Tag Archives: Crazy Chinese

Survival Guide: Chinese mother-in-law

During the past years of blogging I read often comments like “You must be a very patient man”, “I could never live that long with my mother-in-law” or “You are a role model of being able to cope with MIL”. I don’t really think that I am a role model or even that patient. It is a mix of all kind of things which help me to endure every year my crazy Chinese mother-in-law for three months at our home. Of course there is also no real “guide” on how to deal with Chinese mother-in-laws as every person is unique and my MIL, even though very crazy, she is not the worst kind of person you can imagine. To get some view on other bloggers Chinese mother-in-laws you should try for example the blogs of Betty, Lina and Jennifer. They all got hilarious stories about their dealings with their MILs.

 

surroundings18
Nathans instincts are telling him to run!

One thing you might notice after seeing those three blog recommendations is that they are all women. Yes, I actually don’t know any male blogger writing about his dealings with Chinese in-laws (in case you know some, please do tell me).  Seems that I am touching a subject that is not too common for men to write about! It is also not a bad thing as you will notice that there are certain differences between how I as a guy am able to endure my Chinese mother-in-law and how women from other blogs manage it. I’ve been told that there are some women who could never ever manage to live for more than a few days with their in-laws. Of course I am no expert when it comes to women but my wife explained it in a way that even I get some tiny idea on what might go on. Mind you this is just how things were explained to me and will most certainly not mean that it can be applied on everyone. It goes somewhat along these lines: The mother-in-law always looks out what is best for their son, nothing and I mean really nothing what the daughter-in-law is doing will be ever good enough in the eyes of a MIL. Did I get it more or less right? Feel free to give feedback. This seems to be the key factor which could lead to certain problems between MIL and their daughter-in-law.

 

WP_20150513_11_46_12_Pro
Rest in peace poor kitchen rag

How is it for a guy? I don’t want to generalize again as it is just from my view as I have zero ideas how other men are doing it. I am somehow able to endure three months without too many problems because of one big thing: I don’t care too much! Really, I know MIL’s insanities for several years now and even though it leaves me speechless I don’t really make any drama. Sure I try to set up certain standards which all of us should follow (especially MIL). Sometimes this works, sometimes not. For example it has not worked thus far when it comes to kitchen rags or leaving oily handprints everywhere. I respect that my mother-in-law has her own view on how things should be done but there are some limits. This is where my dear wife comes into play. She has actually much less patience when it comes to her own mother. Most of the times she goes tell her mother how things are being done in this household before I can even open my mouth to comment on something weird MIL has done again.

As you can see it is not only my attitude of not caring too much about all the crazy stuff MIL is doing but also how my wife reacts to her own mother and makes certain that it our home doesn’t turn entirely into a monkey-house. Besides that I also kind of switch off most of my brain activities during every three-month visit (not that there is much brain activity anyways but I reduce it to a bare minimum).  So things which would drive me at normal times insane such as the need to clean the apartment at least ten times a day due to the mess MIL leaves behind just don’t receive any reaction anymore in my head. I see the mess but my brain does not react accordingly and thus much stress is avoided. The constant background noise which is my wife and her mother talking/ arguing doesn’t even bother me anymore, in fact I don’t hear it. There are many occasion where I sit in the living room watching my favorite TV show indifferent to the fact that I am placed right between those two women “talking” a bit loud…

LostTreasures1
My wife in the arms of crazy MIL, in the background you might notice an elephant with a long neck

Is it just me who switches of the brain when dear mother-in-law is staying for three months? I think not. I actually know some other guys who are married with Chinese women and do the very same thing as me when their MIL decided to stop by for three months. Whenever my wife would ask them how it is with their mother-in-law staying for such long time they just shrug their shoulders. However I must say that these other guys are all Finnish just as me. I have heard stories about other men from around the world having big time troubles with their MIL. I guess it is this Finnish mentality of not giving a damn which helps me to survive all the insanities around me.

P.S. The featured image on top is one from back in the days when I was in the army, who can find me? (Also Nathan’s godfather is in that picture!)

How do you deal with your mother-in-law?

