Meeting No. 4
Date: October 9, 2015
For this meeting the guys and I decided to be enjoy the Finnish National Sport: Ice Hockey. During our meeting, the guys taught me the basic rules of the game, since in Mexico it’s not a very common sport, but it’s not unusual, since in some private Universities they play it a lot. Besides, I talked deeply a lot about the Winter in Mexico, and showed to the guys some pictures of my hometown. The first thing that arise to our conversation, was the fact that in some towns in Mexico it actually snow. This fact caused a shock on the guys, because they didn’t know about it, and the hardly believe it as well. So I decided to also showed them, that as a matter in fact, my hometown is quite cold, so that was the reason why I wasn’t wearing a jacket inside the stadium, because I was used to the cold weather. We taught each other how to say the year seasons in German and Spanish, practicing every time it has needed. At the end of the day, I learned that: Ich mag Eishockey und Frost!
Meeting No. 3
Date: October 3, 2015
This meeting was pretty delicious, and although hamburgers are not my favorite junk food, we did decide to go to Jack the Rooster and take advantage of the 2×1 promo. At first, we were struggling, because none of us were sure about which burger to ask for, and like a very good Mexican I was about to order the “Deathburger”. I tried to explain to the guys, that in Mexico, we take spicy food really serious, and we are not fooling around when it comes to order something really spicy, because it’s kind of a dare for ourselves and we also enjoy by giving us the chance to fool foreign people by saying that something it’s not spicy (sometimes we mean it, and for us it’s not, although they got angry because they think we make fun of them). Anyways, We taught each other how to order food and some beverages, such as beer and soda. One more time, I struggled with the speaking but tried really hard instead of quit at first. I also taught to the guys, some of the most spicy types of chili in Mexico, and they were surprised when they realized that we love it that much, that even our candies are made of spicy ingredients. By the way, the waitress convinced me not to order the “DeathBurger”, so I decided to come back later on and try it out.
So far, I learned how to say:
Ich bin hungrig (I’m hungry).
Ich mˆchte bürguer (I want a hamburger).
Ich habe Durst (I’m thirsty).
Ich möchte bitte etwas Bier. (I’d like to have a beer, please).
Dankeschön (thank you very much).
Bitteschön (you’re welcome).
Meeting No. 2
Date: September 30, 2015
It’s been a couple of weeks since our last meeting and the boys got a little bit excited about this match, specially Freddy because Borussia Mönchengladbach it’s his favorite Football Soccer team.
At first I thought we would watch the match on the boys’ apartment, but since Freddy was impatience like a child on Christmas Eve, we headed to Soho, which is a nice Pub. On our way to this place, we talked a lot about our favorite Football Soccer Teams, and I realized, that I was not that much into FS before to met these guys. So, they introduce me to their choices and I had to picked one up as well, although I’m not sure, because like I said, I’m not a huge fan of this sport. Besides, the guys taught me, their favorite Sport Song, and we practice also some that I recalled that day, meaning, we sang like fans on the streets some German-Spanish lyrics, while people stared at us.
We ordered some beers and sit down to enjoyed the game, Freddy was pretty happy and a bit frustrated, because his team lose the match. In the meantime, Mario and I also shared some info about how Social Media enhances the National clichés, and made a comparison between Germany and Mexico, although it was mostly on the surface, it was pretty nice, and we mostly took this subject, because we tried to cheer Freddy up, after the game. The most difficult thing about this meeting was to learn how to pronounce Freddy’s favorite team, and of course, recall all those lyrics.
Meeting No. 1
Date: September 13, 2015
We’ve been here for a month, and today the funniest thing happened to me: I forgot my keys (for the very first time) inside the apartment. I know you’ve must been thinking what a fool, but yea; luckily, I live close-by my German friends and team-players on EOTO, so I decided to crash into their apartment. We decided to not procrastinate that much, and since to stay inside an apartment on Sunday, we made the decision to go to a Football Soccer Game. This was pretty much a great opportunity to get to know each other in a different way, specially because, German guys are addicted to Sports (specially Soccer) so, we decided to turned this meeting into our official EOTO session no.1.
We talked for hours about sports and shared some interesting facts about our cultures, speaking about this topic. Besides, I got surprised, because not only the game was pretty bad, but the German guys discovered that in Mexican culture, we have also a particular way to join some matches, besides Soccer. We also try to practice some speaking, and to be honest, I tried my best, but it’s really hard, so I decide to read further about some sport facts in German in order to ask them later on in the evening.
On the end of this session, I also talked a bit deeply about how Mexican Government uses Soccer Matches to get distraction on our society, and how passionate and irrational people could be in some towns, specially when it comes to talk about Soccer, which is also the most popular sport in Mexico.
We had a great goodbye party full of songs and dance to celebrate the end of our EOTO meetings. Of course, this wasn’t really the end as we were all good friends by this point and agreed to meet up again soon to continue the friendship. I am so grateful for this opportunity to meet and learn about Japanese culture thanks to EOTO. I wouldn’t change the experience but if I had one regret it was that my Japanese didn’t improve that much after the initial few meetings. I think this is to do with the fact that my “teachers” soon transitioned to friends and from that point on it became less about lessons and more about just hanging out. But in the end it was a good time and I achieved far more than I expected when I agreed to do EOTO.
Today it snowed overnight in Tampere and for some people (me) it was a pretty big deal. In my town in Ireland it never snows so it was so great to finally experience winter as it should be! With this in mind I proposed we all go for a walk in the snow covered woods of Lapinkaari. It was so tranquil and like a fairytail. Sadly the snow melted the following days, but it was a memory I won’t soon forget.
We met at Munkki Cafe and practised some japanese phrases such as:
chiketto (chee-keht-toh) (ticket)
yoyaku (yoh-yah-koo) (reservation)
ryokō-gaisha (travel agency)
eki (train station)
furaitoatendanto (flight attendant)
Learning these phrases was really interesteing for me as I intend to go to Japan in the future and I’m sure they will come in useful for me when travelling. I was pleased that we started to learn some actual Japanese again though, as we had been slightly distracted as a group in the previous weeks. I wish we could’ve spent more time learning vocabulary like this.
As it was winter time we decided to make some cakes to lift away the winter blues. We made cupcakes, brownies and even the Finnish star pastries (my favourite possibly). In the end Saki decided to make a banana cake. As usual the cake was amazing. I learned that there are few traditional Japanese deserts in existince as usually the western ones are most popular. I was a little disapointed that we didn’t cover any Japanese topics or culture in depth today but had a good time regardless.
On the 6th meetup we went to Lukonmaki to discuss a manga series we had all been reading: Hunter x Hunter. It was interesting to see that the things that I liked in the Manga were different to the parts that Saki and Aya liked. I felt that their were some elements and messages that I couldn’t interpret due to cultural differences. For example, the allusions to Buddisim and Japanese folklore. I asked to hear further about Religion in Japan and was surprised to hear the lack of knowledge in Japan about Christianity and the churches. I taught them a little of what I know and explained the large influence religion has in Ireland as they were curious to know. It felt good to share with them some things about my culture for a change.
As always we had a fun time.
On the 5th meeting we met at Paula’s house to have a videogames night. She had a Wii, a ps3 and a gamecube plus a gameboy. It was an impressive collection! We had a great time playing many classic Japanese games such as Super Smash Bros and Hatsune Miku dance game (which was really hard). Upon reflection I realized I didn’t actually learn anything (except that I’m terrible at dance rhythm games) and that at this point my Japanese skills were pretty much the same as 5 weeks ago.