Sorry for the radio silence for a while there, folks, but between trying to get ready for the trip back to the States and the usual schedule, there hasn’t been much to report.
However, today, I did go to the Testipiste to take my language assessment. You can probably guess how that went. I could have told them before I went that I should start at level 0, slow class. 🙂 It was an adventure getting there, riding an unfamiliar bus, although I did end up in a place that I’ve been a few times before. This time around it was the 506, and I got off at the railway station, Pasila Ansema. Of course, I got turned around and ended up walking all the way around the block to get to the building hooray for Google Maps so I didn’t end up completely lost) and made it in time.
I had all my documents, got signed in and the nice lady took me in to a room to do the test. It wasn’t anything too daunting. I had to read a bit of Finnish, with the caveat that I didn’t have to know what I was saying; they were looking for my pronunciation. She told me that I did very well, that she could actually understand me and my accent didn’t get in the way too much. Accent? I have an accent?
The next test was a spelling exercise. Fail. However, she was encouraging and said that I did well to get most of the letters there, and it showed that my ear was developing. My downfall was the o and u sounds, and the double letters. I either doubled them where the didn’t need to be, or didn’t where they did. Freaky language.
Then, she showed me a cartoon drawing of a bus station, and I was to identify as many things as I could, in Finnish. While I felt like I didn’t do so well, she said that the things I did identify, I did so accurately and with good pronunciation. I think maybe she was just trying to make me feel good.
The last test was on the computer, in another room. It was more of a matching and ‘one of these things is not like the other‘ sort of exercise. I think I did okay on that. Then a sheet with some math. I’m not sure it had anything to do with Finnish, but maybe just to see where I was. Ugh. I haven’t had to find x for nearly 20 years! I’m not sure that I got those right.
It took maybe an hour, from start to finish, then I was free to go. I would have taken pictures to illustrate, but not allowed. Oh well.
Here’s some of the downtown area, just for kicks:
Leaving tomorrow for the States! Heading back home for the Thanksgiving holidays. I have my suitcases packed one inside the other, like Russian Nesting Dolls, and the innermost one is filled with chocolates and gifts to mail out from home. I figure I am going with minimal stuff (undies and a pair of sweats), as I have plenty of clothes back at Mom’s. And then I will unnest those suitcases and fill them with STUFF! I have things to bring back for other expats here, too. I feel like Santa Claus!
And best of all, when I return, I will have my baby girl, Shiva with me! I can’t wait to show her all around her new city!