This time we, including my sister Natalie, met again at Eveliinas apartment to just relax, talk and eat cookies. At first we caught up on all the things that happened during the last few weeks in which we weren’t able to meet. So I showed her pictures from our time in Lapland. She hasn’t been there in the winter yet and therefore she was very impressed and said that she really wants to go there one day. Then she told us about her trip to Germany. She said that she visited Christmas Markets in Hamburg and that she really liked them, amongst others because in Germany the markets are so much bigger than Finnish ones and we have hot mulled wine called “Glühwein” to drink there.
Then Eveliina told us, that especially older Finns don’t have the need to travel to different countries and see more of the world. They just feel so happy with their life in Finland that they don’t have the need to see other (warmer) places. That was really surprising for me because I thought that they all want to go on holiday in the south to enjoy the sun and warm weather.
Furthermore we talked about some differences between Finland and Germany. One of them is the safety. I am living in Munich which is a quite big city and therefore some crimes take place. In the night, after the club, I always feel uncomfortable to go home alone and therefore always have a friend to accompany me. However in Finland I feel much safer. Eveliina also said that she feels really safe there and usually isn’t worried when she has to go home at night, especially in the summer when it is already bright when she gets back home. I imagine that so funny, that it is bright nearly all the time. Like Eveliina summed it up very well, in winter there is all the bad stuff like university, the cold and darkness, but in summer everyone really enjoys life and during this time they also have three months of holiday.
Another difference can be seen by taking a look at the traffic situation. In Finland also on the main streets there are nearly never traffic jams. Even in big cities like Helsinki the situation isn’t that different. Compared to that in Germany traffic jams are everywhere, doesn’t matter if you are in a small town or in a big city, however in cities like Munich the situation is especially bad. Therefore the underground is especially during evening rush hour traffic the fastest way to get from one place to another.
The meeting was over fast and it was nice as always.
See you. Nähdään!
This time we decided to make Christmas cookies at Eveliinas Apartment and my sister joined us for this meeting. One of my favorite cookies are Vanillekipferl. I think they originally come from Bavaria (because of the name) and they are very delicious and easy to make. We just needed:
100g grounded hazelnuts, peanuts or almonds
At first, we put all ingredients together into a bowl and then kneaded it until it was a compact lump, which always takes its time. After that we started forming the cookies with our hands. They should be moon shaped! However, shaping is easier with cold dough, so we put part of it into the fridge. When all the cookies were formed, we put them into the oven at 175°C for around 15 minutes. After that we let them cool for a while and then bathed them in powdered sugar and vanilla sugar. Then they were finally done!
The rest of the meeting we spend with talking and of course eating the Vanillekipferl which were nearly as good as at home. Eveliina narrated, that in Finland they usually don’t make Christmas cookies, but instead of it they bake gingerbread. They even build their own gingerbread houses and decorate them. That must be fun.
Then she helped us with finding spots to go sledding in and around Tampere. There were really many places where we could do that and we want to try it at one of the hills before we leave. Furthermore, she also told us about where we can go ice skating. Apparently when it is quite cold outside some areas will be sprinkle with water until there is a frozen surface. Then it is open to ice skate on it. That sounded much nicer than going inside into a hall, because like this you can be outside and enjoy the winter landscape.
That was all for this time.
And so the time for the last meeting has come. And also time for Katrin and Natalie to go home. We met on Sunday afternoon for the last time and went to skating, which was one more thing they wanted to do here. They rent skates from school and we head to Pyynikin urheilukenttä.
First thing I noticed was that they had taken “boys” skates from TAMK. I was a bit worried if they knew how to skate with those since I myself can’t even stand up with those. They hadn’t realized that themselves because apparently their skates look like those (although they are, if I understood right, more like mine). The beginning was a bit.. unsteady for them and I was afraid that either one (or both) will find herself from the ice soon. Good that there were two of them so they could hold hands and that way find the balance. I hadn’t been skating since last winter either so it was really nice to get on to skates again.
We skated almost 2 hours I think. And Katrin and Natalie did surprisingly well eventually with the skates.. when they stayed on the move. They really seemed to like skating, and they also told me that it is so nice that you can actually skate outside which wouldn’t be the case in Munich.
I asked them how they feel about going home in few days and are they glad they came to Finland. A little bit of mixed feelings, they have been waiting to go back home but now when it’s actually time to go home it is kinda sad. Reminds me so much of my own exchange year in high school. But I’m so happy they have done so much while they’ve been here and really taken the most out of their time here. They can go back with no regrets. It’s also nice to hear that they have enjoyed their time in Finland. I’m really glad I got to meet them both. We have had really nice time and I really hope we will see each others again, somewhere in the world. Maybe next it’s their time to guide me in Munich 😉
Thank you girls for the EOTO and safe travels back home!
It had been a while since we had met last time since we both have been out of town, Katrin (and Natalie) in Lapland and then right after that I headed to Hamburg Germany. After I came back to Finland it was already my exam week so I was super busy with school and work but still we luckily managed to find a spot for a meeting.
Katrin and Natalie came, yet again, to my house later evening after I got out of school at 8pm. This meeting was quite brief since I still had to go to work afterwards but it was again nice to see them. Last week they were here so of course I wanted to make some time. We chatted and had coffee, cookies and joulutorttus and discussed about their Lapland trip and my trip to Germany.
