Well I have just come home from my second day at 'School'.
I am lucky that here in Oulu they have a lot of expats from all over the world. They have many language courses for those willing to learn. I found a course at somewhere called Villa Victor which is a international activity centre for immigrants and Finns. It is designed to helped ingratiation and prompt understanding between Finns and those who have moved to the local area.
I am enjoying the learning, it is really hard though as Finnish, like I explained in an earlier post, has a different background than English and as such many words and grammar constructions are totally different from what I am use to. I have tried learning from CDs and books but it just helps to have an interaction. I feel I have learnt move in the last two days than I have in the last year I have been trying to learn. We have about 6 people in my class, all from different places, like Greece, Thailand, Hungary and Spain. We all get on and the teacher is pretty cool. So far we have learnt things like how to shop, asking how you are, countries, numbers and other basic things. So now I have till next Tuesday to relearn and help stick in my mind all my notes from the last two days.
Today is also the first 'Flag Day' since I have arrived. Flag days are specific days in which a Flag is flown in honour or celebration of something like Independence Day or a historical event. Todays Flag day was in celebration of the Birthday of Aleksis Kivi who wrote the first significant novel in the Finnish Language Seitsemän Veljestä (Seven Brothers), it is also the Day of Finnish Literature.
I was thinking the other day that even though I am not homesick there are some things I do miss. The most important is the familiarity of the surroundings I had back home, I knew most of the places on the Island and knew how to get everywhere, the people I knew, the people you bumped into randomly (even though it has happened here in Finland at least 4 times). Another most important thing is my friends, I do have friends here in Finland and I am slowly meeting new people but back home I knew people for many years, knew their likes and dislikes and some people I could even have a pretty good guess at what they were thinking. Another is working, I know I have only just got here and will get work eventually but working here will be different and maybe I won't get employment in the same area of work as I am use to. Also I have not seen a single jar of Bovril anywhere.............. think I am going to have to ask my Father to send me some over.