All posts by Joonas Sandman

Last meeting in the Joulutori

Hello and Merry Christmas!

We had our last meeting in the Christmas market at the city center. Everyone arrived at the fountain and we started looking around what we saw in the tiny cabins. There was a lot of foods, candies and handcrafts, such as socks and mittens and one mythical creature.IMG_20141219_144053 (1)


At some point Sveta ate what she thought was a delicious almond but it turned out to be pickled garlic. I guess the saying’s true; looks can be deceiving. After we saw enough of the Christmas market we went to a close by cafe to relax for a minute before going home. There Sveta asked for some last advice on how to write a letter in Finnish.IMG_20141219_151225 (1)

It was a very moving final meeting. I will never be the same.

Sauna conversation and Russian models

We still had some stuff to do after the exams and everything so we met in the library once again to have some back-and-forth with the group. I arrived in the library with my cup of automatic coffe and we started the session. Sveta spoke Finnish and Rulis and I spoke our version of Russian. The amazing part was that we understood each other.IMG-20141216-WA0003

Sveta tried to claim that the Russian sauna is better than the Finnish electric sauna, but didn’t take into account that the original Finnish sauna is also a wood burning stove with some stones on it. Thus she pretty much argued that wood sauna is better than electric, which only a madman would disagree with.

At one point we looked at some russian famous actresses and models. On that day I learned that Russia has one of the most stunning models the world has to offer.

Just for fun

We met in the library to recap our experiences. We didn’t want to make it a strict session, just chat about whatever and do some nice stuff for fun’s sake. Rulis and Sveta had an exam so we made them practice their reading a  bit.

We also played word games, which were a challenge with the limited vocabularies, but that is life; sometimes you can’t find the words. One of the games was that you need to find a word that starts with the same letter that the previous one ends, and hasn’t been said yet.

Anyway, it was fun and we learned something so the meeting was a success!

Grammar time!

We learned the most painful part of a language: the grammar, especially in Russian, since they have a lot of funny unique letters that are pronounced differently in different places for some reason. Can’t really say we were in a disadvantage, though, because she was learning the Finnish grammar.

One of the major differences between Finnish and Russian is the gender division, Finnish does not have that and it is usually a challenge to remember when to use masculine, feminine or neutral.

Nevertheless we were successful in leaving the meeting with some added knowledge about our respective languages and we were better for it!

Colours and stuff with our Russian

We met in the library to learn some colors and foods. It was pretty handy since I already forgot most of the words I learned in my Russian classes in lukio. It was easier to learn it again since it was just remembering them.

Sveta insisted on learning some numbers also so we thaught her the most horrible numbers to keep her mentally challenged. I’d say we succeeded as much as she did.

Comics and clothes

We met with the group after a break to talk about different words for random clothing and to read a few comics. It was fun, Sveta was pretty adept in her Finnish already, she’s such a quick learner!

The clothing words are useful for a foreigner in Finland since it gets cold here and you may need to ask for warm clothes from your friends non-English speaking grandparents, and the same applies to a foreigner in Russia!

I had a good time this time also and it was nice to have a real practice session with the group after a long break.

One-on-One rehearse session

We met with Vera in Y-kampus and I took my Russian text book with me. We took turns translating words and practiced discussion in Finnish and in Russian. She is much better in Finnish than I am in Russian but I tried my best to keep up.

We practiced for about an hour and I believe I learned more in that time than in the previous two Russian lectures, it was that productive.

After that we went to our respective homes and I’m sure the experience left a positive memory in our minds which we will savour until we forget.

Tall tower on the hill

We went to the Pyynikki sight seing tower on top of the hill with Sveta and Rulis. It was pretty high so the sights were very good.




Only down side was the lack of sun, but I think we will have another chance to visit the tower with a better weather. Maybe next time!

This meeting we discussed some grammar, which is the tricky part of Finnish and Russian alike.

City hall and the Muumi-museum

We met in Keskustori with Sveta and Rulis. We wanted to show Sveta some of the local sights on Tampere-day, so we visited the city hall, which is opened to public once every five years, and the Muumi-museum, which is always open but we had free time.IMG_20141005_131601


In the city hall we took the typical round. There was a lot of historical stuff and employees telling interesting facts about them. I think it was a very nice place to visit on this day.

In the Muumi-museum we saw a lot of different muumi related items, which were very interesting.



Technically photos weren’t allowed, but we took some without flash, because that’s usually the reason they are forbidden. Then some man told us to not take a picture of Sveta in a tiny boat. It would have been a hilarious photo. 🙁

On this day we learned about Finnish culture. I had never been to the city hall and it was an interesting visit to me also! There was a lot of symbolic pictures that are seen on many different cultures in places of power.



Meeting in the kebab place

So we met in this kebab place across the street from the Kotipizza on Teiskonkatu with Sveta, Rulis, I and Jani from the other Finnish-Russian group. We discussed about differences in Finnish and Russian cultures and rehearsed some basic words.

Everyone ordered some form of kebab dish. I chose the kebab with rice and Rulis took it with fries. Sveta and Jani chose the rullakebab, which were huge. Sveta had to take some in a doggy bag because she is a small person who does not need such a big amount of food in one meal.

I learned more about the Russian culture, such as the militia and how to conduct business with them. Basically don’t do stupid stuff and you will not have trouble with them. I also learned some food words again.

It was a nice meeting and everyone left the kebab place with full stomachs and a big smile!