Tag Archives: German-Chinese mixed baby

Few Days in Cologne

This week we had a special little trip to Cologne, better known for Germans under the name Köln. So what brought us down to Middle Germany, the babaric part south of the river Elbe? My wife had some business to attend there so we decided to make a quick three-day holiday in Cologne. As my mother’s birthday was at the same time we invited my parents to come with us (of course we paid everything ). Somehow luck was on our side and I was able to get a good deal for two rooms and two nights at the Hyatt, let’s just say the breakfast is really good at least for people like me and not so special for people like my Chinese wife…

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A few love padlocks…

First some background info about Cologne. It is the fourth biggest city in Germany with a bit over 1 million inhabitants. The city has many famous landmarks with the Cologne Cathedral being probably the most well-known. During the Second World War 95% of the city was destroyed and the population had been reduced by over 90%, no wonder it was even called “world’s greatest heap of rubble”. Even though  Cologne had been reduced to basically nothing it was rebuild again with reconstruction work lasting until the 1990s. You can check out pictures of how the city looked like after the war on any search engine and it is really amazing how people were able to rebuild it all again.

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Good old Kaiser Wilhelm II

Our journey started on Tuesday morning but we wouldn’t arrive in Cologne until late afternoon due to terrible weather and several traffic jams. Under normal conditions the drive would usually take roughly five hours but in our case it took more than seven hours, no joy…really. Especially Nathan was a bit odd during that trip as he did not fall asleep at all and was full of energy until the late evening hours. Our hotel was located in a just perfect location as it is just few minutes away by walking from the city center. All you have to do is cross the Hohenzollern Bridge and you are standing right in front of the Cologne Cathedral. The Hohenzollern Bridge itself is one of the landmarks of Cologne and also famous for the thousands of love padlocks placed on the fence between the footpath and the railway lines.

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Cologne Cathedral in the early morning hours

The second day my wife had to be at another hotel already at six AM for her appointment and as it was still dark I walked her there. On my way back to our hotel I took a route through the still empty city center and could take some nice pictures. Later that day we all went once again to the city center and walked by few famous landmarks, the main shopping street and went into the Cologne Cathedral. The Cathedral is just huge, walking around the insides reminded me on the Halls of Moria from Lord of the Rings due to the giant pillars. Visitors can also climb a spiral staircase to a viewing platform at 98m above the ground. I don’t know if it is possible for visitors to climb also the towers which reach up to 157m above ground. Even though we had a wonderful and very filling breakfast we were getting hungry at some point and went to eat at Oma’s Küche (Grandmother’s Kitchen) which is known for its Schnitzel dishes. Though it is very simple food it is still very delicious and more than just filling as the portions are pretty big. In the evening my wife and I went to the Spring Funfair just few minutes away from the hotel. Perhaps you remember one of my blog posts about the funfair at my hometown and how disappointing is was for me to see how small it had become. Well, the funfair in Cologne was so full that it was sometimes impossible to move around. It seems that at least in bigger cities the funfairs are still well visited.

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Going around with the family

On our last day we left Cologne right after breakfast as we were afraid to be stucked in multiple traffic jams again but to our surprise nothing major happened and we arrived in the afternoon. All in all it was a very nice trip and I recommend going to Cologne in case you are for some time in Germany. We had planned to visit some more places in Cologne such as the Chocolate Museum and other landmarks around the city but the weather was first of all not the best during those days and we just had too little time.

Have you been to Cologne before?

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First Contact

Last autumn we visited China for the first time together with Nathan. I stayed only for a few days however Nathan and his mother haunted Xi’an for nearly a whole month. During that time Nathan made his first contact with the other members of the Crazy Chinese Family.

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Aunty and little little sister

For me as a grown up it was already much to get used to when I met them for the first time several years ago. Not that they are as crazy as my mother-in-law but they still are related to her so what can you expect! There is Granny who spawned crazy MIL and seems more often than not to be even more stubborn than her daughter, there is Aunty who always does everything wrong according to MIL,  there is Uncle who lives with his family together with Granny, my wife’s little sister (cousin, daughter of aunty) who is still trying to find some rich guy but in Japan (but he shouldn’t be Japanese of course), and the little little sister (youngest cousin of my wife, daughter of uncle) who needs two hours to eat a soup but can finish a burger in seconds. Alright,nothing really crazy about this all but imagine them all bunched up in one room with their whole attention on little Nathan. Yep, all attention on that tiny little Nathan who just wants to run away from them all.

