January 9, 2017
The first day in Helsinki and jet lag hit hard. I was more than happy and appreciative to sleep in instead of jumping right into group activities. My roommate and I joined the group at noon in Stockman’s to walk around Helsinki. We walked through a few shops, but we were more excited to take pictures.
Everything was new and exciting. I came on this trip not knowing anyone so at the time was quiet. What I learned this day was that Helsinki is always cloudy.
After several hours we went back to the hotel and got ready for dinner at Seahorse. As a group we walked about 30 minutes to the restaurant. Meatballs and mashed potatos was my first Finnish meal. Six of the students, including me, found an unexpected surprise in our dinner.
It was during dinner that I thought to myself that as a visitor in a foreign country I should at least make an attempt to speak their language. ‘Kiitos’ was the Finnish word for ‘Thank You.’ As we were leaving I told the man who was working at the coat check ‘Fiitos.’ He looked at me very confused and said something back.
When I walked out I was telling the group what had just happened. Little did I know that the Finnish do not use the letter F in their language. To this day I have not forgotten the phrase.
After dinner a few of us went out for ‘dessert.’ This was fun for the group of us as we played Never Have I Ever. The 5 of us grew closer that night which helped me. This also was a night to remember as it was my first legal drink.