They showed me lots of pictures from Lapland (I haven’t been to Lapland except once when I was really young). It looked so beautiful and peaceful there. And cold. They had been doing so much things there such us husky and reindeer sleigh drives. Looked so much fun though they told me it was so cold that even their hair was frozen and white. They also had seen northern lights and everything. They were happy with the trip. Katrin and Natalie really have done and seen a lot during their time in Finland which is really great!
Katrin and Natalie came to mine and our plan for the eight meeting was christmas cookies, in German way. They wanted to show me to see what are their favorite christmas cookies so we made these “Vanillekipferl”.
The dough was super easy to make, butter, flour, sugar and powdered almonds. Mix everything and the dough is ready. Google was again as our help since we need to convert the amounts from grams to litres since I don’t have a scale in my apartment (which obviously is a basic thing in Germany to have..)
In the end we ended up having like a million of these half moon shaped cookies. And they did taste good! Good for a change. Funny how in Germany christmas cookies are so big deal in Germany and there are so many different kinds… here it’s basically only the ginger breads. While baking we talked about christmas and traditions.
It was really nice to see them both again, very chilled.
This time we met at the lunch place in the basement of Sokos. Such amazing salads for under 10€!
We talked about everything between heaven and earth, me in Swedish and Elli in Finnish. It went really well 🙂 It had been quite a few weeks since we’d met, but thanks to living in Tampere and having a Finnish course has kept my Finnish hearing skills up and running. Elli had no problems at all understanding when I talked Swedish, I just had problems remembering to not speak as fast as I usually do when speaking with Swedish speaking people (which I had done a lot over the last few weeks).
After we had covered everything between heaven and earth we translated a few words:
- Svärmor – Anoppi – Mother-in-law
- Svärfar – Appi-ukko – Father-in-law
- Julafton – Jouluaatto – Christmas Eve
- Julgran – Joulukuusi – Christmas Tree
- Annandag jul – Tapanipäivä – Boxing day
- Julklapp – Joululahja – Christmas gift
- Tomtegröt/Julgröt – Joulupuuro – Christmas porridge (rice porridge)
That was all that we did. We also decided to go for mulled wine at Fazer Café for our last meeting 🙂
Until next time!
This time we decided to watch a very christmassy Finnish movie Joulutarina (The Christmas Strory). Katrin’s sister Natalie joint us too. I thought the movie would be just perfect since a) it has Santa in it b) shows Lapland views (Katrin and Natalie were heading there in the beginning of December so little preview…) c) neither of them hadn’t seen a Finnish movie. We figured that English subtitles would probably work well too.. 😀
Katrin and Natalie came over to my apartment in the early evening and brought also glögi and grapes with them to snack during the movie. They seemed to like the movie which was nice to notice! They also said they were able to even understand some words; progress!
After the movie stack to the theme movies, and talked more about Finnish and German movies. Even though Germany is much bigger movie producer than Finland, still I couldn’t recognize any of the ones Natalie and Katrin told me about. Now when I think about it even the only German tv-show I know seems to be Lemmenviemää (Sturm der Liebe (?) )
For our last meeting we decided to head to EOTO’s pre-christmas party. Unfortunately it did not turn out to be such party as we all might have thought, but we enjoyed to play together some board and card games (which turned out to be the hardest ones during this autumn :D) . We also got to know a few people more, before our group divided into everyone’s own plans.
We decided to meet once more before everyone leaves on their own directions. Unfortunately (at the time of writing) it seems that we do not have the time to meet again, but I am more than happy that we had this experience of getting to know each others. It have been a pleasure, and I hope that our paths meet in the future as well. 🙂
It happened so happily (and poetry, as it seems) that our last Finnish lesson were on the 6th of December – the Finnish independence day! We met on the city centre, which was crowded with people celebrating the independence. The city of Tampere arranges fireworks yearly, so we decided to push our way through the crowd to see it. While waiting the fireworks to start we held a small quiz of what we learned, which may not have been a good idea due the swear words 😀 at least we had fun in the crowd to keep ourselves warm in the cold.
After the amazing firework we decided to crab some pizza and go to Miika’s place to see the president’s reception. It was fun to try to make our exchange students understand how does the reception work and why they held it.
In my opinion, this was the closest to Finnish culture as it can get: national spirit all around, super freezing weather, Finnish flags, tea and hanging out. Great way to sum up what is Finnish culture all about. 🙂
At this point of Autumn it had came clear, that we like to play board games. Before the meeting Miika and I were planning our last Finnish lesson; we would make a slide-set with the most unuseful words that Finns have and make a quiz of them. Then we laughed and met Saskia and Matthäus, who lead our way into the library. We sat down on the chairs and, for our luck, we had a small quiz of the verbs we had studied during the course! 😀 I have to admit, that the exam was a bit difficult since I hadn’t used German after our previous lesson. Anyways, we made it through and continued by repeating our past lessons.
On the end of the lesson we played a board game with verbs, which was actually quite fun for a schoolbook-board game – updated with our rules of course.
I am hoping, that in the future I will use German language, so it will stay clearer in my head than it had before this Autumn. I am truely happy that I chose this course, since the combination of our lessons were both useful and fun!