Tag Archives: Holidays in China

The kind of Mixed 2018 Review

For the past years I have been not doing really many of such reviews. One I clearly remember was the Amazing Year 2014 Review as it was really a wonderful year full of great memories. The past years on the other hand have been more like “meh” compared to 2014. Now 2018 is something totally different as it will be definitely a year I will remember for a very long time due to its ups and downs.

Nathan the Taekwondo champ

The year started kind of slow and I thought back about the past years living in Germany and how it changed since we moved here. Besides that I also had another part of the “New Apartment” series which is still not entirely solved thus far. One big thing I had going on was my family research combined with a DNA test to find somehow some relatives somewhere on this globe. I am still in this whole research but have once again hit too many brick walls and for now I just wait for some lucky discoveries when someone adds to their family tree at some point.

In March things changed a bit as we arranged our trip to China and also had finally the confirmation that we could travel to Japan in May! Though we were excited to go once again to China and enjoy the good food there and kind of experience the strange Chinese family with their weird requests the main thing for us was Japan. For so many years we wanted to travel to Japan but it never worked out. Either it was the Japanese Embassy in Finland telling us the wrong information regarding the visa for my wife or we simply had suddenly no time for it. My wife planned the entire week in Japan for nearly two months to make it as perfect as possible for us and especially for Nathan. I don’t know why but I have barely any memories about April even though we wouldn’t fly to China till near the end of the month. Guess we were just busy with work, keeping Nathan busy with sports and being way too excited about our holidays.

Mount Fuji

May was the most amazing month for us in years as we were in China and of course in Japan. Blogging wise I didn’t do anything and wrote all about the wonder of Japan in June. Tokyo and Osaka were just so wonderful and Nathan really enjoyed the few hours we had at Thomas Land.  Each day in Japan we had a blast and thinking back I still can’t believe that we actually experienced all of that. I must say that all the planning my wife did for this holiday surely paid off. Usually all her preparing and planning are totally messed up as I wrote later in summer after our two-week holidays in Finland.  The time in Finland was way too short but we did go to Moominland which had been on my bucket list ever since I was a child!

With Autumn approaching we got a new family member, Haruki the Shiba. That tiny dog gave us so much joy thus far and by now he tripled his weight and can fart like a champ. In fact whenever he does release some gasses he cannot take the smell either and runs to another room. He is a strange little fellow with his constant smiley face. Ever since we got him I only started to see how many dogs we have in the neighbourhood. Even now I still encounter “new dogs” with their owners living somewhere nearby and I’ve been doing the rounds with Haruki for four months now. Besides Haruki we had another last highlight and that was visiting Lego Land in Denmark. We didn’t plan to go there this year but after finding some ridiculous good deal we just had to go. Two days of rain but also two days filled with Lego and that is all what Nathan cares for. I also got myself some goodies and went on updating my computer and rambling about my gaming history.

Haruki when he used to be cute

And now I come to the absolute depressing November after having such a great year till then. This month was just cursed as one bad thing after the other happened. Workwise we were totally overloaded, my wife got her wallet stolen,  a mirror crashed down and my father was diagnosed with Leukemia. I think that was by far the worst month I can think off. I mean after so many good memories this year everything was just destroyed in one month. By now we are over most of those terrible happenings but just remembering back makes we feel really empty and also angry. But life goes on and December has been rather positive without anything bad thus far.

How was your year 2018 so far?

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Experiencing China

It has been now over six months since our last holiday in China. It was a great trip and we are already planning for next years holiday session in the Middle Empire. I have mentioned it countless of times that for so many years we never really managed it to go anywhere besides Xi’an. This year was different as we had that wonderful week in Japan (Tokyo, Thomas Land and Osaka) and we are kind of planning on having next year a week-long trip in Thailand. This is not set in stone especially when taking into consideration that we should have been already to Korea, Taiwan, Bali, the Maldives and so forth. Main problem was always that my wife turns into a complete couch potato once we arrive at her home in China.

