but just a bit darker than my usual ghost appearance. As a child I was often so pale that my parents were scared that I have some kind of sickness that we had several appointments with doctors to determine that my facial skin is just a bit “thicker” than usual bringing up an even more pale complexion than others during the dark months. Whenever I am proudly showing some tan lines after swimming my in-laws just shake their heads.

 

Food

I eat too less. I should be able to eat heavy breakfast, then all food placed on my plate during lunch by MIL and then easily shrug of the combined efforts of MIL, her sister and granny of filling up my plate during dinner, but somehow I fail in this. I am not just too thin according to MIL but also according to any other person she knows. It seems elderly females in China not only prefer babys to look like Michelin Man but their son-in-laws as well. Actually I am so pathetic when it comes to eating that I skip breakfast completely and don’t even manage half of the food piled up on my plate.

 

Conclusion

2012-09-20-221As you can see there are already enough points to show that I am the strange or crazy one in the family. I mean, how much more weird can a person be? Furthermore I am actually so weird that I really do enjoy my daily ice cream, even when we do have -30°C/ -7.6°F. So yes, it seems that all the crazy stories of my in-laws are actually not that crazy but pretty normal.

 

 

Over and out from crazy son-in-law.

Holidays in Greece

WP_20140803_16_28_08_ProThe past week I was with my little family on holidays in Greece, to be more precise on the famous island Rhodes. Right from the beginning I must admit that we were more of the lazy tourists kind as we did not go out to see any sights such as the city of Rhodes itself. Okay, maybe not only because we were lazy but because traveling with a little baby in +35 degrees celsius/ 95 degrees fahrenheit is not really the smartest option (hey, I need at least some kind of excuse for just sleeping at the beach…).

 

Our plane left Helsinki on sunday afternoon and we arrived in our hotel room in late evening hours. Due to the late arrival we had no dinner but we had a great view over Rhodes (city) by night which is pretty impressive! The hotel itself was advertised as a family hotel and there were a lot of families with their young kids there. The hotel/ trip organizer offered for kids a daycare option to give the exhausted parents some rest. This was no option for us a Nathan is just too young for that and anyways he is perfectly happy by eating and sleeping the entire day.

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View from the beach

 

Our days were actually really busy even though we had mostly nothing but being at the beach, at the pool, eat and go during evening hours to the nearby village. For me being lazy and at the same time to be feeling busy and exhausted at the end of the day is something new to me! Usually I went for a short 2km swim in the “action” pool each morning before breakfast, went with my wife and baby to the beach and later on to the pool area and finished the day with a great dinner and stroll around the village.This was the first real holiday I have ever had. Before I only went to sunny places for swimming camps, in my childhood I went during summer holidays to our cottage which is in the end mostly work and the China trips were usually to be with the Chinese family, eat a lot and go overweight back to Finland.

 

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Someone wants some dessert?

 

Remember that my wife belongs to that Chinese majority who can’t swim (I know, it’s very embarrassing for me as a former professional swimmer)? As she really wanted to enjoy the ocean as well we got her an air mattress to float at the shore. No, she was never in rhodos5danger as I watched out that nothing happened and besides, she was also only as far as her feet could touch the ground. To her dismay her skin got tanned! To my amusement no day passed where she didn’t complain about her dark skin (he he!). Now you may wonder what did little Nathan do the entire time. He sometimes enjoyed the pool in his full body suit and extra thick layer of sun screen and of course mostly only in shadowed areas or slept in his stroller always nearby us. As he can not speak for himself yet I must say that he looked pretty damn happy when going for a little swim with me. At least the different crazy sounds he can do were all of the happy kind, not the upset heartbreaking kind.

 

During our time spent at the beach we got to know another Chinese guy who is going from beach to beach and offering massage for the tourists. At first we thought he might be employed by the hotel but later on he told us his not so happy tale. As many other Chinese in Greece he came illegally to the country to find work. Before the economic crises it was actually pretty okay till he lost his job and ended up doing the massage at the beach during summer times. This apparently happened to many other Chinese and there are whole crews going around, waving their little pamphlet with the prices of the different massages. He said also that the bigger beaches are mostly controlled by Chinese black society (when it comes to services Chinese can offer there) which leaves people like him only some smaller beaches with less business possibilities. He also wants to go back to China but he first wants to make a little profit before going back as the illegal way of getting out of China is very expensive. I just hope for him, the other Chinese and any other people who suffered due to the economic crises there that their situation will improve again over time.

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Hotel area by night

 

What else to say about this trip other than it was pretty much perfect for us? The food was great, the area was wonderful and everything was working out well. Everything? Okay, there was this issue with the terrible internet connection which was driving me insane sometimes but then again it was a holiday, so why did I care so much about having a good internet connection and getting annoyed by not being upload stupid pictures to twitter…who knows…

 

Anyways, I am very glad we took this trip and I am also surprised that everything went to easy with Nathan as you usually hear that it can get pretty rough to travel with a baby.