Tag Archives: WMAF

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.

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Living as an Interracial Couple in Germany – Three Years Later

In January 2015 I described our life in Germany with all the difference challenges and difficulties we had experienced in the first few months of living here. First of all I was rather shocked when I saw that the article Living as an Interracial Couple in Germany is already three years old! Up till this point I did not even realize that we have lived for so long time already in this country. For me it feels like we just left Finland one or maximum two years ago. This just shows that time passes by faster the older you get/ when you have kids keeping you busy.

Demons from Hell have arrived to stop the digitalization in Germany

My first point of annoyance three years ago was about applying for the residence permit and Germany still being in the stone age when it comes to digitalization.  Thing is we had to renew her residence permit half-year ago and it was once again a very special experience when the nice lady at the office for foreigners was once again going through countless of folders and law books. No Germany did not manage to reach the digital age within those three years. Besides the nice lady was even surprised that we had a second child by now and we were required to hand them the birth certificate. Not that I received that very certificate from the same building just 20m away in another office last summer…nothing really nothing can be viewed from their PC’s as everything is kept in folders and each office still requires their very own copy of every certificate.

#Nathancuty and grandpa are busy watching TV

What about the weird stares on the streets and people taking our mail out of the trash to spread it all over the street? The thing with the mail stopped and I suspected a couple of neighbours but nothing can be proven any longer. Those certain neighbours have moved away or died in the past years so we will never know.  Surprisingly also the weird stares on the streets are very rare these days and I can’t even remember when it happened the last time. In the past years many Asians (majority of them are Chinese) moved to this little town and its surrounding villages. The people here see pretty much every day several Asians and also WMAF/ AMWF couples can be seen daily. No one has yet said anything towards us or “behind our backs” so I am pretty happy with the current situation when it comes to this aspect.

You can have never enough Lego Duplo

By now Nathan has also overcome more or less his language difficulties as he is pretty fluent in Mandarin and in German. In fact his Mandarin is better than his German languages skills but we do not worry about it as he is improving a lot in it ever since he started kindergarten last summer. Besides those two languages he knows a bit of English and at least few words in Finnish. In the kindergarten they also do not discourage parents and the kids anymore when it comes to growing up bilingual unlike back in the day when my mother was forced to quit speaking Finnish to me. At least in Nathan’s kindergarten they teach also a bit of English for the older kids.

That little man will turn 4 next month!!

I am very surprised how much the situation  improved for us here in the past years especially with some neighbours passing away. We are not even that annoyed anymore when it comes to giving each office here some extra copies of this and that certificate or document, you just get used to it. It is a fact that Germany is far behind when it comes to digitalisation than other “leading nations” in the world. At least we can have now again normal internet speed as our connection went up from the terrible 16 Mbps to 500Mpbs. It was really strange when we moved here and they could only give us that kind of slow connection as nothing else was possible here in this city.

Both my wife and I do not regret moving from Finland to Germany at all. We had a good life in Finland without too many difficulties but everything improved ever since moving here. Life is cheaper in Germany and we can earn more than before in addition to be working from home which is so much better also for the children.  The only thing worrying us right now is to make plans for buying or building a house in the next few years as this apartment won’t be big enough anymore once the children want to have separate rooms, but that is something for another time.

How has your life changed in the past three years?

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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The Christmas Markets in Kiel

Once again we have December and with it the prime time for Christmas Markets here in Germany. Back in Finland we had also some Christmas Market in Helsinki but it was rather pathetic. However here in Germany each little town has its own market and big cities even several markets! For the past few years we only visited the market here in my hometown. That Christmas Market is also not anything special as you can only buy some overpriced food there and lots of booze. Sure there is the ice-skating ring and then one or two amusement rides for children but that’s about it.

One of the amusement rides for the kids

So this week we decided to visit the markets in Kiel which is the capital city of Schleswig-Holstein. Even though the city is not the biggest either it has several Christmas Markets and all of them are so wonderful compared to all the ones we have visited in Finland and in my hometown! All of the Christmas markets are in close proximity of each other so you can walk from one to the other in a few minutes. The markets have different sizes but even the smallest is decorated very well and does not even give you the feeling that is consisting of only few food/ drink/ decoration stalls. The biggest one even has something very special which I have never seen anywhere else. Few times a day a small wooden ship pulled by four reindeers is “flying” from one end of the market to the direction of the Town Hall up to 40m in the air. This is achieved by a steel cable and some engines within the ship. On the ship one of Santa’s Little Helpers is explaining why this year a ship is being used instead of a sleigh (Kiel is located by the Baltic sea with a rich history of ship building and trading).

Here in North Germany Santa’s reindeers a pulling a ship instead of a sleigh

Our little Nathan loved all of the markets and it was hard to drag him home later that day. His favorite was a talking and singing mechanical Moose head at a food stall. At first he was a bit scared when the moose suddenly started singing over him but then he always wanted to return to that location. Besides the moose head he loved the amusement rides and the giant Christmas Pyramid. My favorite part were the many Christmas decoration stalls with handcrafted items. Some of them were so lovely and only the incredible high price for them stopped me from buying anything at all as I had only enough money with me for some of the amusement rides.

Lovely lights in the evening hours

We hope that we will manage next week to visit another city or town for its Christmas market because one thing is certain: Any of the markets will be better than that tiny excuse in my hometown. Believe it or not the market here is so full each evening that you can barely walk there without getting stuck all the time. Needless to say that all of them are only there for the food and the drinks…

Have you already visited a Christmas Market this year?

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