 

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Make them go away Mommy!

I guess you can imagine how Nathan reacted when seeing them all, crying and trying to get as far away as possible from them/ into mommy’s arms. Of course they all mean no harm but when all of them try to squeeze and feed him snacks at the same time it just can be too much for such a little human being. I mean I could barely survive each encounter when we went eating with the family and every person just piles up more food on my plate. I have the strong believe that they tried to create a new Jabba the Hutt out of me. Nathan is usually the kind of baby who is too trusting and not afraid of strangers at all but with his own Chinese family he turned into a crying mess.

Though all craziness poured into him in one go he managed to survive. He even calmed down and played with the crazy Chinese relatives but this was only achieved with a lot of bribing via fruits and snacks. Guess how many people it takes to get in China a baby to sleep? Nearly the whole family!! I am not joking but it seems that every female of the family has to be present when trying to get Nathan to sleep. As they all are pretty noisy when being together it takes a long time for him to fall asleep, long enough that they get hungry and need to make some food in between…but that is again a story for another time.

The first contact with his Chinese Family went rather well despite him being afraid like hell in the beginning. I wonder how it will turn out next time when going to China. I have no idea yet when there will be a next trip but I hope it will be soon and that I will be there as well. Not because I am so eager to meet the family once again but the food, the food!

Do you have people on the family with the ability to scare children away?

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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Our little Christmas celebration

The Christmas festivities are survived and now the preparation for New Year celebrations are starting. For this Christmas we had for the first time a Christmas tree. All the previous years we had either no space in our tiny apartment in Finland or like last year just no time and decoration as we just had moved in the new place. However once Christmas was over last year we went straight to the next decoration store and bought tons of stuff for our future Christmas tree with a 50% discount (yay for intelligent shopping).

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What is all that stuff?

So what did we do this Christmas? First of all we got the last decorations done for our tree and placed all of the Christmas presents under it. Both of us had never done it before so it was a rather nice feeling once it was all done and Nathan saw the whole thing for the first time. For lunch we had nothing special, as we visited in the late afternoon an old lady to eat some food there together with my parents. The whole day was very uneventful, just a nice peaceful day with much sunshine. As the entire week was just rainy and dark we decided to start the day with some nice breakfast at my parents place and go after that together with Nathan to the nearby playground so he could burn some energy for the day. After that we visited this old lady I mentioned before. She is a friend of my mother from back in time when my mother first arrived in Germany to work here in the 1960s. My mother also lived at her place for several years and ever since I can remember Christmas we went to her place to have a simple dish “Potato Salad with Wiener Sausages”. Doesn’t sound like a fancy Christmas dinner does it? Well it is simple and pretty much tradition in my family to eat this every single Christmas. Usually we have some more German traditional food the following days such as turkey with red cabbage, potatoes and savory dark sauce but on Christmas itself we always keep it very simple.

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At the playground with a very happy Nathan

After we arrived back home the exciting part came when it was time to exchange the Christmas presents. I won’t go too much into detail but Nathan got some Lego Duplo with which he is playing non-stop currently and I got from my wife a quadcopter which I successfully crash-landed already. I think my wife got a pretty awesome gift for me as she can just cart me to the nearby park with the quadcopter and I can just sit there and let this monstrosity fly around/ crash around plus scare other people.  As you can see our Christmas has been very uneventful but something like this is nice as it allows you to relax a bit and enjoy the whole day more. For my wife the most exciting part besides receiving her gift was to decorate the Christmas tree. At this point I have to thank the old man to help getting this tree into our apartment as I wouldn’t have been able to do so on my own. For next year I need to remember to buy only what I also can carry!

How was your Christmas?

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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https://twitter.com/CraChineseFam

https://www.youtube.com/