On Thursday 1st of November it was time for the 10th and last official meeting for me and Meguru. In fact we’ve already met more than ten times, but we agreed to have ten official meetings to write about on this blog. Remembering to write the learning diaries has been the hardest part of this course.
We met at restaurant Itsudemo for sushi buffet lunch since both Meguru and I had never been there before and wanted to try it out. There were some types of sushi which Meguru said he’d never seen in Japan, such as corn and kiwi sushi. Not to mention one that had whipped cream, strawberry and banana in it, like a cake. I’d never seen such sushi before either. As for the taste, you’ll know when you try. But I won’t be doing that again… The lesson: It’s good to appreciate other countries’ culture and even combine with your own, but often things are better left alone if you don’t know what you’re doing. Well, at least the sushi was fun to take photos of.
While eating we talked in Japanese and reviewed the Finnish which I’d taught Meguru during this course. Meguru had been using the app which I recommended in the previous meeting, and I felt so proud when he remembered various words well, such as food items and colors. I’d been worried about not teaching enough grammar, but since Meguru has said that it’s better to focus on vocabulary and culture, I’ve tried to do that.
I was finally able to use properly polite Japanese for most of the time while talking. Before taking this course, I’d mostly just talked in a casual style with people who I’m close enough with to do so, but it may come off as rude to others. I was aware of that, but haven’t had many chances to practice polite style. I’m thankful to Meguru that he was patient with me and often corrected what I said. Because the styles differ in word choices and grammar, it’s not that easy to switch between them, especially as a Finn who’s used to casual Finnish being used even in formal situations. I’ll continue working on this even from now on.
After lunch we walked around the lake shore in Eteläpuisto and continued talking. It’s good to balance enjoying food culture with exercise, and also important to enjoy the rare Autumn days in Finland which aren’t rainy.
All in all, this has been a very fun course. I’ve learned many useful things, not only about Japanese or Japan, but even Finland.