Tag Archives: MIL

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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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.

 

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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.

 

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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…

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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?

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The Silent One

Last week I wrote about the often unpredictable behavior of my crazy Chinese mother-in-law. In the comments I was also asked how her husband is dealing with it all and I have here something like an answer.

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First time carrying his grandson #Nathancuty

All the general info about him I wrote already down in two other posts About Father-in-law and The Love for Table Tennis. For the ones who don’t want to read it all I give you some short summary. He is in his mid fifties, loves to play table tennis, eats tons of sweets, as an OCD when it comes to cleaning and is able to eat about double the amount of food for lunch and dinner than the rest of the family combined. In the post About Father-in-law I wrote that he is working as a driver in one of the city’s bureaus. This is no longer true as the whole department has been shut down by the government to safe some money. Now he is unemployed and bored as hell every day at home. For him it is not about being unemployed and not earning money but that he has too much time on his hands out of nowhere. Worst of all for him is that he is whole day home and so is his wife!

 

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Watching over Nathan

Wheras MIL is a very strong person he is more the weak one. He easily gives in when his wife has something to complain about and most of the times I think he is doing so in order to escape the endless annoyance of MIL by making her think she won once again and shuts up. I know this might sound mean but once you heard one of her charades you will understand. Come to think of, his wife always has something to complain about him but usually it is actually something she did wrong herself. She pushes down by accident some vase? His fault because he placed it there and so on. So how can he partially escape the madness called his wife? He plays with his phone some weird farming games or does so on the computer whenever he is not cleaning the apartment or watching sports on TV. The good thing for him is that MIL loves shopping and goes dancing and thus is often gone for many peaceful hours. I think he is always looking forward when MIL stays with us for three months…

Though he is very invisible when going around as his wife wants to be the center of everything he still shows his presence when needed. When we need something he goes off and gets it for us in an instant. When we want to cross the street he will go ahead and wave to the cars to let us through. When he sees my wife looking at something in the shop window he will immediately gives her money (though my wife always takes the money she returns it before flying back to Europe without anything spent). He is very caring but sometimes way too much as he gets afraid that something is not good enough. Everytime before buying something he will carefully check the item he wants to buy to make sure that everything is 100% fine. When going out to eat he will clean each cup, bowl and the chopsticks. At home he is cleaning the apartment twice a day, each time done three times. Because he is so worried all the time that everything works fine he has high blood pressure and from is former afro hairstyle nothing is left.

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Meet Afroman

Of course we want to give him sometimes some nice presents but that is a futile effort. Not only does he not want anything but when he actually gets something from us he will store it safely away because he wants to wear/ use the old things first until they are broken. During MIL’s days as a model she often got some nice clothes and also gave him some. These days are over twenty years ago and still the clothes he received are originally packed and stored in his closet. Few years ago we bought him a new shaving machine, it took over a year until he used it and only because MIL threw away his old one as even threatening him that she will give the shaver to me would make him use it. In the end all I can say about FIL is that he is a very reliable person who prefers to stick to the background and is thus the exact opposite of MIL.

Do you also have a more quiet person in the family who is always there when you need her/him?

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/