One door is closed then the other one will be open!
Firstly, I decide to conclude what I have learnt for almost 3 months participating in this course:
New friends and new perspectives on life.
Going exchange to a different country is not a waste of time. Instead, it will be worthwhile experience.
German language is like other languages, the ultimate goal is to communicate and understand each other. I will not be scared of learning any other language, including Finnish language.
Secondly, here are some words to my dear Tabea and Tuuli. Thank you for all the memories we have created for the past 3 months together. Thank you girls for coming to my life. I could not tell what would happen if I had not participated in this course, what I know certainly is that I am glad to be a part of this course with you two. We all have our own plans for the far away future ahead, let’s remain strong, brave and humble my two girls!
Thirdly, I want to send a message to my coach, Taru. I believe this is again another successful course. Thank you for partly implementing this course for us all. I hope that there would be more and more successful and memorable courses for exchange students as well as degree students like me.
I assume that many people would write about this party since there are many students there 😀
Yes, there are plenty of blog posts about this party! I shall join the trend.
Our gang was also there. During the party, I tried traditional German Christmas snack that were all ‘sweety’. GOOD AS USUAL XD. Then, some Chinese students brought some spring rolls and onion rings there and I somehow forgot the existence of German sweet. GO FOR ASIAN FOOD! I learnt that cultural background was very important and I should take this into consideration when meeting people from all parts of the world.
I also wrote in Tabea’s friend book. I figured that I was not as creative as I would be. I believed that I should take up a hobby to boost my creativity.
I also figured out that I lived quite close to many Chinese exchange students. That they somehow saw me every Tuesday morning was quite surprising for me to hear. Lesson here is that we should take notice of what is happening around us more than focusing all our intention to cellphones.
I think that is pretty much for what I learnt for this party. The remaining of it, should I keep it to myself only?
Time flies so fast that it is already our 8th meetup. That the end of the journey is coming soon and that we want to create as many memories as possible made us come up with the idea of cooking together. Then somehow for this meetup we baked Swiss roll, which is also known as kääretorttu in Finnish.
For learning activities, we obviously did learn how to bake this delicious Swiss roll. Then we had a chance to listen to old Finnish songs, which I myself considered as a very worthwhile experience. Songs of each country, each culture and each era, in my opinion, bring me magical feelings that no words have the ability to express. All you need is only to listen and immerse yourself into the melody. Besides that, we also shared deep knowledge of our each native country. After the conversation, I now want to go exchange like Tabea, which I previously believed to be a waste of time. It will never be a waste of time.
For having-fun parts, we did enjoy our autumn-winter afternoon with just conversations and good food. Happiness sometimes can be this simple!
I feel like now we are more open to each other, consequently more comfortable while being with each other. Another good memory while being in Tampere, Finland 😀
Mentioning about roll, here is a tip for you all by Ashton Kutcher:
Always roll up the sleeves on your shirt. It gives the impression that you are working, even if you are not 😀
Well well well, it has been quite a loooong time since my last blog post. Guess what, Hang is back with her crew GFV.
Today, we had a food tour in Lidl in Finlaysonkatu. It was my first time there for 14 months living in Tampere, Finland. It was good. We decided to buy needed ingredients for baking tomorrow. Tabea and Tuuli introduced to me many interesting things of Christmas, which I never knew before. Such included the chocolate calendar, candles, Christmas chocolate, and Cool Santa. It took us around an hour inside the supermarket.
After that, Tiger was our next destination. We had A LOT OF FUN there. Everything was so cute that we wanted to buy them all. Seriously, EVERYTHING!!! It felt like I was living my childhood again with all sparkling items and cute decoration things. Tuuli told me one joke from her psychological teacher that is to MARRY MONEY. If I got a guy who would like to buy me the whole shop, I would get married to him XD. Yeah we all know it is a joke, don’t we?
It was pretty much for today tour. I loved it and I also enjoyed spending time with these two lovely girls. Looking forward for tomorrow baking!!!
A lovely quote for such a rainy day:
When life gives you rainy days, wear cute boots and jump in the puddles!
Swabian potato salad was the name of the starter. It took Tabea two hours to cook it. Well I would say it was worth cooking as the dish was good! and Tabea could save much time for next cooking tryout.
Hmm it seems that I forget something. Ohh the legendary “pastry”. I love the moment we made fun of this pastry. Tuuli even showed us the home-made one, which surprised us all! In my opinion, the one from Lidl supermarket (out of 3 biggest) is the best!
I love cooking. Since I moved to Finland, I tried to mix many Finnish raw ingredients for cheaper price with Vietnamese and Asian sauces for familiar taste of food. It is great experience in general. This dish was no exception. Basically, this dish was not from Vietnam, but I tried to make it with Asian style. You will love it for sure!!!
This is mud-cake, the desert. Anyone crave for sweet?
What I learnt during the whole food-date was the difference between Vietnamese cooking style with Finnish/German one. I love cooking with hands so that I try to use hands to do as many things as I can. Meanwhile, it is considered dirty in Finland and Germany. It was quite surprising to me that Germany and Finland shared quite similar table manners besides cooking styles. Should I call it in general as European style? Other than that, we had discussion about Finnish law, housing price in Finland, European citizen benefits and all kinds of jokes.
Such wonderful experience, looking forward for upcoming food-date!!!
After intense learning, we decided to do some relaxing topic related to facts and fun facts about 2 cultures: German and Finnish.
