On the third meeting we decided to focus more on my German skills because Daniel already had three hours of Finnish class that day. That’s plenty for a one day.
We both were also tired that day so trying to really study wasn’t an option. We decided to just have conversations in German about my time in Germany, what I missed when I lived there and about things we found funny in the other countries.
For example I couldn’t comprehend the fact that Germany doesn’t really have dips in the same quantity as we Finns have. It’s the little things that get you sometimes 😀
Then we also talked about one of the most Finnish thing one can do, Sauna. In Germany apparently there’s a lot of rules on what you can and can’t do in the sauna, which i find extremely funny. For example you shouldn’t talk in the Sauna, it should be the place of peace. Alcohol is a definite no no, which is absurd for Finnish people.
Also, there’s this thing called Saunameister. He is a guy or a woman who will make being in the sauna some sort of event. The saunameister comes into the sauna and throws the water on the stones, nobody else is allowed to do that. After that he takes a towel and whips it around to circulates the steam, “löyly”, around. Then you just sit there and after around minutes it’s time to go to the shower.
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.
Finally, we got to fix our schedules to enjoy a sauna evening at my place. It’s not uncommon for a Finnish apartment to have an own sauna. The sauna in my apartment is not that big: it fits max. four saunagoers. But it doesn’t lack the heat!
The evening began with chatting about life in general. I also felt that my responsibility was to tell Michelle about the Finnish sauna culture. Sauna is more than just a hot room: it is a place where both mind and body relaxes. In the history women also gave birth in sauna because it was the most sterile room of the house.
After the sauna we had a Finnish beer tasting. I had bought us several different sorts of beer: from small breweries to larger ones. My absolute favourites are Pyynikki brewery’s beers. It is a small brewery here in Tampere and its products have a lot of flavour. Michelle is not that much of a beer drinker but she found her favourite as well.
Rauhaniemi beach (pl – plaża, fi – ranta) is known as a place to chill and relax in the summertime and also in wintertime. We went to experience traditional Finnish way of spending time during cold days. All Finns love it, and we also did! Sauna!
There is no culture of a sauna in Poland so for us, it was pretty fascinating. What surprised me the most, was grill outside of the building and people could warm up their sausages (pl – kiełbasa, fi – makkara). There were also some people drinking beer (pl – piwo, fi – olut) inside of the sauna. It was something weird for me.
Adam was so brave to get into cold water after spending few minutes in the hot sauna. I did it for the fifth time. Amazing experience possible only in the north of Europe. We could see that sauna is very important for Finns. For the one who is scared to go there, don’t be! It’s really worthful. After that, you feel so fresh inside of your body and even your mind.
We spend a nice time together with Elisa, sharing our knowledge in the topic of a sauna.
Today we met with only Anni and Olivia and I have to say I´m a very happy person now! We went to the famous Kaupinoja sauna (1st time for me) and I finally got a chance to go winter swimming in avanto! We dipped our selves in the freezing lake Näsijärvi for about 5 times and at one time I even took some swimming moves. It was horrible and wonderful at the same time. Sauna was a cool experience as well and we went there every time after we were in the lake.
We had good talks again about differences in our cultures and we wanted to know a lot what Olivia thinks about Finland and what has been the best things about Finland and Finns. I think the best lessions about this course is getting to know each other and our countries and some lessions on the side. For example when we were on our way to Kauppi, we went to a store to buy sausage and stuff so we had a little teaching lession in the store about Finnish words and sentences as well as in German.
I like our group very much and I hope the next time Hanna and Zsofia will be able to join us again. We are going to a hockey game so that should be fun! 🙂
It’s time for little culture again after all the exams and heavy reading. Finally the weather started to be little colder for the winter swimming experience, so our meeting took place at Kaupinojan sauna. It’s a public sauna near Tamk facilities in Kauppi-forest, for more information click Kaupinojan sauna above.
Sauna was approximately +90 celcius, outdoors temperature was +3 celcius and the lake was +4 celcius. After a soft beginning everyone did great and Thomas was even swimming a long time in the lake like a pro! It was fun to show this side of sauna for the guys, because even though many Finns have their own sauna in the flat, house or cellar of a apartment building people still go to public saunas. I go there regularly once a week. It’s a lot more crowded and loud not calm and serene like sauna is often imagined. It is a social place where to meet friends or people also go there alone, it doesn’t matter.
Here at Kaupinojan sauna is possible to swim in the lake through out the year. And that’s the main reason people go there, dipping into the lake after sauna or even swim in the lake.
New meetings with Michèl. He is my second group and we never do simple meeting in a coffee or this kind of meeting. The last one was the trip in St Petersburg, this time we went to a new sauna in the woods and then to the survival week-end of TAMK !
