Tag Archives: crazy Chinese mother-in-law

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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Getting Lost in Langzhong

Remember my blog post “The Time we actually travelled somewhere”? Back then I only mentioned the Jianmenguan Pass however we still had another destination afterwards. I guess I tried to forget about it as the bus trip (which already took 6 hours to the Jianmenguan Pass) did not improve while driving to our final destination. In fact it got worse as the driver got lost several times so the whole trip took instead of another 2 1/2 hours again around 6 hours.

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One of the countless of Buildings we visited in Langzhong

At late night we arrived in  Langzhong and were hushed by the tour guide into the old town to our Traditional Inn. As we arrived so late they did not have any dinner left and nearly all restaurants had closed already as the Old Town is a tourist attraction and thus only opened during daytime. After searching for what felt an eternity we found one restaurant we could eat something. On the down side it was filled with drunken patrons, on the bright side they had food for us. The only memories I have from the first night in the room was that those old buildings certainly do not give you any rest as you hear everyone in the whole inn talking or walking around.

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From the towers in the Ancient Town you have a wonderful view around

Because we were part of a tourist group it meant also a very strict timetable. Wake up was at 5:30 AM and by 6 AM we had to be done with breakfast and run around the ancient town of Langzhong. The place looks really amazing and it is full of history but running from one temple to the next ancient school to the next ancient tomb was very exhausting. Besides exhausting it was also very repetitive as after a while all those buildings were looking the same. Because of the strict timetable we had to rush to every location and we got lost several times as we could not keep up the speed together with Nathan. One good thing though was that the food was pretty decent unlike at the horrifying experience from the City Tour Extreme a year later.

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Eating bubbles because why not

Langzhong is a very interesting city as the ancient town is well-preserved and has an over 2.300 years of history. One of the main points I still remember is the ZhangFei Temple which is also where his tomb is located. On a funny side note I have to mention that MIL did not dare to enter the temple as she thinks that God will punish her for that. No idea where she got that from but in all our travels she never entered a temple due to her fear. Nathan became quickly an attraction on his own when we walked around wearing his monk costume. At one point there were several dozen people following him and taking pictures with him. Needless to say that MIL tried to be in each picture as well…

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See, take picture of me and also the little guy in my arms

Our tour group allowed to have some little “freedom” by being able to select certain extras to visit. One of those extras was a performance on the other side of the river. It was a really wonderful perfomance and the only negative thing was the ridiculous amount of selfie-sticks being used to take pictures and videos. Due to that I had too often a huge tablet right in front of me. I tried my best but somehow I could not find the name of the performance online nor does my wife remembers the name any longer. All I know is that it is located right next to the Jinping Hill which is on its own already a great location to visit. We had a strict timetable when visiting the Jinping Hill and kind of got lost half way through. Especially carrying Nathan’s small pram up and down countless of stairs was a bit hard.

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Entrance to the performance area

I can only recommend to visit Langzhong but without a tour group! Two to three days would be best as there is a lot to see already in the ancient town and in the surrounding area. The Jinping Hill alone can easily consume up to six hours when trying to really “see” everything there. What I can not recommend is the vinegar museum as it is just a tourist trap and of course everyone in my tour group bought plenty of vinegar in the store located at the exit of the museum.

Have you visited so-called Ancient Towns before?

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A Day at the Beach

Last week I announced that I would be getting more active with blogging again and I kind of regret it already. No not that I hate blogging but I discovered that I have too much material to work with. Yes, you can actually have too much. For one my dear beloved Chinese mother-in-law is giving nearly daily new material to write about. However she is just the tip of the iceberg as I have “postponed” so many other things over the past two years. Only the small trips and craziness in China is already overwhelming me! So this post is about one of our little tours from last summer when MIL was still with us in Germany.

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So much sand

What image do you have when you think about a beach? I’d say it is with clear blue water and white sand. All over the world the beaches are different as I especially noticed when we had our holiday in Rhodes where the beach was a stony hell with each step without shoes was pure torment. Last summer we went to a beach nearby my hometown, to Sankt Peter-Ording.  It is a very popular seaside spa (they have their own sulphur spring!) and is a municipality of the district Nordfriesland in my home state Schleswig-Holstein.  That beach is a bit different from any I have ever visited before as you can see in the pictures. This is because it is a Intertidal Zone, the entire North Sea coast of Germany is called Wadden Sea (including part of the Netherlands and Danmark). Twice a day the ocean decides that it fun to retreat and you can do some great mudflat hiking.

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Yep, you can swim there

Anyhow the beach at Sankt Peter-Ording is also easy to reach by car as it has Germany’s only beach parking lot. So you just drive there and park you car at the beach. When we were at the beach there was currently the low tide which meant that we had to walk still for 20 min till we reached the ocean.  MIL and my wife were amazed as they had never seen something like that nor imagined. Nathan was another story though as he was so afraid of getting his feet dirty in the mud (yes he is one picky little fellow). He also didn’t really trust the shallow waters which were filled with shrimps and crabs. The entire time he wanted to be carried except of course when we wanted to leave. Suddenly he wanted to play around and not leave anymore, what should I say – kids.

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A pile of…I don’t know

Though we were only there for one hour we had a great time. There is just so much fun you can have, especially with kids, as there are small animals everywhere. I still remember how I “hunted” down a crab the size of a golf ball and proudly presented it to my wife. It took a lot of effort and pain and in that moment a small boy passed by showing off his crabzilla. That beast was nearly as big as a dining plate! I wonder if he still has all his fingers…

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That all is usually covered by water

Besides hunting down crabs I also tried to catch some shrimps but that was a bit harder even though there were thousands of them in the shallow waters. In the end I decided against catching any more crabs or shrimps and set them all free because I was fearing that MIL was making some sudden dinner plans involving those poor little creatures. As you might remember from this blog post I was not too happy once we got home as MIL somehow had managed to drag in half the beach in the car. That was some serious vacuum cleaning the next day I tell you that.

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Some of the stilt houses

In case you ever have a trip to Germany and are for some weird reason in the North I recommend to check out the Wadden Sea. It is just incredible what Nature is doing and to see with you own eyes how the water retreats beyond eyesight. Where to witness that spectacle is all up to you as it is magical at any spot at the Wadden Sea.

What interesting beaches have you visited?

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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