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

https://www.facebook.com/CrazyChineseFamily

https://twitter.com/CraChineseFam

https://www.youtube.com/

The time we actually travelled somewhere in China (Jianmenguan Pass)

Remember all the times I wrote we never managed to go anywhere outside of Xi’an during all of our holidays there? I must admit that is not entirely true as we have visited many places around the city such as Mount Hua, the Shaanxi wild animal conversation research center and the Zoological Park. These places are not that far away from Xi’an however once we managed it even into another Province: Sichuan! I had nearly forgotten about it but untill I stumbled upon the pictures. This particular trip was at the Jianmenguan Pass which has much history behind it (like nearly every other place in China…).

mt5
Jianmenguan Pass with the fortress

We got to that mountain area by bus which we took from Xi’an. I don’t remember anymore how long the trip was exactly but I guess it was round 6 hours.  It was a small bus filled with many other people from our tourgroup, nearly all of them were in their 60s to 70s. As many of you know some Chinese can be rather noisy when traveling and this meant no sleep at all during the entire trip. Thankfully the bus had a small TV and the bus driver was so nice to play some Stephen Chow movies which helped to forget about all the noisy non-stop chatter and food throwing around.  Sadly we didn’t had the best weather during that time but at least it wasn’t raining when we reached Jianmenguan Pass. There we had the option to go straight to the fortification by walking for 30min or take a cable car half way up the mountain and walk from there 45min to the fortification and the little town behind it.  Of course there was also an option to get to the mountain top  where now also a viewing platform made out of tempered glass is crowning the top but that would have costs an additional 30 Dollars per person and there was simply no time in the schedule for it (tour groups rarely leave space for going around on your own).

mt12
Mountain

Nearly the entire tour group decided for the option to go half way up the mountain and then walk to the fortification with only few people deciding on the shorter way. To our surprise there was a little extra for the more adventurous people after the cable car ride, the Birdsway! Me and my wife took it of course as we had no desire to walk on a normal street around and I quickly regretted that decision. First of all this path went up some stairs, bazillion of stairs to be precise. But that wasn’t the bad thing yet, not even when the stairs started to go straight up the mountain side with only a chain to hold onto. No…it wasn’t the worst part though it was very exhausting. The worst part for a person like me with Acrophobia (fear of heights) was when the small path leading up the mountain became suddenly 30-40cm wide with only a chain protecting against falling down the cliff side! As I am so afraid of heights I can’t really say how high this cliff side was so it could be anything between 30-100m. Even though the view was stunning I was terrified up there and it wasn’t helping at all to see other Chinese tourists leaning over the chains to take some crazy selfies.  I was just so relived when the path ended and the normal way around the mountain started again. Mind you, it was still exhausting as there were still hundreds of stairs going up and down but no more cliff side craziness.

mt10
My nightmare (of course I don’t mean my wife!)

The rest of the hike was going through a beautiful landscape full of old cypress trees and from time to time some small bamboo groves. Needless to say the wonderful landscape and peace was always interrupted by some food stalls standing in the middle of nowhere clustered with dozens of tourists enjoying their 10th cup noodle (must be some kind of challenge to stop at every food stall and eat noodles!). Funny enough people always assumed there that I am from Xinjiang, don’t ask me why. In the end we reached the famous fortress at the Shu Road which enabled small forces to hold against huge armies due to its strategic position. Afterwards we still had to walk for a few minutes until we reached a little village located there and have our lunch with the rest of the tour group. What I still remember about the food is that the tour guide “prepared” us for 15 minutes during our trip to the mountain that every dish will have tofu and is super delicious, repeating tofu and delicious about 100 times. But yes, it was indeed delicious!

Do you have a fear of heights?

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

https://www.facebook.com/CrazyChineseFamily

https://twitter.com/CraChineseFam

https://www.youtube.com/

Don’t Mess With Chinese Cyclists!

It is time once again to share another video from the depths of my hard drive. Todays topic is a bit different than usual as there is nothing about my crazy Chinese mother-in-law, Chinese Food, my family or Nathan. However it is still linked to China as you might have guessed from the title.

In 2012 we went to China during September for a few weeks and back then it was also my first (and only) time being in China for the Mid-Autumn Festival. During those weeks we had few trips to the surroundings such as the Qinling Zoological Park, Mount Hua and also the Qinling Mountain Range (Qin Mountains) just few kilometres south of Xi’an. Especially the trip to the Qinling Mountain Range is in my memory, not due to MIL though she did a lot of weird stuff there as well but due to one single person bicycling uphill…

To this day I am speechless on what humans can achieve when putting their mind and body behind something. I am no stranger to bicycling myself as I do my tours each year but overtaking a car going uphill in the mountains is still something I won’t be able to do any time soon.

Have you witnessed any similar event where someone surprised you by their mental or physical prowess?

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

https://www.facebook.com/CrazyChineseFamily

https://twitter.com/CraChineseFam

https://www.youtube.com/