Tag Archives: Holidays in China

Sightseeing in Xi’an

We have been multiple times in Xi’an and visited each time some new locations. The most we saw back in 2011 during our first holiday there when my parents were both visiting. Over the years I developed a better understanding about the city compared to my wife who grew up there. She is kind of resisting in learning anything new about her home town and she has zero sense of direction thus making every place we visit new to her even though we had been there before. So how to decide what places to show when friends are coming for a weekend visit?

Peaceful times at the Guangren Temple

Those friends are all from my wife as they were together in the same dormitory when studying in Finland during their first year (in Kajaani to be precise, my wife moved later to Helsinki). All those friends kept close contact over the years even though some moved back to China, others stayed in Finland and we moved to Germany.  Now when we had our holiday in April/ May in China and some of them decided to come over for a visit. All of those friends married and got kids so we had a bit bigger group coming over which required some good planning. My wife had grand plans for her friends, very grand plans. They all failed.

View from the City Wall

They did not fail because of not putting enough heart and time in them. No they failed because my wife didn’t consider two things. First of all she has zero sense of direction and has no clue at all how long it takes to go to some location and second of all she did not consider that her friends mess up plans completletly each time, every single time and are always, really always late. Because of this mess we only saw few sightseeing spots such as the Giant Wild Goose Pagoda with the Fountain show, the Small Wild Goose Pagoda, the City Wall, the Muslim Quarter, Guangren Temple, Qinglong Temple, the City God Temple and few other temples of which I have no clue about theirnames any longer.

Some Booze at the Guangren Temple

Just to show you why all planning failed I give you two examples. The complete lack of any kind of sense of direction of my wife lead to a rather embarrassing failure. She had the grand plan of going with all people to the City Wall, walk a bit on it till we reach the city center and go eating in some famous restaurant. You see the City Wall goes all around the old city center and is roughly 14km long.  So we entered the City Wall at the West Gate where my in-laws live. For some unknown reason my wife had the idea that you could walk on the city wall straight to the old city center (note it still goes all around, not through the city…). She had this plan also while facing 36 Degrees Celsius and walking together with little kids. Needless to say everyone gave up after not even managing 800m on the wall (out of the needed 5km on the wall and further 2km walking to the restaurant) and going to eat in some small restaurant near the wall entrance.

#Nathancuty just like a real German tourist, Sandals and Socks! (plus Adidas Shirt)

Now to the problem how her friends mess up plans each time and are always late. On the second day we planned to meet up at 10 in the morning to take a little walk and eat at a restaurant famous for Liangpi. Shortly before we arrived they called us that they just woke up and bought some beef noodles for breakfast. For breakfast! By the time everyone was ready to move it was already 12 and all of them were too full to go eating for the next hours leaving my wife, Nathan and me starving. You might say something like this can happen from time to time but this actually happens each time we meet them (also during our short Finland trip this summer, but that is stuff for another blog article).

Even though nearly everything went wrong what could have gone wrong we still had a great time with them. It was really nice to meet them again and their kids. Sure there were frustrating moments but living each year 3 months with MIL made me kind of immune to such things.

Do you have friends who are always late or mess up all your planning?

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First Days in China

It has been a rather long time since my last blog post and yeah, I’ve been really lazy it seems! But fear no longer as I am back now with some spare time on my hands just for this blog. The main reason for my hiatus was actually our holiday in China which lasted nearly a month and also few exhausting weeks battling with taxations once again. Right now we even have the joy of surviving dear Chinese mother-in-law as she arrived yesterday.

MIL’s dancing group

 

This first blog post after such long break will be rather uneventful as it will be just about the first days in China during our holidays there. Unbelievable but true this trip has been our first real holidays in nearly two years! I guess you can imagine how exhausted you can get with work without any holidays for such long time so we were very excited. However as we are running our own business work did not stop with us going to holidays and thus we had few working days even in China.

Finally good food!

