Today it has been a very very rainy day. Not that I am not used to it already after living here for more than a year but it is still not really that great. It is wet, cold, everything is just grey and …wet resulting that there is no urge to leave the house not even to buy some groceries. So what do you do on such day? You watch pictures from better times!
In this case I watched the pictures from our holidays on Rhodes last summer. It was just perfect there, everyday sunshine, it was warm and in case it got too hot we could just jump into one of the pools or the ocean right in front of the hotel. We spent one week on that wonderful island and now I just wish we could go there again right now. Sadly this is not possible as I am just in no condition to do so. However there is always hope for next year or the year after…I guess it is best for now to watch these great pictures and perhaps I might feel a bit warmer here.
What do you do on rainy days?
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2014 was a really amazing year for me and my family. So many great things happened and we just had really much luck with everything. I am not even sure that I remember to write down each and every single good thing of this year in this post as there are just too many things which pop into my head.
But lets start with the beginning.
In January the time of Nathan birth was approaching and with it also my mother-in-law three-month stay in our apartment. But, back then the year started not so well as several bad things actually happened. First of all I got final answers from several Universities that they did not choose me for their programs, furthermore freelancing was going very bad and I could not find any stable job at all. To make things even worse we did not find any apartments for our future in Germany and much of our savings were consumed by our car.
However wonderful February happened. It started with MIL arriving in Finland and giving us already a lot of excitement. Excitement in both ridiculous but also few annoying ways. But what do you expect when three people are living together in a 40m² apartment and one of them is just going crazy as her baby is already due for over 10 days…
Yes, Nathan was seemingly feeling too comfortable in his mother’s womb and extended his rental contract by 14 days! On February the 21st it was then his big day and he joined this world and our family. Both mother and baby were healthy and were able to leave the hospital after two days and come home.
March came and with it our new apartment in Germany. After so many months searching for an apartment and losing another bidding process this apartment basically fell into our hands. My parents had helped an old man for many many years in our building and he passed away in March. What we did not know was that my parents and I would inherit everything he owned!
April was the month we went to Germany and started our first step in the long-lasting renovation process of our apartment. It was also the month when Nathan got baptized, to be precise he got baptized on Easter Sunday. Usually it is impossible to get a baptizing day on Easter as it is a very popular date however we were offered a date and we accepted without knowing that it would be on Easter Sunday…
May came and MIL left. Probably I shouldnt be so happy but I was very glad when she finally left Finland after spending three months with us. Of course she was a great help but enough is enough after such a long time. In May also my parents came to Finland to spend their summer in the cottage.
June was our “holiday” in the cottage where Nathan gathered his first fishing experiences and played first time in ice-cold Finnish lake water. Tallinn was another good thing which happened as we went together with other friends for a short two-day trip there to relax and eat well (at least I did eat very well).
August we had our great holidays on Rhodes which we won through an online prize competition! After that we said our goodbyes to our friends in Finland, packed our last belongings and went again to our cottage to relax a bit before starting our journey to Germany.
Then the day of moving to Germany came in September. With two cars we drove from our cottage to Helsinki to take a ship to Germany. After two days on that ship, in a tiny cabin with four people, one baby and two bunnies we arrived and started shortly thereafter the last huge step in the renovating process. Much work was ahead of us but I did it with pleasure as I knew it would be worth it. However September was also full of exhausting runs through the city to get us all signed up, get social numbers and get my wife the German residence permit.
In October we celebrated my fathers 73rd birthday and an end of the renovation work was in sight. We got my wife signed up for the German language course and Nathan was doing of course very well.
Now we are here in December. Christmas is ahead, presents still have to be bought so what good thing could still happen? Well, I am working now on finally “refreshing” the blog, something I had planned already for nearly a year. How will it look like? Lets see, it will be probably a surprise for me too! Just wait and see what new things I have in mind for my Crazy Chinese Family. Furthermore I want to thank you all who are reading this blog and thus give me motivation to go on to write down the weird stories of my family.
The past week I was with my little family on holidays in Greece, to be more precise on the famous island Rhodes. Right from the beginning I must admit that we were more of the lazy tourists kind as we did not go out to see any sights such as the city of Rhodes itself. Okay, maybe not only because we were lazy but because traveling with a little baby in +35 degrees celsius/ 95 degrees fahrenheit is not really the smartest option (hey, I need at least some kind of excuse for just sleeping at the beach…).
Our plane left Helsinki on sunday afternoon and we arrived in our hotel room in late evening hours. Due to the late arrival we had no dinner but we had a great view over Rhodes (city) by night which is pretty impressive! The hotel itself was advertised as a family hotel and there were a lot of families with their young kids there. The hotel/ trip organizer offered for kids a daycare option to give the exhausted parents some rest. This was no option for us a Nathan is just too young for that and anyways he is perfectly happy by eating and sleeping the entire day.
Our days were actually really busy even though we had mostly nothing but being at the beach, at the pool, eat and go during evening hours to the nearby village. For me being lazy and at the same time to be feeling busy and exhausted at the end of the day is something new to me! Usually I went for a short 2km swim in the “action” pool each morning before breakfast, went with my wife and baby to the beach and later on to the pool area and finished the day with a great dinner and stroll around the village.This was the first real holiday I have ever had. Before I only went to sunny places for swimming camps, in my childhood I went during summer holidays to our cottage which is in the end mostly work and the China trips were usually to be with the Chinese family, eat a lot and go overweight back to Finland.
Remember that my wife belongs to that Chinese majority who can’t swim (I know, it’s very embarrassing for me as a former professional swimmer)? As she really wanted to enjoy the ocean as well we got her an air mattress to float at the shore. No, she was never in danger as I watched out that nothing happened and besides, she was also only as far as her feet could touch the ground. To her dismay her skin got tanned! To my amusement no day passed where she didn’t complain about her dark skin (he he!). Now you may wonder what did little Nathan do the entire time. He sometimes enjoyed the pool in his full body suit and extra thick layer of sun screen and of course mostly only in shadowed areas or slept in his stroller always nearby us. As he can not speak for himself yet I must say that he looked pretty damn happy when going for a little swim with me. At least the different crazy sounds he can do were all of the happy kind, not the upset heartbreaking kind.
During our time spent at the beach we got to know another Chinese guy who is going from beach to beach and offering massage for the tourists. At first we thought he might be employed by the hotel but later on he told us his not so happy tale. As many other Chinese in Greece he came illegally to the country to find work. Before the economic crises it was actually pretty okay till he lost his job and ended up doing the massage at the beach during summer times. This apparently happened to many other Chinese and there are whole crews going around, waving their little pamphlet with the prices of the different massages. He said also that the bigger beaches are mostly controlled by Chinese black society (when it comes to services Chinese can offer there) which leaves people like him only some smaller beaches with less business possibilities. He also wants to go back to China but he first wants to make a little profit before going back as the illegal way of getting out of China is very expensive. I just hope for him, the other Chinese and any other people who suffered due to the economic crises there that their situation will improve again over time.
What else to say about this trip other than it was pretty much perfect for us? The food was great, the area was wonderful and everything was working out well. Everything? Okay, there was this issue with the terrible internet connection which was driving me insane sometimes but then again it was a holiday, so why did I care so much about having a good internet connection and getting annoyed by not being upload stupid pictures to twitter…who knows…
Anyways, I am very glad we took this trip and I am also surprised that everything went to easy with Nathan as you usually hear that it can get pretty rough to travel with a baby.