All posts by Essi Sirén

10th meeting – Independence day

All good things come to an end and so does our journey. Since this was our last meeting, and Sam has less than two weeks left here in Finland he got to decide the place where to meet. And I was not a surprised that it was Fazer Café. There were not too many people due to the important bank holiday – Finland’s Independence day. We met in the day time since I wanted to watch Linnan juhlat, the yearly “caste ball” of the President.

We just had a really chill meeting going through all the meetings and tried to remember what we have been learning within this autumn. I was glad to see that we have been doing some progress during all these meetings.

Overall this has been a good experience and a great chance to get to know another culture. I learned a lot about Swiss culture and we managed to come along actually way better than expected. At least we are richer with some great memories we have gained from these meetings.


9th meeting – Christmas vibes

Since I like Christmas so much, I wanted us to visit the stable yard – Tallipiha. This was just to get a hint of the Christmas spirit with all the lights and candles they have there. We arrived sadly a bit late15292792_10154749593272630_1627510163_o so all the little shops weren’t open any longer but we were lucky to get to visit some of them. First we visited the chocolate shop Suklaapuoti. They were super friendly to explain about the different products they are selling and we got to try the amazing truffles they have. Those are the only truffles made in the northern countries, actually in Sweden. Totally worth going there and trying those out! Sam even purchased some of those to enjoy them later on as well at home. In the other shop they even had a couple of sheeps and a 9-years-old donkey called Ukko.

After visiting some of the little shops it was getting cold and we needed something warm to drink. What would be better than warm Glögi? So we sat down and ordered one each. Sam was surprised that I knew the german word glühwein, which is the German version of glögi. Here are some of the Christmas related words I learned:

Weihnachtsmann – joulupukkitallipihan_suklaapuoti_4733

Weihnachtsbaum – joulukuusi

Heiligabend – jouluaatto

Weihnachtsgeschenk – joululahja

Fröhliche Weihnachten – Hyvää Joulua

8th meeting – Surprise!


On our eight meeting Sam had planned to surprise me with something delicios, chocolate fondue! Both him and me being chocolate lovers, this was something that we both enjoyed really much. He had different fruits and berries that we dipped into melted milk chocolate.  I have had chocolate fondue before as well, but it was a long time ago so this was just perfect. Of course it happened again that we ate way too much sweet and felt bad afterwards. This was partially because we had way too much fruits and berries. I was so happy I didn’t have to move further than to my bed after all that sugar.

Sam tried to teach me how to pronounce a really lond word in German: Doppelkupplungsgetriebe (?!?!) I think  I did okay with the pronounciation, but he seemed to think differently by just laughing when I tried to say it. By return I asked him to say a following word in Finnish which contains 34 letters: peruspalveluliikelaitoskuntayhtymä. This isn’t even the longest word we have so it couldn’t have been that bad to say that. In my opinion if you just remember a word “noniin”, you are able to communicate in various situations. Finnish isn’t that bad what people think!

7th meeting – Inferno

Since the evenings are getting colder, we wanted to have our meeting while doing something cosy, so we went to see the movie Inferno in Plevna. Since the movies are not dubbed, it was easy for Sam. I told him to follow the subtitles as well, but I doubt that he even tried to read the subtitles, which were both in finnish and swedish. We were not sure if we should or shouldn’t have popcorn but once in movies, I think it is a must have even though in Finland the popcorns are very much over priced.

Before the movie started I learned some new words in German, related to the topic: film, Untertitel, beginnen, das Ende, gut und so weiter. 


Das Ende!

6th meeting – Vohveleita, Waffeln

Since my partner in crime had a bit of a hangover, we went to Vohvelikahvila to enjoy
some delicous waffles. The place is really small, cute and unique and has many features from the past century. There is only one person working at the time who is making all the waffles. Sam had a Mocca waffle, while I chose the sweet and salty. It had ice cream, caramel sauce and salted nuts on top of it. Interesting but a great combo.

While enjoying the waffles, we did a revision on the things we have learned so far since we are in the midpoint of our sessions already. We both were happy to realise that we have actually been learning things but I am at least still struggling with the pronunciation of words in German. And it didn’t really help when Sam confused me even more with telling some of the differences of German and Swiss-German. Oh boy!

The video is from Vohvelikahvila’s homepage.


5th meeting – Time for something extreme!

That day I wanted to find out if Sam is extreme enough to face the cold water. I live in the city centre and there is a swimming place just a few minutes from my place. It’s a place where the water from the lake is connecting with the rapids, Tammerkoski. While the sauna was heating up, we changed and decided to go for it and face the water! We were not the only ones there, so we had no other choise than just do it. The water was just under 10 degrees and yes, it was freaking cold! Maybe next challenge will be to take a swim in the ice hole. Hopefully that will be possible in December while Sam is still here haha.

a93f231da753b23c8beaba1b65ac7e43340ee69aAfter the swimming, we finally got to the warmed up sauna. I thought that we finnish people are quite okay with nudity but it was surprising when Sam told me that in Switzerland people do not wear swim wear in the mixed public saunas. I mean,  they are ahead of us in our own culture! Anyway, we were sharing experiences of our own cultures more than learning the languages. What would be more convinient place for that than of course sauna. Later on we watched a movie, Fool’s Gold, which has been filmed in the Caribbean and really brought back some memories and a great feeling. Overall we had a very nice evening!

