Tag Archives: crazy Chinese mother-in-law

Visiting the Qinling Zoological Park

During the trips to China we have visited few places there. However those places were always nearby Xi’an as my dear wife turn into a role model couch potato once she arrives in her parents apartment. Usually the only means to get her away from the beloved sofa and TV are either restaurants or animals. In this case animals worked as we manged to even go twice to the Qinling Zoological Park.

The Park itself is roughly 28km away from Xi’an and is located, as the name suggests, at the starting point of the Qinling Mountain Range. The Park is advertising to have more than 300 animal species including the Giant Panda! But more about it later on…



It was pretty exciting for me there the first time as I just love good Zoo’s. This one even offered some kind of safari tour in which you sit in the back of a truck with metal bars around to be protected against more dangerous animals. Of course I wanted this tour as I never had experienced something like that before.

At the beginning of the Zoo is even a little theme park. My in-laws offered that we go there however it didn’t look too safe in my opinion and I was pretty much right about it. Why you may ask well, a couple of years later there was an accident at the theme park with three people injured. Of course this could happen in any theme park but when I see that the amusement rides are full of rust and some parts fell already off I just don’t really have the urge to try it out myself.



Right after you enter the Zoo the different trucks wait for paying visitors to take the little safari tour. Needless to say that MIL was the first at the different trucks trying to get few spots for us as well. Though the whole tour is interesting I must say that the truck just drives too quickly through the different sections resulting that you don’t have time to watch the animals nor take proper pictures. For me the beginning of the tour with the giraffes, zebras, camels and so on was much more interesting than the later part with the dangerous wolves, lion and tigers as those were always sleeping some distance away in the shadows. The safari area is enclosed and each part is separated from each other by double gates to prevent animals to get out or people to get in. This on the other hand didn’t stop in 2010 a father and his son to enter the tiger area…(when researching this in Chinese you find out that those two didn’t even had tickets for the Zoo and no one knows how they even could enter!)

After the safari tour you can start the normal tour and go around following the many paths. The map you get with the tickets give a nice overview where to find what animals as otherwise walking around the whole park surely takes nearly an entire day. Now we come back to the Giant Pandas. Everywhere is advertised that there are Pandas and not only I wanted to see them but the rest of my Chinese family as well. You can imagine our disappointment when there were no Pandas in the enclosure! Now, this could have been just coincidence, perhaps they were somewhere else on that day but no. When I was there a year later there were again no Pandas and reading several reviews it seems that barely anyone has ever seen them there.

Anyways the Zoo is huge so after a while we forgot again about the Pandas and were doing our round to see all kind of different animals. Some places looked even really nice such as the little lake with the different water birds. The Zoo has even a little water show with different kind of seals. Not only allowed it us to sit down for a while but after the show was done we had  the opportunity to take pictures together with one of the seals. I think MIL wanted to take the seal with her but FIL wouldn’t allow it…


You know what? Even though I just love Zoo’s and this one has a huge variety of animals it is definitely not my favorite one. For one, everything appears to be in a bad condition as if nothing has been really maintained for years. All over the park you can see these kind of things. From rusted amusement rides for the children within the park (not the theme park in front of the Zoo) over dried out water areas to buildings with huge cracks and holes in the roofs! I haven’t been in any other zoo’s in China yet but I really hope this is not the norm. I mean this park has many positive reviews from Chinese but many bad ones from  foreigners.

I don’t want to say the park is bad as it offers a nice day trip away from the city however I would not recommend it as a main thing to see when visiting Xi’an as there are many other and better things to see. In case they would really start taking better care of the entire Zoo in terms of actually repairing broken things, make it look more inviting including improving the animals enclosures I will definitely go there again and perhaps then recommend it but not right now.


What are your experiences when visiting Zoo’s? Have you ever been in a Chinese Zoo?

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Chinese Sixth Sense

This is one of the more odd rather than crazy stories. I reckon that everyone had at least once some strange feeling that something bad or good is happening and reacts according to that feeling. This story is about one of these feelings.

Last year, about two months before our trip and Wedding in China, my wife had a bad dream about her father. She woke up with an uncertain feeling, no memories from the dream itself but that it was something bad and had to do with her father. Like the good daughter she is a phone call was done to calm herself down. Well, it did not calm her down as no one answered on her dad’s phone so she called her mother. She picked up immediately and they talked a bit. My wife did not want to ask her mother directly about father so she wanted to see if MIL would act differently than usual. No, her crazy mother behaved same as usual so my better half asked if she could talk to her dad.


“He is not here right now”

“Where is he?”

“Outside, somewhere, getting something…from the store.”


As you can guess this answer was not really satisfying, it was actually making my wife worry more. Furthermore she heard then a voice in the background and after asking who it is her mother said its fathers good friend who is visiting. My wife knows this man so they talked on the phone for a bit, of course she asked him about worrisome father but he only told her that father will be back soon.

Just as my wife was finally calming down she heard a very strange noise in the background. A noise she knew was not from her parents home but from a hospital.


“Mom, where are you? I know that you are not at home, please tell me where father is!”

“Oh, we are outside taking a walk.”

“You just told me before that you are at home, and that sound is from a hospital!”


From this point onwards her mother admitted that they were not at home nor outside walking, but in a hospital. So my wife continued asking about her father but her crazy mom would not tell her anything but that he is fine. Then her very crazy mom gave the phone again to the friend of her father and he also tried to calm her down. Everything is fine, no need to worry was the standard thing she heard.


After what felt like ages, even to me listening to it all next to my wife, fathers friends finally said what is going on.

“Your father can’t speak right now, they just removed a good tumor from his throat. He needs to rest a bit before you can talk to him.”


FIL at our Finnish Wedding

Father-in-law always had this big knot at his throat and the doctors decided to remove the tumor as it became uncomfortable and before it would turn “bad”. My wife was very exhausted in the end and few hours later her mother gave the phone to father so he could grunt a few words of comfort to his daughter. FIL was moved to tears how his daughter had been worried about him and promised to tell her next time if something happened.


These days FIL is of course still in good health and only a damn huge scar around his throat is a reminder of the surgery.


The whole thing makes me wonder about two things. Is there really something like a sixth sense, a feeling that something is happening good or bad? And second of all, why they tried to hide the whole thing from their daughter? This seems to be not that uncommon in China as this story from London Olympics 2012 is proving.