It’s already been a while since this first meeting, actually so long that I feel somewhat embarrassed only posting about it now. Life hasn’t been all that kind to me for these past months but now I seem to be getting back on track with things…
I was so glad Ryoko asked me to join her in this Each One Teach One course since I haven’t had the opportunity to speak Japanese at all since I moved to Finland last year – therefore this is a great opportunity for me to brush up my language skills again!
Anyway, to our actual first meeting!
I actually visited Turku on that weekend and I ended up going straight from there to Ryoko’s house. Ryoko and her boyfriend Lauri had prepared dinner which was really nice since I was starving after my trip.
Ryoko made us okonomiyaki (お好み焼き), the so-called “Japanese pancake”. Usually it’s made with cabbage but Ryoko made it with leek instead. She said that Finnish cabbage is too hard or thick compared to the Japanese one, so leek works better in this case – and still tastes just as good!
Okonomiyaki is actually one of my favorite Japanese dishes and I have made it myself a few times before but I have to say that Ryoko’s one was much more delicious! Hehe.
For dessert, we had the Finnish pancake.. well, pannukakku. Pretty obvious one. We ate it with jam and whipped cream, and it was delicious as well. Unfortunately I forgot to take a photo of it…
We discussed in a mix of English and Finnish while eating because Lauri was there as well. After that, we started our actual studying. We divided the time we had in half. The first half we did in Finnish and the second one in Japanese.
We had some basic discussion with Ryoko in Finnish and then she showed me the books she uses to study Finnish. I helped her with some exercises in the book and then some specific expressions to make her speech seem more native-like, so to say. I realized that there’s actually so many ways to say one thing in Finnish and it can get a bit confusing… 😀
I didn’t bring my books that time with me so we just discussed the rest of the time in Japanese. I told Ryoko that I would like to take part in the JLPT (Japanese Language Proficiency Test, 日本語能力試験) in December. I passed N3 in 2015 and would like to try the second hardest level (N2) this time, and I asked Ryoko to help me especially with kanjis (Chinese characters). 🙂
We actually decided to start writing an exchange diary (交換日記) so that we could both improve our reading and writing in Finnish and Japanese. This way, I am also forced to learn more kanji, which is obviously a good thing. 😀
Okonomiyaki topped with mayo, okonomiyaki sauce, bonito flakes and seaweed flakes. 🙂