4th meeting – Sunset, wine and months

This was some spontanious meeting we had not really planned until the same day 14937103_10154666300962630_328025997_nwhen we decided to go to see the sunset over the lake, Näsijärvi. We agreed to meet just in time for the sunset and we were not the only ones with the same idea. Some of the great spots were already taken, but despite that we ended up finding a great spot in time. I thought I was prepared by bringing a blanket and some chocolate but that wasn’t the case. Sam really surprised me, since he had bought some white- and sparkling wine for us!

Since so f14885883_10154666301272630_1378014515_nar I only know October in German (of course from Oktober fest), I learned the months in German: Januar, Februar, März, April, Mai, Juni, Juli, August, September, Oktober, November, December. Actually not that diffucult, since it is similar with English but the months in Finnish is something else so there we did have some diffifulties and have to go over them again some other time. After the great moment of watching the sunset and learning something new, we went to my friend’s birthday. There were no exchange students so Sam did get the chance to meet up with some new people.




3rd meeting – More food!

Like during the other meetings, food has played a big role and the same happened this time as well. We met at the lunch time and were thinking where to go for a lunch. I proposed Purebite, just on the opposite of Koskikeskus. They have a great menu of thai food and the main chef herself is from Thailand, so the flavours are really authentic and delicious. The service was super fast and the portiones arrived even before we could finish the bread. Since we hadn’t had time to learn or teach anything yet (we were just concentraiting on the food of course) so we decided to move on to Fazer Café since it is for sure Sam’s favourite place in Tampere.

There I had a chance to learn something in German. We were going trough some typical words related to coffee and Cafeteria in general. After a while we were also teaching to eachother some basic lines in Finnish and German. I learned some new frases such as: Wie geht es dir – How are you? Wie lautet dein Name – What’s your name?  

In the evening we met up again and went to Pizzeria Napoili since I have heard it is famous for it’s pizzas and so far I have not tried them after living one year in Tampere. So now it was about a time! They have 100 pizzas in their menu so it took a while to choose. We enjoyed the food and had a nice evening.

2nd meeting – The perfect burger!

On our second meeting we met in Keskustori and just wondered around in the city, walking by the old industrial estate of Finlayson and also Kehräsaari. We got hungry after walking around and wanted to find out a place to have a late lunch and ended up to Kauppahalli, the market hall of Tampere. It is quite a big area with different kind of fresh vegetables, bread, fish and even some products made of real leather etc. Tampere market hall is actually the biggest of the northern countries. In there you can find a small corner grill called Ohana Grille. We ordered the Ohana meals including a burger and parmesan garlic fries. We got to wait a while since we were not the only ones wanting to eat there – no wonder why. We got a number for our order and then decided to use the time to learn/teach the numbers in German and Finnish.

0 null; 1 eins; 2 zwei; 3 drei; 4 vier; 5 fünf; 6 sechs;
7 sieben; 8 acht; 9 neun; 10 zehn;

Sam did actually surprisingly good learning the Finnish numbers and he actually learned to roll the RRRRRR as well the Finnish way. I was so proud! I had a bit harder time trying to pronounce the numbers correctly. And when I just got the idea how to do it, Sam confused me even more by telling the way of saying the numbers in Swiss German. Oh my…

The burgers were so good that I have to recommend tham to every student. Student life is sometimes hard and having that burger can for sure ease the feeling of the day after partying!

P.S So far we have always eaten something on our meetings so let’s not make this a habit!ohanaohana2_800x532


1st meeting – Munkki time!

Me and Sam had our first meeting already a while ago, when it was still nice sunny autumn weather. As we hadn’t agreed on exact meetings and what we are going to do during the meetings – I just suggested to go for a walk to Pyynikki. The idea was to walk next to the lake at the same time enjoying some nice views and finally end our meeting in the watch tower of Pyynikki. There they have the original café where they serve some delicious freshly baked dessert: munkki! It is k14798875_10154640152212630_1588358899_nind of a donut covered in sugar with no filling.

We started our small trip by walking down Hämeenpuisto, heading to Eteläpuisto. As longas we reached Eteläpuisto, the way from there is just walking through the forest right next to the lake. That was a great relaxing way to get know my partner in crime better. On the way there we got to know each other’s better and better and we had a great time talking about everything possible. The weather was sunny and just perfect for a small walk in the Finnish nature.

As we reached the The watch tower beach of Pyynikki, from there it is just uphill and stairs to get to the watch tower. So we had to actually lose some calories and work our way to the delicious munkki. What can I say, totally worth every step! At least I had a great time that day discovering something typical for Tampere.

Until next time,