Drugstore discoveries

If you’ve been following us for a while you might be aware of how much the duck and I like talking and writing about food and grocery shopping, our favorite kind of shopping! In Japan our #1 place of wonder and excitement were Konbinis (yes, all of them. Collectively). We were so amazed by them that we wrote them a sonnet once. Now that we live in Berlin and have realized that pining for our beloved Japanese convenience stores daily is not healthy, we have decided that it is time to appoint a #2 to be pining for when we move to another country yet again: German drugstores! dm duckLook, here is the duck posing with a Berlin-exclusive bottle of shower gel we got at our local drugstore (that is only a brisk 20-minute walk away from our bed). Beautiful! The most beautiful thing about the duck and my favorite drugstore, however, is the selection of affordable packaged organic food (the material of some of our more prominent daydreams in Japan) and the cute little design elements you can find throughout the store. During our most recent trip we made use of my phone camera and snapped a few of our favorite things, products and design elements alike. Let us now take you along on a little stroll through our #2 place of wonder and excitement: Continue reading

Gallery

Gourds of Halloween Past

Two years ago the duck and I composed a totally original song about Tokyo Halloween and illustrated it with some shaky pictures we got off our phone. Last year around this time, after we had remembered to finally post the video diary of those two days in spring we had spent casually strolling around Akita, we were getting ready to build a cozy pillow fort to hibernate in. But, before that, we did participate in a nice season-appropriate activity and even have some not-phone-photos to prove it! Let’s go back 52-ish weeks:
The duck and I spent most of our time chilling (in the sense of idling, relaxing… though, I bet we were also cold, because we always are) on a comfy sofa in Louisville, Kentucky, watching lots of movies and TV shows, playing video games, and catching up with one of our favorite people. Feeling kind of guilty for not going out much, our friend suggested we check out the Louisville Jack O’Lantern Spectacular – and we did.
Even though our trusty camera’s battery died about half-way through the approximately 500m long track that was lined with carved pumpkins left and right and featured some of our favorite movie soundtracks, we did manage to snap a few nice pictures of our favorite designs. Because today is Halloween, here is a little gallery of the scarier themed ones we liked (and managed to take not-so-shaky photos of):

 

This year’s Jack O’Lantern Spectacular is still on until next Sunday, so, if you’re in the area (and for some weird reason were unaware of it), we recommend checking it out.
What are your favorite Halloween pastimes (regular or one-off)?

Have a spooky Halloween, wherever you are!

The d…raaaaaculaaaah

Tea

The duck and I LOVE tea, and by that I mean the wet kind you can drink from a mug (we’re terrible at gossiping). When we were living in Japan we fell in love with the green tea varieties you could buy there, so much that when our lovely friend C asked us if there’s anything she could send us from Japan, we responded by sending her a photo of a green tea pouch. Nothing else. We’re those people.Tea phone We miss being able to buy bottled green tea from the vending machine around the corner even though, cheap as we are, we usually got some at the supermarket at a much better price. Last summer when the duck and I were suffering in our hot (and not yet super beautiful) Berlin bedroom we spent hours browsing all kinds of shopping sites for a nice big thermos so that we could steep our imported tea in the evening, chill it down in the refrigerator overnight, and fill it up to go the next morning. Our laziness and stinginess were stronger. Instead, we made do with drinking our Japanese green tea hot out of a mug, like normal Europeans.
We also knew that if we didn’t ration our 100 green tea bags, we would drink them within a month. So the duck and I had to look at other tea options and that reminded us of the one thing we were not so happy with in Japan: the selection of non-Japanese tea and the crazy prices for the few varieties the grocery stores did carry (I mean 250 yen for 10 bags? Who has that kind of money?!)! But now that we’re living in Berlin (baby), we buy all the non-Japanese tea we want and nobody can stop us!

