So I went there and GLADLY there weren't too many people there. Even so, I waited until the counters were clear he he he...while waiting for the counters to be clear from people, I kept on reciting the words "Puhutteko englantia?" (read: Do you speak English?) in my head. My heart went pitter-patter as I hadn't really started a conversation in Finnish with anyone ever since I moved here.
After some time (and a kick on the butt - figuratively), I approached one of the desks and asked the question. I actually got too nervous so that I didn't really understand what she answered, but I talked to her in English anyway...SLOWLY to make sure she understood me. The problem is, Finnish people have varied abilities in understanding or speaking English (I think they may understand everything I say, but they may have difficulty in expressing themselves in English, except for some fluent ones). Plus the woman I was talking to was middle-aged, so I was really wondering about her English ability. Gladly she could speak standard English pretty well.
She told me to fill in a form (gladly everything was in English) and present my passport to her. After that she gave me my library card and told me I could use it starting that day. Then I asked her a few questions. She faltered when answering my last question. It was clear she was trying hard to remember the English word of a Finnish word he he he...but in the end she managed to explain it to me the "longer" way. I was so sure she looked relieved when she saw me leave he he he he...LOL!!!
Anyway, one problem I've encountered is that language barrier. Since neither I nor Finnish people had English as our mother tongue, then it's really a struggle. Plus I have little confidence in speaking Finnish. Even though I have memorized lots of words already, but when forming the words into a sentence, it takes a LONG time to do so. Plus I haven't really practised speaking much. I can understand many more words in a text (of course only the words that I've memorized) than when listening to somebody speaking (even though they may say all the words that I've memorized). Anyone who's ever learnt a new language will understand my problem. :-)))
I told this "problem" to my friends and boy, I'm SO glad some of my friends are or have been in the same boats. Three of my close friends are now living in USA, Germany, and Holland respectively, so they've encountered the same problem. When I explained to them how my heart went pitter-patter when trying to talk in Finnish, they shared similar experiences with me. Two of them said, "Hey, it's SO normal!" And that really made me feel SO much better. :-)))
Years back, if something like this ever happened to me, I would have beaten myself over and over again for being so foolish (I'm one of those people who HATE making mistakes). However, one of my resolutions this year is to be K I N D to myself, so I'm gonna stick to it.
Sharing something with others feels SO good in this case. In being vulnerable to mockery or being misunderstood, sometimes you find that you're comforted and understood. Better yet, you find that you're encouraged and strengthened, knowing that you're not alone.
Now I want to dedicate this song to all my friends and fellow bloggers who've been sharing my life journey, THANK YOU SO MUCH for having been there for me.
Enjoy "At The Beginning" by Richard Marx and Donna Lewis. (Btw, I've been trying to put the html sign "center" for the lyric, but I still can't move it to the middle. If anyone knows how to fix this, do tell me. THX A LOT!!!)