I think my idea of talking about different souvenirs and different cultures worked quite well. In all of the groups we seemed to run out of time because people had so much to say, and especially on Tuesday we barely got through everybody's souvenirs. I think we all got some new information on different sights as well as good tips concerning these places. Also some cultural aspects came up; for instance, two ladies have both visited Jordan, and we talked a bit about some things a western (female) tourist must be aware of when travelling there. On Monday we learnt a lot about the Americans and the American culture, because one of the participants in that group lived in the USA for some time. He was able to reflect some aspects about the country and its people through a Finn's eyes, and I think we all found it interesting to listen to. It was also very intriguing to hear about some other places as well, because some people have visited quite exotic places or places few people get to go to. For example, one person was allowed to visit a monastery which is usually not open for everyone. In order to get a visit, you'll have to have recommendations on your behalf, and even if you do, you still might not get to visit the place because the number of foreigners per group is strictly regulated.
Next week we are going to talk about weddings, and memories concerning them. I've asked people to think about stories of memorable weddings; wonderful or terrible. We might also watch some photographs, who knows. The reason I came up with this idea is that I'm actually having my 10th wedding anniversary with my husband next week. We intend to celebrate the occasion, and therefore weddings and anniversaries are on my mind pretty much right now. It's nice to look back to my own wedding, and it will be interesting to hear what kinds of wedding memories people have in our discussion groups!