On Thursday 20th Meguru and I met at Maruseki, which is the oldest Japanese restaurant in Tampere. It’s my favorite restaurant for sushi in Tampere, and I wanted to hear Meguru’s opinion on how it compares to sushi restaurants in Japan. We ordered sushi and talked in Japanese about how our week was going.
I asked Meguru about the proper way of eating sushi. There are many websites and videos on the internet which claim to teach the correct way, saying for example that using chopsticks is wrong and you should eat with your hands, or that soy sauce should be used in some specific way. Meguru told me that sushi can be eaten with chopsticks or hands, it depends on the restaurant and the way you prefer to eat. In Japan you’ll be given a hand towel or tissue at restaurants, so eating with hands is completely ok.
Meguru taught me how to count sushi in Japanese (since the language has different counters for different objects). Unfortunately I forgot to write it down and can’t remember anymore…
After eating we went to the nearby library Metso and switched to Finnish study. Meguru had bought Finnish nightmares comic book earlier, so we read it together. On each page, first Meguru read the text and I corrected his pronunciation, or I read the text and Meguru repeated.
Then I translated the contents into Japanese or English, or Meguru translated and guessed the meaning based on the pictures. Quite many times Meguru was faster than me, because I started thinking of exact translations for the Finnish words instead of the meaning.
It was fun to talk about how we would react in the situations shown in the comics, and how common they are in Finland and Japan. There were quite many Finnish “nightmares” which are shared by Japanese people: touching strangers, public embarrassment and somebody not obeying the traffic lights, for example.