Some temple somwhere in Sichuan

Anyhow even in case we won’t manage it to Thailand I am still looking forward to visiting China again. For one it is of course the food and I think I don’t need to touch that subject again as writing about it and sharing pictures makes too many people hungry. It is for me more like the whole experience in China. Even though I have seen so little so far it has been always such an interesting experience especially as each region or even parts of the city are so different. I have been mostly only to Xi’an but already there each section of the city has its own vibe. It goes as far as each “block” can be so different compared to the next one. For example the area where my in-laws are living looks to many people (like my parents) like a city shortly after an air raid while as the next block is a complete different matter as everything is relative clean and nice looking. However between those blocks the feeling is already different as in the older parts everywhere you have those wonderful street kitchens which are more rare or even non-existent in richer areas.

Music in the streets

It feels sometimes to surreal to drive on some roads passing by mountains which look like just from paintings. To have old temples and other historical buildings right next to some huge shopping centres. Just going a bit outside the cities you even encounter traditional clay brick buildings and even cave houses. Of course there are always downsides to the whole experience especially due to pollution or overcrowded tourist spots but it does not really bother me that much. For me each holiday in China is unique as even in Xi’an I find new interesting thing which each visit. For next year we have another novelty as we kind of have to decide where we want to stay: Either in MIL’s new apartment in the middle of nowhere or in the old one where FIL is staying right in the city center with all the best food around. Guess this decision is a no-brainer.

Do you have already plans for holidays in 2019?

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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Strawberries and Raisins

During our trip in China this year we really just started to see how different many things are. I don’t mean basics such as language, culture or anything like that. It is more the “think big” mentality in so many aspects especially buildings. Let’s take shopping malls as an example. Growing up in Europe I have visited too many shopping malls over the years. I always thought that they are pretty huge but oh boy was I wrong after really visiting multiple ones this time in China. While the shopping malls are big in Europe (the ones I have visited in several countries at least) they still don’t go overboard and usually just offer enough space for the shops and few restaurants, nothing more.

We were not even at the bottom of that side wing of the mall

In China it is a bit different, very much different. Alone the malls we have visited in Xi’an are just not normal in any way. For example there is the one mall with just some kind of glass roof (of course not glass, some other new transparent material which is like 90% lighter than glass or something like that) without any real walls. So you have that nice roof against the rain and the shops and restaurants are located in some smaller buildings beneath it. Now what will protect you in the hottest summer months from melting on the spot when walking around there as there is of course no air condition? Water mist of course! All around the pathways and buildings water mist is being sprayed every five minutes or so to cool down the air. I have seen similar before but that was on a totally different scale compared to this huge shopping center. Besides this very interesting cooling system there are some attractions such as a huge pillar covered in LED panels which sometimes looks like a giant tree or at other times like a crystal. Furthermore there is a gigantic “waterfall” which sprays water in certain rhythm combined with some music every hour or so. It is hard to explain so check out the picture and of course the Instagram post I had back then.

Some kind of musicish, lightish, waterish thingy thing

 

Then there is the nice other mall which has probably more restaurants on one floor compared to my hometown and all its surrounding villages combined. It is just insane to have that many different restaurants in one mall, it took us one hour to actually select one we liked as there were just too many to choose from. Besides that the mall also has a waterfall, okay not one waterfall but several spanning over five or six floors with gold fishes in the ponds in between. Sadly I do not have a picture of that as I was first of all too amazed by it, then I was too hungry to hold the camera and third of all I was scared for my life as thousands of other people were streaming through the passageways in that mall and I tried not be trampled to death.

Exhausted from eating

I do not know why these experiences amazed me so much this time in China. For some reason I experience China each time a bit different or to be more precise I realize or learn something new and different during each visit. I had been in so many malls before in China but those visits never flashed me like this year. Strawberries and raisins anyone? Yes I can change topics in such smooth way but now you will learn what I mean with that headline.

Yay for a the looks of that cake

Our dear Nathalie had her first birthday in China and we had to celebrate it with the whole family. One certain thing had to be at the celebration as well, one thing  we had to walk and wait ages for: the birthday cake. This cake looked so great (and cute) now guess my horror when I took the first bite of that great looking strawberry cake to taste raisins. Yes raisins. Why on earth anybody in this world would add raisins into a strawberry cake? This was officially the worst cake I have ever tried in my life. This is something you give someone you hate, not love! Writing this I got goosebumps again from that horrid memory this cake has caused. Thankfully Nathalie is still too young to  have any memory of this experience but I am still in shock how the whole rest of the family had apparently no problems with that cake and even stated how good it tasted.

Trying to take a group picture with Nathan, impossible…

 

Have you ever tasted something like a strawberry raisin cake?

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