My new best friend

Feeling chatty? Here is Stevie Nicks doing Talk to me. Love the hair, love the dress. Hmm, those were the days πŸ™‚

Today was Talkoot* day. The day when all the civic-minded residents of our apartment block work in the yard and do a little spring cleaning. In autumn we get to do it all over again in preparation for winter.

Those that arrive early get the ‘best jobs’. I got to rake the yard and collect weeds, sticks and other assorted rubbish. Right at the beginning one of the ladies from the next stairwell came running up, saying excitedly welcome, welcome! This is most unusual, as most of the house usually speak Finnish with me. Anyway, I tried to set her straight and said no, no we can speak Finnish, it’s much better. To which she replied, oh but I want to practice my English. I’ve been studying at adult education.

So we agreed she would speak English and I would speak Finnish. It worked an absolute charm and we both understood what the other was talking about. So, off we went on our respective jobs. Towards the end of the work our paths crossed again and so I took a very big brave step.

I asked my neighbour if she would be willing to meet once a week for talking and language practice? She didn’t even have to think about it and agreed immediately!

We swapped numbers and have agreed to meet for coffee this Friday. I figure if we do different things each time our respective vocabularies will build. She is very keen and this will be a win win for both of us!

What I’ve learnt so far is that she is retired and will be away from the city for most of summer! Last autumn she and her husband were in Croatia and she has never been to Lapland. She knows that I have one son who is currently in bi-lingual class at school and will be going to local high school in the autumn, I’ve been to Lapland twice and I’m starting my own business. Not bad for 15 minutes, whilst enjoying the traditional post talkoot refreshments of grilled sausage and beer.

* Talkoot – working bee.

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