Tag Archives: Xi’an city wall

What my father saw in China

Back in 2016 we had a holiday in China and we had invited my father to join us. What I remember most from that trip is the incredible and annoying City Tour Extreme. As there was just so much to write about I split the adventure into four parts: Day 1, Day 2, Day 3 and Day 4. Besides that city tour we experienced the standard MIL madness/ the whole crazy family. Why am I writing about it now? Today I went through my dad’s camera and found the pictures he took last year. Okay that is until the battery was empty on Day 2 of the city tour and he had forgotten to take the proper charging cable with him.

Going to some temple in Xi’an

My father has a different viewpoint when it comes to taking pictures. First of all he is still used to the time before digital cameras swarmed the market so he barely takes more pictures than would fit on an old film (max 36 pictures depending on the film). Secondly he is not wasting as much times as me on taking pictures as he is not aiming for the perfect shot but to have just some “memory” of the trip. Besides those two points he did not take any pictures in Xi’an except from the city wall and from some temple. I think this is because he has been everywhere before back in 2011 so he did not deem those other places worthy of using any space on his SD-Card again in 2016.

The “Old Old city Wall” within/ under the “Old City Wall” in Xi’an

On our city tour extreme I am not sure who was more annoyed by all the misplanning. I mean I was really annoyed but my dad was really really annoyed, especially when our tour guide “The Howling Monkey” did not even let us sleep in the bus after waking up each morning way too early. He even took a picture of the tour guide in order to never forget that person again. He also got rather annoyed by MIL’s behaviour as it was first time he really witnessed all her crazy doings over the span of three weeks. In fact he is right now thinking how he can survive her again next year when we go to China as we will take my father with us once again!

The Howling Monkey in pink, one of my father’s Archenemies

What is really surprising me is that my father actually has still the energy to do such trips with us as he just turned 76 this year. Especially those long flights are hard on him besides trying each day new unknown food in China. Despite having sometimes really many problems in China back in 2016 he still agreed to come with us instantly after we asked him to join us. My mother on the other hand had the same reply as last time “No way I will ever go there again!”.

An ocean of flowers at the Slender West Lake in Yangzhou

Going through the pictures I wondered sometimes on how different they were compared to the ones I took. Sure I took a lot more than him but some places I did not recognize at all or had forgotten as I never captured them with my camera. At times it is really interesting to see how two people can have so very different pictures when visiting the same places. Next time I will make sure that he has his charging cable and I will try to motivate him to take more pictures.

Have you ever checked pictures of another person (friend, spouse, family member) after you went on the same trip somewhere?

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The Battle Between MIL and Cars

After knowing my crazy Chinese mother-in-law for 4 years I really do believe that she must hate cars. There were just too many occasions during those years that it can not be coincidence anymore. Most of these things were just small details but they add up over time and last but not least I discovered some ‘Marks’  she had left behind in our car.

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FIL the King of Cars

In China only my father-in-law is driving the cars. As I have written before he is a very careful person so he always wears a seatbelt even in taxis…well in case the taxi actually got seatbelts as they tend to be missing more often than not. MIL on the other hand is the exact opposite. There is nothing careful about her actions and seatbelts do not have any purpose in her world. So what makes me think that she hates cars? It all started during one of our trips to China when I asked my wife why MIL is never driving. I guessed till then that she just might not have a driving license but no, the demon somehow managed to get her hands on a license years back. My wife told me that the cars crazy MIL drove tend to end up with tons of scratches and dents. But the main cause to end her racing career was that she actually crashed a car into the city wall of Xi’an. Yes you read right THE HUGE CITY WALL with two lanes each way leading trough it wide enough that even two trucks can drive next to each other without problems!

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How to crash against these walls? She does not even drink!

Okay so she had some little accidents during her driving time which does not yet give any reason nor connection yet to actually answer why she might hate cars. Now we fast forward from her crash some years ago into more modern times during her first visit to Finland. Back then it already started with minor things such as not buckling up. After being told numerous time she started to do the fake buckle up or blaming the seatbelt for not working properly. I guess she let out some rage during those times on the seatbelt as this poor little thing ended up broken and had to be fixed. Also I noticed huge hand and face smudges on the window where she was sitting which resulted that I had to clean the windows every few weeks. But she didn’t end there as also the nice rear bench ended up covered in drinks, food and other trash. Sometimes I really wondered how on earth she got all the dirt into the car, perhaps she was sneaking out of the house at night with a trash bag and poured it all into the car…who knows…

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My baby before MIL’s vicious attacks

The car somehow has survived already her third visit but just barely. Besides the tons of trash in the car and other unspeakable things I had to clean out after she left I found something remarkable on the rear car door she always used. The car is not the youngest anymore so some small scratches might show at the doors for example due to opening them not careful enough and hit by mistake another car. Thing is though that there was only one mark prior to her last visit. This spot was shown to me at a car paint shop which I had to visit to get some other part fixed. It wasn’t anything big so my jar just dropped on the floor when doing the standard “Get MIL’s dirt out of the car” session. The scratch on the car had multiplied about a dozen times and even showed some dents. Now when You by accident hit another car with the door you remember it at least for a while and be careful from that point onwards but not her. The damage appeared more like that when she hit the other car she tried with all her might to push that other car away with my poor baby’s door! Not just once but repeatable smashing it against cars and walls. Somehow also the area around the door handle ended up in an ocean of tiny scratches for unknown reasons.

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You think this is messed up during our move to Germany? Imagine this filled with trash…

Either she really does hate cars or she tried to exact revenge for her daughter constantly telling her to buckle up. I think I should just buy for the next three-month visit by MIL some broken down car for hundred Euros . Scratches, dents and the like would not matter anyways on such car and my baby would be safe from her madness. I believe the title “Destroyer of Cars” is rather suitable for her.

Have you ever encountered such a destructive force when it comes to cars?

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