Saana/Always Abroad nominated me for the Liebster Award, an award given to new or small bloggers by other bloggers. My blog is not new, after all I’ve been blogging for over a year now, but it’s small – a Finn might refer to it as a mosquito’s poo in the Baltic Sea. That small.
I was of course flattered that a fellow blogger likes my blog, but also slightly gob-smacked largely because my blog is not for everybody – it’s a bit like salty liquorice – not exactly the most popular confectionery around. But at least no-one would say that my blog is ‘a bit like prunes’ –‘makes you feel good on the inside but only appeals to people aged 80 and over’.
Anyway, thank you very much Saana for nominating me.
The Rules of Liebester Award are:
- Thank and link the person who nominated you.
- Answer the nominator’s 11 questions.
- Nominate 11 (or fewer) small blogs who have less than 200 followers. You should believe that they deserve this award and include their link in your post.
- Create 11 new questions for your nominees to answer. Notify these nominees via social media/blog.
Please find my answers to Saana’s questions below.
1. What is your favourite quote?
I don’t have ‘a favourite quote’, neither am I an ice-hockey enthusiast, but the following relates well to my view about life.
You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take. –Wayne Gretzky
2. Dogs or cats?
Dogs. I know I won’t win any popularity contests with this but, generally speaking, a cat is really a lazy person’s dog.
3. How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Monica from Friends
4. Name 3 things on your bucket list.
I seem to be some kind of a freak of nature: I don’t have a favourite quote nor do I have a bucket list. I think there are so many amazing things to see and do in the world that I’ll just grab whatever is available, rather than actively seek those experiences.
5. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
This is a difficult question. Possibly back in the UK – that is, if they’ll have me back after me having slagged off the Scousers, Geordies, Mancs, Brummies, Londoners, Glaswegians…well pretty much everybody.
6. What languages do you speak? What would you like to learn?
The only languages I can say I ‘speak’ are Finnish and English. I did also study Swedish, German, Spanish and Russian at school but I would not even be able to ask for the direction to the nearest post office in these languages (one of those common phrases most foreign language students seem to be taught that has practically zero real-life function).
Given that we live in Japan, I would like to learn Japanese. Embarrassingly, I only know the rudiments of Japanese. I mean, I would not be able to ask… well, the way to the nearest post office in Japanese. Or more importantly, ask a shop assistant whether they have a bigger size (try 5 sizes bigger!) of a pair of high heels into which I would like to attempt to squeeze my size 6-7 feet.
7. What’s the most courageous thing you’ve ever done in your life?
I think us moving to Japan without knowing anyone in Japan, without speaking the language, without knowing practically anything about Japanese culture, and with only me having a job in Japan rates quite highly on that. I felt very brave and I still do! I feel our move to Japan will still have leverage when I am 80 and telling my grandchildren about their granny’s ‘youth’.
8. Have you ever experienced a culture shock?
Japan is culturally pretty different to England or Finland, which are my points of reference to ‘normality’. But no I don’t think I would call our struggle with adjusting to the Japanese way of life as a ‘shock’.
9. Were you any different a few years ago? How?
Yes, I was very different. I was a Finn who had lived in the UK for many years, was married to a British guy, lived in Brighton (and also Manchester), and had a relatively diverse group of friends. Consequently I thought I was worldly wise and thought I knew how to behave in different situations, and with different people. Well, I can see it now that in that respect I was as clueless as a Japanese person entering a vegan restaurant.
To give you an example of our ‘knowledge’ as to how to behave in some pretty standard situations in Japan see the photo below. The photo is not very clear, but it shows my husband (recently) in a noodle restaurant with his tray pooling with soy sauce. Instead of dipping the noodles in the cup with soy sauce, my husband poured the soy sauce on the noodles to realize that the type of dish he was having is not on a plate but a wooden frame without a bottom. As a result, we again experienced one of those moments when a Japanese person (the waitress) gives us a surprised, awkward smile that can be loosely translated into ‘What the hell were you thinking?’
10. What are your goals for this year?
Learn the etiquette in relation to using soy sauce. Learn more about Japanese culture overall. And learn some Japanese.
11. Who inspires you?
Elizabeth Bennett (Pride and Prejudice). She’s my hero.
The blogs I am nominating:
- Ei kai taas
- Heidi’s little black book
- Piriot’s blog
- From London by Sanna
- 180 päivää ja Osaka
- Love at the Seaside
- Sopivan Ihana
Here are my questions for the blogs above.
- What is your favourite quote?
- If you knew you were going to die tomorrow what would you do today?
- If you could go back in time, how old would you want to be again and why?
- What is a place you would not want to visit?
- Do you have a stereotype of a Finnish person?
- What’s the first image/memory that comes to mind when you think about your childhood.
- A mod con that you would not be able to live without.
- Sport that you do not think is a sport.
- Rice, pasta, or potato?
- Do you believe in aliens?
- If you weren’t born as a human, what animal would you have like to born as? And why?
I look forward to reading your answers to my questions! Cheers.