I noticed that when I got back people were different towards me. It was a subtle difference, but I definitely noticed it. It feels like they've finally gotten comfortable around be. When I first got there, if I sat on a bench outside a classroom, waiting for class to start, people would always leave like a courtesy bubble around me, maybe room for 2 people on either side of me. Well now that bubble has disappeared. Also I had people save me a seat next to them in a class they knew we had in common. At lunchtime I was finding more places to sit, and siting next to people who don't talk to me, stopped feeling so awkward. or I'll be in a group of girls and there all talking, and then some of them will try to fill me in, but she wont know one word in English so she'll ask "Mikä on (/&)/% englandiksi?" And she'll ask everyone in the crowed, and the shout it over to the next cluster of people until someone knows this word. And sometimes I know the word she's looking for in English. That always draws a gasp. :O She can speak Finnish :O!
Once when my biology partner was absent one girl, who I had never talked to before, called my name, startling me half to death and asked if I wanted to sit next to her for that class. Another time when a classmate was trying to explain something to me some guy cut in saying " hey Janaki its like this...." I never realized that everyone knows my name. i guess its because they don't use it, but I just never realized it.
Outside of school things were going well also. One Sunday we organized a 'pikkujoulu' a little Christmas party at a friend of mines apartment. She is a vegetarian, and she invited her other vegetarian friend over. The both go to the Lukio in the center of the city, and they're in the advanced program there, so all their classes are taught in English. We also invited the rest of the exchange student as well as some of more friends. We met at a grocery store in town and bought a whole bunch of ingredients.it reminded my of our summer picnics back home. We must have looked odd, trying to come up with some sort of vegetarian meal. Describing the foods as best we could. The japanese girl suggested tempura vegetables, I was the only other person who knew what she was talking about. We also bought some tofu, white bread and rip off nutella (the french boy's contribution) We went back to the apartment and cooked up a storm. It was great, until one of the Finnish guys dipped the tempura tofu in the nutella instead of the soy sauce.Gross! He said it was good but whatever, boys will be boys, whatever nationality.