” I met my German in-laws separately on two different occasions. First, my brother and sister-in-law in Hongkong before our wedding while my parents in law when I moved to Germany. I had a mixed emotion. I didn’t know what to expect. In the end, they have surpassed my expectations”.
I had a little idea of how German people’s characteristics are, strict but nice as well as friendly. Most of all, they like staring at people.
Nonetheless, that was just my stereotype on them, especially from the ones I met in my travels.
My siblings in law
I didn’t know what the first impression my siblings in law, Alex, my husband’s brother, and his wife, Julia would have on me. Although I have met them on Skype plenty of times before, this was my first time meeting them in person. They traveled to Hongkong to be part of our wedding. Doing that made me appreciate them more.
Meeting at a restaurant recommended by Michelin.
In Hongkong, you’ll find hundreds of fine restaurants that serve exquisite dishes.
My husband and I first arrived, so we made a table reservation for four. I was anxiously waiting, but then, when they finally came in, we exchanged each other a massive hug like we’ve known each other for a long, long time and we were delighted to see each other.
As far as I knew, they were also excited to meet me in person finally as well as to witness and be part of our special day.
We spent the entire night altogether, hit some bars, drunk and chatted a lot. They spoke excellent English, so I didn’t have a problem in terms of communication.
My brother in law, Alex, was quite similar to my husband, gentleman, good talker, amicable and liked beer loads.
On one hand, my sister in law, Julia, was calm and a sweet woman and multilingual. ( amazing!) She told me she’s an only child, that being so, she’s thrilled for me to be part of the family Kaiser. Now, there would be one more lady in the family.
We separated happily and was looking forward to the next meeting.
Meeting my parents in law
( I like to call them Mum & Dad and they’re happy with that) They swung by at our apartment in Munich so that we could go together to the restaurant.
Feeling tensed was consistently my emotion. My heart was pumping so fast. It’s probably because I drunk too much coffee that day or it’s just that, naturally, I was too nervous.
” First impression lasts forever”
I always believed in that saying. For that reason, I kept asking my husband if I looked alright with my dress.
He always knew how to make me feel better and relax, he didn’t have any other words to say except ” you look, beautiful sweetheart, don’t worry, they liked you already. Just be yourself“.
(Just be yourself for me means I can be too clumsy)
Wie Geht es Ihnen? ( how are you) The first words I spoke to my father in law
Wie geht es Dir, he said
Oh yea, I laughed. ” Entschuldigung” – that means sorry in English
Actually, that was a correction.
Using ” Ihnen” is a more formal one, for people we don’t know or in a very formal event, while
” dir” is a casual one. Dad wanted to make me feel comfortable by using a casual conversation.
Giving a small present is part of German culture
In Germany, it’s polite to bring someone a present on the first or second or every meeting. It’s highly part of the tradition that one of the German traditions lived with.
We shared some small appetizers like ham and cheese and wine from our apartment before we headed off to the restaurant. Unlike The Philippines, these snacks are natural, accessible and affordable. You can find them in every single supermarket in Germany at a superior quality.
We took a grab to the restaurant. It was not that very far, so we reached the establishment immediately.
Superb foods, apetizing wine, and pleasant ambience. My husband mainly chose it for this special evening. In fact, that’s one of the most exquisite restaurants in Munich.
The night progressed with healthy, absorbing and gratified conversation. We talked a lot regarding our own families, but they were most interested in my family in the Philippines.
I narrated them a few stories about how each of our family members does, their jobs, my mum, my sisters, among many others.
One amiable trait that I adored the most about my Mum & Dad was that they were not self-centered. They’re very keen on my Filipino family, too.
Hospitality is a common trait practiced in the Filipino family, which means, we give our best to be the friendliest, most welcoming, and making the visitor or a member of the new family feel at home so that he or she would not feel intimidated or uncomfortable.
And indeed, this has been a tradition that every Filipino inherited from our old generations.
Thus, upon meeting my German in-laws, my expectation was unparalleled.
But as I got to know my German in-laws intimately and sincerely, I realized that they were beyond beautiful people, extraordinary, loving, hospitable ( like Filipinos), and most of all, generous.
My Dad is a charming nice man, kind and sociable. Now I no wonder where my husband inherited his charisma.
Mothers in law – a monster in law.
That saying means your mother in law is like a monster who will terrify you in every way possible. Luckily, this doesn’t apply to me at all.
My Mum is absolutely an angel, a woman of passion and a heart full of love. Even the way she spoke was very calm and soothing.
Above everything, I have always hoped before meeting them that they would like me, welcomed me in their family with open arms which I must say, I have felt it more than ever.
Those two separate days I met my German in-laws were memorable for me.
Having my husband is a blessing, and having my in-laws is a stroke of incredible luck. I could never trade that for anything else.