Tag Archives: interracial couple

Too many Passports in the Family

A couple of years ago I had a little blog post about the various passports in our family. Back then I thought it was rather amusing to have so many different ones but by now I have changed my mind.

I have both the Finnish and the German nationality and this also applies to both kids Nathan and Nathalie. They got both nationalities due to jus sanguinis which is applied both in Germany and in Finland. I on the other hand have both nationalities as my father is German and my mother in Finnish. But as my wife is Chinese and maintains her Chinese passport both kids are by Chinese law also Chinese citizens. However as China does not recognize dual citizenship they are per se really Chinese. Some smart people in some higher ranks in China probably realized that this is not such a great idea to just say no to such interracial kids and thus they soften the regulations and voila the Chinese travel document was created. At the beginning it was only valid for two years but by now (at least according to our embassy visit in 2018) our kids can (re)apply for it untill they are turn 18.

Just a few of the passports in our collection by now

Alright so we got now actually three Nationalities for the kids (kind of three, more like 2 1/2 right now with the travel document). This all sounds pretty nice to have especially when traveling as the Finnish and the German Passport belong to the most powerful ones in some rankings. It basically means that they have one of the most visa free travel rights around the globe. Really great isn’t it? Well that is till you actually travel somewhere as a family. No we do not take all the passports with us as that would be just madness. But alone for the two kids we need to have already 4 Passports with us! Especially when we are at the check-in/ luggage drop at the airport things can get a bit messy. For example last year in Japan (Osaka) the check-in took nearly an entire hour for us as the staff was just too confused with all the documents we had with us. To make it even worse for the staff we had not checked beforehand which passports we took with us. This means that Nathan and Nathalie had both their German passport and the Chinese travel document with them. But what was so confusing for the staff was the fact that I had only my Finnish passport with me and they could not quiet understand how the kids can have the German passport but non of the parents have one!

What is my nationality?

For this years’ trip to China (and perhaps Thailand) we will make sure to take the “proper” passports with us. Meaning that the kids and I have all the German papers with us in order to not overly confuse any staff at the airports. Besides this year my father won’t be coming with us so there will be one less passport to handle. I never imagined back in the day that the whole passport matter could cause trouble at the airports. I did started to realize it first time when applying two years ago for a Visa for China here in Germany and I brought only my Finnish Passport along. Oh what trouble that was as I had to bring a paper from my hometown stating that I am a registered foreigner even though I am actually German but just could not prove it at the Visa Center.

Did ever run into any troubles at an airport?

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The Wonderful City Called Dresden

Last weekend we visited Dresden the capital city of the Free State of Saxony. It was the first time for Nathan, my wife and of course MIL to visit that part of Germany. I on the other hand had been there multiple times however I never really did see the city. The thing is I lived in East Germany, okay to be more precise in Karl-Marx-Stadt Chemnitz, for a couple of years as I went there to the Sports High School. During those years I visited a lot of cities but only for competitions and thus I usually never saw more than the swimming pool and the next McDonalds. So Dresden it was and I was really excited as I could visit an old friend from high school again.

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View on Dresden Cathedral

Our journey started on an early Friday morning in my great home town. Before Dresden we decided to have a short stop in Chemnitz to grab some food and look at the Sportforum, the place where I lived, studied and trained for two years.  In Chemnitz we had our belated lunch as we arrived after roughly 6 hours  car driving fun at around 3pm there. We only stayed shortly as we wanted to arrive at the hotel in Dresden as soon as possible and to have some daylight left to see few things around the area we stayed. From Chemnitz we had another enjoyable car ride to Dresden which lasted roughly one hour. Let’s just say that such long car rides are no fun at all. While driving through the city I was already amazed how differently it looked compared to all other cities I have visited thus far in Germany. Our hotel was located in the city district Neustadt and it was the perfect location for our needs!

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Part of the Procession of Princes which is made of Porcelain

For one my friend’s apartment was just 15 min away by walk. Then the city center itself with all the great sights was just 10 min away by tram and last but not least the district Neustadt was just amazing. To be precise Neustadt is divided into Inner Neustadt and Outer Neustadt but let’s not focus on such details. What we noticed first there was the huge amount of historical buildings just everywhere and then the huge amount of young people all around. Apparently Neustadt is known for its many students and it is a thriving hip district full of restaurants, bars, clubs and a lot of “alternative” shops. We just loved it there as it was so lively putting Helsinki and its hip district of Kallio to shame. During our first evening there we went to a nice Vietnamese restaurant and had some great dinner.

