One day we went for a walk through the Pyynikki forest. Helena wanted to go down to the shore, so that’s where we went.
We went down the longest staircase I know. By my previous calculation it should be 138 steps long. But keeping count that long without making mistakes, is really hard. We came up with a good idea to find out what the right number of steps was: She should count it in Finnish while I would do the same in Czech. I was so slow that I gave up around 40. She made it all the way down, and got 139.
We talked about Christmas rituals. She said they eat heavily five days in a row, which we do maybe three… They go on visits through the entire family in that time, while we tend to meet, outside the household, only the grandparents and maybe the aunts. They, at Christmas, make home-made chocolates. We bake more dough-y things. They eat carp, we eat ham and casseroles and whatnot.
Our following couple of posts will appear unchronologically, as Helena will cover the second (disc golf) meeting and the third meeting where we played some music. This is about our third.
We were planning on seeing a film in the cinema, but plans changed, and ended up going to the Pyynikin näkötorni, the tower on the hill.
I’ve lived about as close to the tower as one can, for two years, though I’ve never been up there. I’m not sure why. Anyway, that’s where we went.
We were there just before closing time, and it was dark. I was sincerely hoping they wouldn’t lock us out in the cold while we were there, seeing as how they were closing any minute. Helena made a remark about not minding sleeping under the stars. As I tried to confirm her saying in Czech (just for a challenge), I got the preposition a little wrong. I said “Mohla bys spát nad hvězdami.” “You could sleep above the stars.” This is when I got to thinking about the book The Little Prince = Pikku prinssi = Malý princ, which is published in almost every language one can think of. I once had the idea that the book could be really good for language learning. That’s why, a half-year ago, I read it in German (but I wasn’t really challenged), and recently I thought I could do the same in Czech. Or maybe in the near future. If one knows the story, one can probably follow the story adequately despite not knowing each word.
This is what rushed through my head. Helena said she has read the book, too. Maybe we could try to find the book both in our respective languages and compare them!
Today we met again with Ida, and went to Napoli for lunch. Ida ate some super cool cactus pizza, and I had a delicious pasta. Once again we just talked, Ida in Swedish and I in Finnish. I learnt new words such as gratis (free), and got more and more familiar with every day words and listening to Swedish. Just like every time we meet!
At the moment i feel like I’m ready for the next step, and I’m thinking we could try and switch our languages next time. Ida is obviously doing very good with Finnish, way way better than I with Swedish, but maybe we’ll find her some difficult tasks too!
This time again I don’t really have any proof about my learning process but my skills are definitely developing. So that’s all I can tell you, until the next time!
This time we went to one of the best pizza places in Tampere (according to rumour), Napoli. We arrived just before 11:00, a few moments after they’d opened, and we were lucky enough to be there just before the queue started forming.
This time I spoke Swedish and Elli Finnish. I think she’s getting really good at understanding Swedish, and I think she’s getting close to talking. So, a lot of discussion and amazing pizza!
I don’t have a list of words this time either. So bad of me. Next time I’ll remember to write something down! But my talking is getting better, and that was my goal with this course so I am happy.
We don’t know what to do next time, but I’m kind of hoping for a little more Swedish. I think we’re ready for that.
We had our fourth meeting quite spontaneously right the next day after our 3rd meeting. Katrin happened to mention during our 3rd meeting that she was about to go to this international food night at Tamko the next day with her sister and sister’s friends and somehow we got the idea that I could join them.
The idea was that everybody brings something to eat that is common in one’s home country. Due to the fact that I got to know about this event one day advance and I was busy during the day, I decided to make the good old makaronilaatikko. Easy and fast and most definitely common food in Finland. Katrin and her sister and friends had made these few German food which names I cannot remember! Some sausage-onion.. mix? and this super weird (but tasty) cheese-beer thingy that you could dip your brezels into.
There were lots of different food people had brought there so we ate and tried plenty of different food and had a nice time. Was also nice to meet her sister and her German friends. They were thinking of going to see the northern lights later that evening since some app said that there is a high chances to see them that night. I also was thinking about going to see them if they will since (not that I could recall at least) I have never see them myself (and to be honest I didn’t even know that you can see them in Tampere too.. not that often at least. I really felt a bit dumb that these German people know these things better than me 😀 ), but eventually I didn’t go and I figure neither did any of them since it was quite cloudy. Maybe someday.
This meeting was all about munkkis this time. We had planned advance that we gonna bake munkkis ourselves(first time for both of us) so Katrin came straight after school to my place and we got to baking. I have seen how they are made and figured it is not too complicated so it would be fun to bake together. Since mama knows best, I asked her for the recipe and instructions and they really turned out to be better than I expected! Easy (& cheap) dough, fast to fry and so god damn delicious!
- 3dl water (vesi/Wasser)
- 2dl milk (maito/Milch)
- 30g yeast (hiiva/Hefe)
- 1dl sugar (sokeri/Zucker)
- a hint of salt (suola/Salz)
- 2 eggs (kananmuna/Ei)
- 100g (soft) butter (or margarine) (voi/Butter)
- approx. 13dl wheat flour (vehnäjauho/Weizenmehl)
- 1l oil (öljy/Öl)
– Warm up the milk and water (about 37 degrees). Add the yeast, sugar &salt and eggs. Then butter and finally the flour one dl at a time while mixing the dough at the same time. The dought should be quite soft. Leave it in the mixing bowl and cover it with some baking cloth or something and let it be for about 15 minutes. Then do little buns of the dough, cover them and let it be for another 15 minutes. Heat up the oil (careful so it won’t get too hot–> fire). Take a bun, make a hole in it with your fingers and put in the hot oil. Turn it around when it gets nice brown color (fry it approx. 30-60sec/side). Roll the munkki in a bowl of sugar and enjoy.