So what you do after such long time without holidays once you arrive in Xi’an? Go eat! The first few days we went to each one of our favorite restaurants, it just felt so good to be able to eat those wonderful dishes again. Well, we loved it but my father was not that fond about Liangpi 凉皮 (cold noodles) and few other dishes we devoured. However we usually found a good compromise and he got something he liked each day, in fact he stated later that this holiday to China was the best of them all as he really liked the food during the entire trip. Besides eating we went for many walks around the neighbourhood and I could not help myself to take few more pictures of the area and building where my in-laws live. My father feels always reminded how Germany looked like after WWII when going through that area in the city center of Xi’an. It appears that standard maintenance is unheard of in parts of China.

Just to the left there you shall find the entrance to my in-laws building

 

The first week in China was more like getting used to having holidays again and doing few sightseeing tours around the city. Even though we had started there our holidays it did not really feel real. Xi’an had changed once again a lot in just two years and just had a different “vibe” compared to before. My father liked this new feeling to the city especially as car drivers suddenly stop for pedestrians (scooter riders will still try to kill you) and that everything is much cleaner now as there are hundreds of people going around each day collecting trash in the city center with a bucket and pick-up tools.

What a boring blog post!

 

 

What was the longest period you went without holidays?

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 there is also my Instagram account in which from time to time some pictures and short videos might pop up.

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New Apartment Part II

Remember when I wrote about the apartment my in-laws had in mind? Back then they were not 100% whether to buy it or not. They did not even know if they move into the apartment  or rent it out in case they buy it. Shortly after that blog post my in-laws decided to buy it and keep it for a few years before selling it for some profit. Everything seemed so fine back then as I was happy that they wouldn’t move out of their old apartment. Well my in-laws are apparently changing their minds very often. Because they could not decide on a certain move I did not give any further updates as I hoped, nay prayed that they would change their mind again.

As the situation is right now (actually ever since the beginning of December) is that they buy the new apartment and move in! This is like the worst case scenario, it just can’t get any worse than that. I have no clue at all how on earth they got the idea to actually move to the new apartment. Not only is it on a very bad floor (nearly the top thus the water pressure is miserable) and the location is terrible as well. You might think that the area will be developed soon as so much is being build there right now but you are wrong. Sure it used to be an industrial area for half century but the factory workers actually lived right there. It is full of old apartment blocks from the 1950s-60s and never any supermarket or similar has opened there. According to the city planning there is nothing at all in the books for the near future so my dear parents in-law will have to take the bus for every little thing they need.

He ain’t happy with his grandparents as well

The only good thing right now is that they have decided to move into the new apartment towards the end of the year. Thus our trip to China in April/ May is saved and we do not need any terrible bus rides just to buy some snacks. I do not kid you the busses (at least in Xi’an) are terrible. They are always stuck in traffic, they are filled to the brim with people, they would definitely not pass any safety inspections in Germany (for what could you possibly need breaks or or mirrors?) and they are like a bad-smelling sauna during summer time. Yes there are also busses with air-condition but they are very rare and I do not really like to wait half hour for a certain bus in the terrible heat when the other scary ones are stopping every 5 minutes.

I guess my in-laws expect from me and my dad such miracle work as in our apartment few years back

My dear parents in-law now want that we (my father and I) will go with them to check for the materials to use for the new apartment and make some basic plans. Sounds like tons of fun to do during your holidays. The best is that both MIL and FIL have completely different opinions and “taste” when it comes to refurbishing that place. While MIL has some crazy Italian materials and furniture all planned out good old FIL wants to keep everything more subtle with dark and light coloured contrasts (dark floor and cream coloured walls for example). I really do not know what I will do this holiday in China, enjoy my time there with great food or renovate an apartment I hate?

Do you know people who change their mind all the time?

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 there is also my Instagram account in which from time to time some pictures and short videos might pop up.

https://www.facebook.com/CrazyChineseFamily

https://twitter.com/CraChineseFam

https://www.instagram.com/Crazychinesefamily