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What a wonderful city

On the second day we went after breakfast to the historical city center and tried to see as many sights as possible. MIL was in awe as she had never seen anything like that before (actually I haven’t either!). It was just too bad that during our time there the famous Frauenkirche was closed. This Frauenkirche is a church which has been destroyed as so many other buildings there during WWII and reconstruction was only finished in 2005. Most interesting about the city center is that every buildings looks old there but in fact nearly all of the living houses are modern buildings with a classical facade because there was not so much left after the war so they reconstructed only the most famous sights and settled for modern buildings for the rest. They did a real good job in getting the old feeling back with these buildings as such is missing in nearly all German cities which suffered so high damage (Dresden was to 60% destroyed during the war and approx. 250.000 to 500.000 inhabitants and refugees died during the terrible bombings). Afer a small lunch with my friends we went to the Bastei. It is a rock formation just about 45 min away by car from Dresden Neustadt.  The rock formation is pretty famous here but also gained some world-wide attention as it was one of the desktop screens for Windows 7. Nathan loved the bridges spanning around the rock formation so much that he didn’t even want to leave anymore! Let’s just say he was rather upset when we “forced” him to come with us to the car…

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At the Bastei

Later that day we went to my friends and had some lovely BBQ in their backyard/ inner yard. As both are vegetarian we had only a small amount of meat and the rest was all about grilled vegetables and cheese. Myself I am perfectly fine to have these days a meat free BBQ but they bought for us some meat so we couldn’t say no.  When it was getting darker we walked from their home towards a bridge spanning the river Elbe to have a great view towards the historical city center. I had all my equipment ready for some great pictures but next to the bridge was some kind of music festival which resulted in annoying light and smoke disturbing the pictures.

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Failed attempt at taking a nigh shot

In the end I can say it was a wonderful trip and I recommend for everyone visiting Germany to have at least one or two days in Dresden. It is a wonderful city with a lot of history and I think it is really a must see destination.  Both MIL and my wife enjoyed the time there a lot however they were not too fond of the six-hour car ride. They were especially bored on the way back when I took over music control and listened the entire way to an audiobook as I just could not face any more K-Pop.

Have you ever visited Dresden or heard about this city?

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Daily life of an Interracial Couple in Germany

We live now for over 1 1/2 years in Germany and are getting the hang on living here. I should know much about it as I lived here nearly my whole life except those 7 odd years in Finland but it ain’t so. You see both my wife and I adapted to the life in Finland during those years rather well and things are just a bit different here in Germany.

There is for instance the good old Mittagsruhe – Midday Peace which is a quiet time from 1pm till 3pm. You shall make no noise at all during that time. You have some work at home which needs to be done? Tough luck as you will have a horde of furious elderly neighbours massing in front of your door in case they even hear a tiny sound. This might sounds amusing but it is not, not at all. Sure it is a more generational thing these days but we have the luck to have a building full of elderly people here and they can hear pretty well out of nowhere as soon as it is Midday Peace. Also another thing I didn’t know about in Finland  is that many restaurants have a Ruhetag – Day of Rest some when within the week, sometimes even two of those days. I wonder how often my wife and I already drove somewhere to eat just to find out that they have their Day of Rest…

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Am I different?

Anyhow this is actually not what I wanted to write about but it came to my mind as I just had yesterday again some complaint from a random neighbour due to the midday peace. The topic for today is in fact something like a continuation from my post from January 2015 “Living as an interracial couple in Germany”. Back then I had many things on my mind with people behaving odd with us or also the thing about language. Most of those troubles have subsided over time such as the annoyance with official documents and governmental things as they are done (for now). Also we had no stupid neighbour going through our trash anymore which is rather nice. But there is still something which happens few times a month.

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What’s going on?

When I take a walk with Nathan around the city people always say how cute he is, especially elderly women are really fond of him. However when we are out together as a family people are looking at us and then whisper something to each other. Often when I am close enough I hear stuff like “She must be here for the Visa”, or “Another Thai around here” or “I wonder if it is even his child”. Now I don’t get upset about it or try to argue with them as it is anyways useless. I never heard such stupid things in Finland, not in the big city there nor in the countryside. Here in Germany I also only heard it in my hometown not in the bigger cities such as Hamburg, Kiel or Cologne. It really seems that people in Germany appear to be more narrow-minded the smaller the city gets. But I must also say this is another generational thing same as the before mentioned “Midday Peace”. I have never heard anything like that from people around my generation, always from one to two generation older than us.

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Germany lost 😦

It appears also that the people around here have a very certain stereotype when it comes to WMAF, White Male Asian Female couples. Why? Because more often than not you see older German guys with their younger Asian (in this case nearly always Thai) girlfriends or wives. In fact in our building there is a nice man living together with his Thai girlfriend but she lived here already years before she got together with him. This is also why all peopl assume that my wife is from Thailand. Just few days a guy whom I gave few cents for a bus ticket asked me if my wife is from Thailand. Here again it is nothing I get upset about, nor does my wife care about it any longer but the consistency about those things are something which sticks to my mind. Do I think that life is harder for us due to our interracial relationship? No, not at all but it brings up a lot of more comments from other people around. Sure many of them sound racist (some actually are) but most of these comments are happening because they don’t know any better.

Now that this is of my mind (thank you blog for being my therapy) I can go  back and focus on more important things in my life, such as preserving the kitchen from total destruction due to MIL. Oh and by the way, next weeks blog post will be a bit delayed. We will be over the weekend in the beautiful city of Dresden for some sightseeing, eating and visiting a few of my friends.

Do random people start talking about you when you take a walk outside?

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/