First of all the Sauna, we have already been to Rauhaniemen few times but this time we tried another one further in the woods. I love sauna and often, even if he lives a bit far from the sauna Michel join as often as possible. He is always trying to speak French and he asks me a lot of questions about the vocabulary and the construction of the sentences. This time he asks me about the temperatures, the heater, how to say “to be naked” and so on.
There were two lights in the lake at 5 meters from the edge and another at 10 meters and we settle a little challenge which was to reach the second one in the really cold water (2°). He did it easily but I tried something funnier and I went to a pontoon 15meters away.
Even if it was the last time I saw people of this group (because they were leaving Finland the day after) but it was a good day. In the second part of this post I will speak about the survival weekend !
The survival weekend it’s two days, two night in the middle of the woods (Seitseminen Parc) in a cottage without electricity nor tap water. Our task were to chop wood, pump water, makes fires and so on. The first day we were really interested to go to sauna so we went to start the fire and we enjoyed the sauna ! The rest of the weekend we played games, we did little Olympiads and speak with others people. The atmosphere in the cottage was really cosy.
In each activity Michèl tried to speak In French and even if all his sentences are not perfect I always understood what he meant so it was really fun. I taught him lot’s words like : Bequilles – CrutchesBougies – CandlesCire – WaxTapis – CarpetIl fait froid – It’s cold
Il fait chaud – It’s warm It was a really good weekend really fun and without any electronics devices so we were encourage to interact with every people !
For our fourth meeting Georg and I went to the public sauna in Lapinkaari. It was the first time for me and it was absolutely worth it. The water in the lake was just 5 degrees while the sauna was heated up to 120 degrees! We spend more than two hours doing sauna and swimming turns. On this day it was so cold, that your hair began to freeze when you went out from the water. For me it was the first time in a “real” sauna. You feel really good afterwards and I am sure that we will do it again.
During our meeting we spoke a lot about the last 2,5 months we have already spent here. A lot of things have happened and we came to the point that we have one of the best times in our lives here in Tampere.
This time Georg teached me no vocabulary. Instead he teached me some sentences related to sauna.
Die Sauna ist sehr heiß = The sauna is really hot
Der See ist kalt = The lake is cold
Draußen ist es finster = It is dark outside
Mir ist kalt = I am cold
Mir ist heiß = I am hot
Ich brauche ein Handtuch = I need a towel
After sauna we were really hungry and went to a pizza place. We ordered some beer and had a really tasty pizza. It was a perfect way to end the day and our meeting.
On Wednesday, Ugo and I went to Lapinkaari for a public sauna. The sauna is not really in Lapinkaari but very close, at the lake precisely. That one of the best experience I have tried so far in Finland.
The main goal was not only to go sauna but also to go for a bath in the lake. The outside temperature was -1 degree and I really didn’t know how would I go outside in swimsuit…
But after a 120 degrees sauna we managed quite well to go swim. Even if it was for 2 seconds the feeling is awesome and I recommend this to any of you guys whom haven’t tried it yet!
Ugo and me are really good friends and being in the sauna was a great moment to chat about everything going on in our life. It was really pleasant to feel like a real Finnish for one night 😉
Some of the vocab we used was pretty basic such as:
I am cold = J’ai froid
I am hot = J’ai chaud
I am too hot/cold = J’ai trop chaud/froid
Lake = Lac
Swim = Nager
The view = La vue
Water = Eau
On Thursday the 30th of November, Ugo and I went together in the city center and more precisely in Pyynikki Beach. Ugo has never been there and that is why I wanted to show him that place during the day because I find the view very beautiful.
After a beer we learned some vocabulary about the harbour and boats. Georg already had some knowledge about this but I was able to increase his vocabulary regarding harbour.
Harbour = Port
Boat = Bateau
Beach = Plage
Bridge = Pont
Cruise boat = Bateau de croisière
River = Fleuve
Sea = Mer
As well, while we were walking we spoke about our different main sports representend in our country. I mentioned that Skii is probably the most common sport in Austria. Regarding France, football (soccer) is still remaining one of the most important sport. Ugo’s favourite team is Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) but he is also a big fan of Bordeaux (the country he lives in).
Beside this Rugby is the second most popular sport in France and Ugo played it for almost 10 years. He says that rugby is a matter of family and it is especially popular in the south west of France.
Ugo’s main sport is actually Ice Hockey and to my big surprise he mentioned that hockey is becoming bigger and bigger in France. That means people tend to come watch the games. He is even playing right now in Finland in Orivesi (east side of Tampere).
Ugo spoke to me about sports rules in general :
Offside = Hors-jeu
Goal = But
Net = Cage
Pass = Passe
Penalty = Penalty
Yellow card = Carton jaune
Red card = carton rouge
I really enjoyed this day and we are looking forward to meet each other for some sauna night close to Lappinkaari.