For our fifth meeting but not the last one, Jessie organized a trip for us to take a cruise to Tallinn. Estonia is a country opposite Finland, while the capital Tallinn is located at the northern end of Estonia, on the south side of the Baltic Sea. This is a historical city, like Toledo of Spain. The old city is not big and can be finished in one day, but we have experienced a special local culture here. In addition to local Estonian, Finnish, Russian and English are well understood in Tallinn. Here we can see a lot of Russian elements, like Russian dolls, Russian costumes… We also tasted the local special food: reindeer meat, although it tastes similar to beef. Now, we are looking forward to our trip to Lapland.
Today is my birthday(Oct.9th). I wanted to invite everyone to eat Chinese food, but there are very few local Chinese restaurants in Tampere, and Bettina is a vegetarian, so we decided to go to sushi. The sushi restaurants here are all run by Chinese, so we could also taste a little Chinese food at the sushi restaurant. Now I want to talk about the cultural differences about birthdays. In Spain, everyone will buy some pizzas and drinks to a party at home, then go to the bar for a few drinks. People who have a birthday in the Netherlands should buy a cake by themselves for everyone to eat together. In Italy, friends are paying for the birthday person, and he or she only needs to enjoy it. In China, the birthday person invites everyone to eat and pay the bill, the guests give gifts.
Learned some words today: Cheers + Happy birthday in German, Spanish, Chinese, Italian. Write the name of Julia in Chinese. Say “The food is very good, I can’t eat anymore.” In Spanish and Italian.
There’s one thing that must be done in Finland is the sauna. So tonight Jessie invited us to a Miami sauna party for the third meeting. It sounds very strange, a sauna in the bar. First, we went to the apartment of another German friend. We discussed various styles of music, Russian and German, and tasted the Finnish-made vodka. Then we walked to the bar, just like all the schools, there was a place to hang clothes when entering the door, and we needed to take off our shoes. It’s worth mentioning that this was a traditional Finnish sauna. Although there was no lake after the sauna, most Finns are naked.
Words learned today:
Vihta: is a birch whisk used for whipping oneself or each other in a sauna. Birch leaves release essential oils that can heal inflammations and clean the skin, while whipping does wonders to your blood circulation.
Löyly: The steam you get in sauna when you throw water on sauna stove is called löyly. It is believed there is löylynhenki, the spirit of steam living in each sauna providing a decent heat for its users. But you should be careful not to piss off löylynhenki, as it can easily burn off your ears!
October 1st is China’s National Day, especially this year is the 70th anniversary of the founding of the country. Celebrations were held around the world, including Finland. There are fewer Chinese in Tampere, but there were still small cultural performances. So we went to watch this show that day, which was also an opportunity to know about Chinese culture. Performances include poetry reading, zither playing, chorus, Chinese dance, etc. At the same time as the performance, we explained Chinese cultural activities such as musical instruments, dance, and acrobatics. After the performance, we discussed traditional Chinese food and decided to go to my apartment to cook one together, not the complicated one, but the simplest scrambled eggs with tomatoes. Through the cooperation between Jessie and me, we cooked two large bowls of scrambled eggs with tomatoes, which was very delicious.
To be honest, it was not the first meeting for our group, but it was a day worth remembering. Fortunately, it was a sunny day. We participated in a canoeing activity organized by a hiking group. The boat rental point was next to the Rauhaniemi sauna. So, we had to climb over a mountain to get there. Because of the large number of people, we had a boat for every 6 people. It must be said that canoeing is a team sport that requires someone to guide the direction and also needs to cooperate to control the direction of the boat. After the interesting canoeing, we chose a hillside with a good view and waiting for the aurora while barbecuing.
What I learned today: German grammar (positive, negative, neutral). How to pronounce letters. Noun initials should be capitalized. Numbers. And how to say and write “I love you” in German, Chinese, Spanish and Italian.
Finally, second meeting comes after fall break. I was actually not able to go to fish market because of working. But today, we went to a traditional Finnish restaurant which is called Brewhouse in city center. I was really excited to go there, because this was my first time to go to local restaurant. I used to go to Asian restaurants many times but haven’t tried local one.
It was a super nice place, especially I was into the environment there. It is kind of like a bar but also offered normal meal. The style there was not so bright which is really good for talking.
I was really happy taht they have English Menu. I ordered Brewery Boy’s Chicken Parmesan which was really good. While Jenni took Chicken Skewer. Both of us liked chicken. I was really glad that we have same thought on a lot of things. We firstly shared what we did during the holiday. And we were all busy somehow, and life is pushing us forward. Besides,We talked a lot about cultures like famous singers ,table manners, etc. It is easy to see we have a lot of differences. And still, we talked laws in Finland and China, it is kind of strange but still good to know and even I was surprised by some points. It was around 2 hours for this nice meeting.
And finally, we decided to go to a Chinese restaurant next time. I am looking forward to that very much !
This is our first meeting so, this meeting is mainly for knowing each other. The place we chose is a burger restaurant called Friends & Burger. Since we have not learnt each others’language before so, we decided to start with the most basic sentence. To be honest, it is quite interesting that we made a comparison for the same sentences between our languages and we found not every sentences can be translated literately😂. Meanwhile, I found my favorite pronunciation ‘ch’ in German which is quite difficult for me to speak at the beginning.
This is what I learnt from first meeting.
Ich bin Menglin.——I’m Menglin.(This sentence include ‘ch’ which is my favorite sound)😎
Mein name ist Menglin——My name is Menglin
Guten tag—–good day
Auf wiedersehen—-goodbye(formal) or Tschüss ( informal, usually to a friend)
By the way, the burger is super good.😜
10.10.2019 Fourth meeting
Time: 9:30-11:30, two hours
We went to have a coffee in Café Aitoleipä (Keskustori). This was our fourth meeting.
It was nice to see each other again after few weeks. Today we studied professions. How to ask what do you do for living and how to answer to that. I think I have learned a lot during these four meetings. I really like this way of studying. I can try to make my own sentences and then Paula can correct me if I say something wrong. I can also ask Paula how to say whatever sentences I would like to know how to say. This way of learning is also super exciting and fun! I can’t wait until the next meeting.
28.9.2019 Third meeting
Time: 22:00-1:00, three hours
For our third meeting we thought it would be nice to go to see nightlife of Tampere. We met in Ranta. During our night out we talked about Spanish and Finnish drinking cultures. I learned how to order drinks and to ask how much somethings costs in Spanish.
It was nice to meet each other in a different kind of social setting. The morning after could have been better but it was all worth it because we had a really nice night!
28.9.2019 Second meeting
Time: 10:00-12:00, two hours
For our second meeting we wanted to meet at Suolijärvi which is a really nice lake in Hervanta. The weather was really good today so it was nice to spend the day outside and enjoy the last sunny days before the rainy and dark autumn comes.
While walking around the lake I asked how to say different things in Spanish. Later when we got home Paula sent me all these things, she taught me in a message so that I could study them again at home.
Here is picture of my notes that I wrote when I got back home. I learned for example to introduce myself and to talk about my interests and feelings.
I recommend everyone who hasn’t visited Suolijärvi yet, to go to walk around it. It’s amazing how there can be place like this so close to the center of Hervanta. 🙂