Here are the lists of facts that we discussed so far:
1, German culture:
In German, “thanks” means no. If someone asks you “Would you like a drink?” and you say “Danke”. That actually means “No, thank you.” But if you say, “Bitte” or “Please,” that means yes. So, to recap: “Thanks” means no thanks, and “please” means no. Wish I had known this before my trip to Germany 🙁
The middle finger is ILLEGAL. A driver can even report your license plate if they see you throwing up the one-finger salute, resulting in a lovely police letter and a fine.
Drinking alcohol in public is illegal.
October festival does not start on October.
On the first day of first grade, every child gets a giant cone filled with toys and candy.
People do not sing the whole national anthem.
People from the north will not understand people from the south fully due to dialects.
Other countries speak German as well.
Different names of same food in different parts of Germany.
2, Finnish culture:
There are more saunas than whole national population.
Finns love coffee.
People have to wave hands for the bus to stop.
Avanto-ice diving is very popular.
Skiing, ski, iceskating, snowboarding and icefishing are popular hobbies in winter.
Somehow we decided this meeting began at 8.15 am. You know what happened next…
We were all there on time 😀
The learning theme today was direction in German and in Finnish.
The picture was downloaded from the Internet by Tabea. Then we trained to say directions based on that picture in English, German and Finnish and converted them into a table. Pronunciation was a tough task for all of us! At first, we did not expect this task to be that difficult. However, it turned out to be quite challenging. Well a great lesson here, high expectations will get you nowhere.
Then we ended up discussing some basic sayings/greetings in Finnish and German.
Hang was there, in the exclusive TOAS building only for exchange students. And somehow it turned out to be Tabea’s current accommodation. SURPRISE :DD
It had really nice view firstly, then came a very cozy kitchen. I really enjoyed the atmosphere there in the kitchen. People gathered around cooking and having conversations. Tabea told me that sometimes whenever you felt lonely, you could just go to the kitchen and then your mood would boost immediately. During our meetup, we encountered many interesting people from many cultural backgrounds. It was nice exchanging ideas with them.
For this meetup, we discussed first Oktoberfest and some of its misunderstandings #justtoletyouknow. Tabea explained to us the real Lederhosen & Dirndl and then showed us some pictures of different German traditional customs for men and women. We were excited to acknowledge the purpose of bow positions of the Dirndl pinafore. I bet you will be amazed at how bow position works! JUST TRUST ME!
Then we moved on discussing time in German and Finnish. Wow there posed some similarities here. For instance, 1:30 in English is half past 1. However, in German and in Finnish, 1:30 is half past 2. We also made a table for easier learning process when comparing 3 languages together. I have to thank Tabea for all of the tables she has made so far, they are so organized and easy to understand.
The next next topic was learning courtesy in German and in Finnish. We also made a table to compare both languages for further analysis. This time showed many differences between two languages.
This time our group decided to meet again at Tuuli’s apartment. We studied lots of new words in both German and Finnish. I would like to share with you guys some few things that we had done so far.
1, Learning new words: Learning theme was food and clothes.
2, Culture exchange:
I have to say that I was quite amazed at how things working here in Europe. We discussed the Finnish schooling system, different types of high schools in Tampere and very interesting topic: kindergarten fee. It surprised me since I thought that it was very expensive to pay for kids in kindergarten here in Finland, however, it turned out that it would depend on parental income. We actually googled that and found out that the fee was actually not that high! German kindergarten also shared quite same system. I assume that it is standard system in Europe?
Siinä kaikki! This is all we did for the second gathering!
Do these sayings above sound so familiar to you when it comes to decide time for group meetup?
Yeah yeah you guess it right! We also encountered that situation.
BUT that is ANOTHER issue. Let’s me first introduce our squad.
What is the name of this course again? Uhmm……EACH ONE TEACH ONE. Does it sound so straight to you? A One teaches another one and then that one teaches another another one and then that another one teaches a one or another one. Or then a one teaches another another one and vice versa. Or then … JUST FORGET IT. Basically we are a group of 3 people teaching each other. Sound much easier right?
We are a multicultural group. A German, a Fin and a Vietnamese. Together we are GFV aka Guaranteed Future Value :)))))) If you do not know what it is, well then Google does not charge you anything! Asian joke mode on.
Only Tuuli has glasses.
Tabea has brunnett hair.
Final clue: Vietnamese girl has Asian eyes.
Until now, can you guess who is who?
If you can, congratulation and you can finish your reading here. Thanks for your time 🙂 Keep calm and wait for my next blog!!! Hmm next time I will try to make it even harder for you guys.
If you can not figure it out, well trust me you are completely normal. Believe or not, even me cannot understand it. So we are in the same boat now. Well unfortunately, there are some more interesting things down below 🙂
This is us!
This is the first time I saw Tabea and the second time I met Tuuli. They were such beautiful people and I just could not get my eyes off them.
Well off-topic haha. Let’s get back to main points. Basically we discussed when, where and how we would meet next time. And also what to do during the next meetup. It was only a 2-week plan, however, it took us 1.30 hours to jump at final conclusions.
During the discussion, we somehow mentioned Mämmi and Glögi 🙂 Oops. They are quite good in my personal opinion. I know I know. You must think that something looks like liquid poop. Well you can actually mix that thing with Salmiakki, vanilla or your favourite ice cream flavour. Trust me, se on tosi hyvä!
I think I need to stop here or otherwise this is going to be way too long. Thanks for your time and your concern. Wish you a fantastic day and enjoy your current life. You know life is too short for negative thoughts and situations, be yourself and hope life would treat you better and better each day!
Bonus section for those lovely people reading my blog post:
You gotta try harder and fight harder for your own good, as long as you don’t disturb others business.