The seventh meeting took place at my cottage. Mariona was unable to make it, but I went there with my brother, Haley and Yeaeun. We’d originally planned for an overnight trip, but everyone was so busy with courses and stuff that we shortened it to a day trip, leaving during the morning and coming back in the evening.
My cottage is situated in Punkalaidun, about an hour’s drive from Tampere. It’s a small cottage, what we in Finland call “mummonmökki”, and it’s not situated next to a lake. However, there was a lot of forest and wheat fields nearby for exploring. During the drive there, we saw a huge flock of geese nearby, and could drive very close to them without scaring them off.
We decided to cook our typical cottage food there, which included fresh smoked salmon (my brother’s expertise), potatoes and vegetables. The store also had some fried muikku (a type of small fish only found in Northern Europe), so we bought some for a snack.
My brother did some random organizing at the cottage, while I went out for a long walk in the forest with Haley and Yeaeun. The forest turned out to be a big hit – even with spring in very early stages and everything being brown, there were tons of lovely places to take photos and get to know finnish nature. I pointed out some edible plants (and talked about all the edible plants available later in the summer), we saw three deer quite close by, and took some small videos of just walking around in a forest. Naturally, the conversation revolved around the differences between Korea and Finland when it comes to nature, and how the people in both countries enjoy it. Most Koreans live in the big cities, so they don’t have easy access to nature. There aren’t any forests nearby, so they travel to the mountains or to the ocean if they want to see wilderness. In Finland, you just drive 10 minutes in any direction and you hit a forest sooner or later (in Helsinki, this might take a bit longer).
We also went through some new vocabulary about food. It was interesting to hear how food-related words are constructed in Korean – to me, they sound like complete names, but they’re actually constructed of the words describing the food just like in most other languages. Seeing the way that food names are constructed made me realise that if I just learned a few of the key words (such as chicken, beef, fried, stirred, etc) I would actually know what I ate when I visit Korea someday.
Along with the words for food, I practiced my Korean pronunciation. Both Yeaeun and Haley had a good grasp of Finnish pronunciation already, and they could pronounce any new word correctly almost instantly. However, I was still struggling with Korean sounds, since a lot of them sound similar to me. I ended up going through the entire alphabet, painstakingly pronouncing each syllable several times. Yeaeun and Haley suggested making exaggerated motions with my mouth when pronouncing them, since it would help. I tried it, and it did help, even if it felt a little silly to me. Finnish is a language that’s made to be mumbled with minimal mouth movement – Korean, on the other hand, heavily depends on mouth and tongue movements to make the difference between sounds. This was a revelation to me and helped a lot with practicing pronunciation.
The new vocabulary: finnishlesson4