It was quite late when we finally were ready baking (22 Munkkis.. just enough for two) and we sat down to eat. Freshly baked munkkis just taste like heaven and I think we both ate like three of them. And at the same time we got to the actual topics which were yet again German and Finnish. Culture differences, tongue twisters of both languages , Katrin also taught me bit of pronunciation (which I find in some cases really difficult, such as the “throat R”). We talked a lot and can’t even remember all the subjects, but everytime I meet Katrin I feel I learn something new, which is really nice.
Few days after, the second meeting took place in the more sky bar. In this amazing place, we try a popular game in Germany : “Rummikub”. I know that this game existed in France too but it’s not a game that young people play. The idea of this meeting was to have fun with a game that not everyone already knows but also learn some vocabulary.
During this meeting we learn principaly german words :
1 Eins Rouge Rot
2 Zwei Black Schwarz
3 Drei Blue Blau
4 Vier Yellow Gelb
I really liked this meeting because we focused on one culture so we can learn more. But we are, each member, in erasmus in a country that we didn’t know before so we discover new place together and drink coffee as a real Finnish !
I really like our meeting because everything is natural, I mean that we learn but not in a School way : boring where you just have to listen. No, we share together our culture and our feeling in a new country. And of course, we want to learn some vocabulary and compare the pronunciation etc.
Today’s meeting was in the café Europa. It’s a really nice and convenient place and, in addition, it was not as expensive as we had expected.
Firstly, we had a conversation about renting or buying a house. It’s really an interesting topic for me. I told her that in Austria people’s dream is to have a house in the countryside. However, many persons get into debt for this. It’s normally not a thing that people want to hear, if you say that you prefer renting a house instead of buying it. Joanne wasn’t sure how it’s the case in Scotland but she thought that the opinions of the people are quite mixed.
As we discussed about prepositions last time, Joanne looked the English rules up on the internet. There are three different usages for prepositions: For spacials, times and logical ones. There are quite good rules for the first two but not for the last ones. The article said that there are too many exceptions and even native speakers often don’t know how to explain it. However, natives have no problems with the prepositions.
Lastly, I told her about using the s in German, which already is a pretty difficult topic. I can remember that it was a big topic in elementary school for us native German speakers.
What’s this 2 meetings in one week!? Meeting number 6 once again happened over coffee, one of my favourite beverages , in Café Europa.
Alex and I discussed the differences in living between Austria and Scotland. I had heard that in Germany people prefer to rent rather than buy their own place. Alex said in Austria the dream would be to have your own home in the countryside. In Scotland it is a little mixed I don’t really know if their is an ideal home some people want a flat in the hustle and bustle of the city, others want a quiet country life.
We discussed prepositions again and how there is no hard and fast rule about which preposition to use, you really need to understand the two words that you are describing the relationship between and their relationship to one another then pick the right preposition.
I learned 2 new verbs today, hören – to listen/hear and spielen – to play.
I also took the opportunity to ask Alex about the letter ß which sounds like an s. When ß is used it means that the sound before it is a short sound like in the word heiße. This is useful to know as it helps me work out the pronunciation of a word. I have been using an app to help with learning more vocabulary and sentence construction and I am hopeful that I will be able to hold a short conversation in German soon.
The big advantage of living next to a lake in September and in a country that has no mountains is the certainty of catching a beautiful sunset in an astonishing environment. Since I love being in nature, I already took the time for finding the perfect spot for watching the sunset. Our meeting was more a spur of the moment idea, but nevertheless we both could make some time for this EOTO session. We met about twenty minutes before the sunset, so we had enough time to stroll there and make ourselves comfortable. I wanted to surprise Essi and brought a little selection of white and sparkling wines with me. Luckily, Essi came not unprepared either; She brought a warm blanket with her. Although it was so peaceful quiet and absolutely amazing to watch, it cooled down rapidly after the sun set, so I was really thankful for the blanket.
Essi started to teach me the months and the seasons in Suomi – an absolutely hopeless attempt. The words don’t make any sense to me at all and it will take me some time to remember them. Luckily for me, Essi had similar problems but we thought we will pick them up again another time and don’t break our heads now and rather enjoy the last moments of the sunset.
Essi invited me to join her to a birthday of her friend Ella. Of course I couldn’t say no to that and so we went directly to Ella’s place after it got dark. By the time we arrived at Ella’s place, some of her friends were already there. All of them were really nice people and out of respect for me, they tried to speak as much English as possible the whole evening. I really appreciated that gesture. When it comes to names, I still have some problems remembering them. Finnish names just sound so differently than the ones I am used to. Nevertheless, after some attempts I do remember when connecting them with the person’s face.
What I’ve learned from that party while talking to those Finnish students is, that no matter if you are in Switzerland or Finland, students problem do not differ that much whatever country you are from.
By the time I was walking home I realized how cold the nights have been becoming.
Talvi on tulossa