Tea duck

It’s actually gotten to a point where 90% of our daily water intake is through tea and when new friends and acquaintances are asked to name our cult or design a casket for us you bet it’s tea-related! Actually, the duck and I recently found a picture of a portrait that our former flatmate had drawn on our door: me with my hoodie on (I’m always cold, man) sipping tea from my personal mug.
Even though the duck and my appreciation for tea goes way back, we have recently noticed that we have, indeed, gone through a few tea phases. And, because we’re no monsters, we’re happy to share our most recent teanalasys with you: Continue reading

100 memories

Soooo, this seems to be the duck and my 100th post (say what?!). First of all, we’d like to thank our approximately 5 unique readers (mom, thanks for the jam – it’s delicious)!
Looking back at the past few months of insane laziness, it’s kind of hard to believe that we actually wrote so much nonsense and even finished a video we never thought would see the light of day.
To properly celebrate this milestone, the duck and I thought that we should probably further decorate our bedroom so that it is truly worthy of the new royalty that resides within it – with a little photo wall that looks back on those past 2+ years (or, more precisely, the time we spent in Japan when we still managed to post on a fairly regular basis and took quite a few photos more than we do these days)! And, if you like, with our perfect step-by-step guide you can create your very own photo wall that celebrates the duck and my exploits!

Walldrobe Duck

To craft this thing that has truly never been done before, the duck and I didn’t need much:

  • four small hooks that we ordered online for exactly this purpose
  • wool that we found at the bottom of one of our drawers – of course that pretty dark grey would have been our first choice, anyway!
  • a few clothespins that have shrunk in the wash (paper clips are an acceptable alternative)
  • our beautiful photographs that you can get, too, by taking screenshots and removing the watermarks (just kidding, please don’t ever steal someone else’s art!)

Wow! It’s so easy! Let’s craft: Continue reading

Video

My dog sells hats 2.0

We finally did it, you guys! The duck and I finally finished the second dog story that we may have mentioned waaay back when we first stumbled across our favorite Duolingo sentence (to this day): 私の犬は帽子を売ります。My dog sells hats. After months of lazing around drawing furiously, we finally gave up on finished the visual representation of the story about our hat-selling dog. Enjoy!

Actually, it took the duck and me so long to work on this that we are not even sure that this gem of a sentence even still exists on Duolingo. But we sure hope so, as within it lies a great potential to save lives (or at least to brighten up someone’s day)!
That shall be it for our 99th post. We’ll sleep for at least 99 days now!

Duck, dog and me – OUT!

Snail Mail

Do you remember how in love the duck and I were with Japan Post and how they redeliver your missed parcel to a location and within a time slot of your choosing (even more than once, if you are a complete failure)? Well, the same can’t be said for our experiences with the German equivalent, unfortunately.
See, the duck and I are huge fans of old-fashioned mail (but not telegrams – they were such a hassle back in our childhood days). There’s almost nothing that beats a nice little postcard or a cute personal letter; they just have so much more character than a conversation on your favorite messaging app, and last much longer than a video chat. That is why the duck and I used our first visit to a Berlin post office earlier this year to grab a couple of those ten-packs of self-adhesive stamps (because you never know when you’ll have a sudden urge to send a postcard but are too lazy to go to the nearest post office to buy a single stamp – also, how dare those stupid water-activated pieces of paper call themselves stamps?!).
stamp duck
Doesn’t the duck look happy with all those stamps? Well, we both were! Did I mention how much the duck and I love mail? This year, however, Deutsche Post has tried very hard to shake our belief in snail mail:
Continue reading

Gallery

Teufelsberg

Last month the duck and I went to the movies (for the first time this year… whoopsies)! As the room went dark and the curtains opened, we were thrown into the world of Cleo – and for the next hour or so we accompanied her on a mysterious adventure on the trail of the brothers Sass and the exploits from their infamous 1929 bank robbery, that are believed to be buried in Berlin’s Grunewald forest.
*SPOILERS AHEAD* In the movie Cleo ends up looking for the treasure on Teufelsberg, ‘the Devil’s mountain’, that, as the film’s narrator explains, used to be an unfinished Nazi university building, that then, after World War II, was turned into a rubble hill. During the Cold War it was even chosen to become the site of an NSA listening station!
These days, if you leave some of your money at the entrance, you can explore the area that now features lots of urban art paired with a healthy portion of adrenaline, as you just might end up in an unmarked water basin, or flat on the ground, with a fallen brick on your head. Well, we were asked to sign a waiver at the entrance, just in case. We also had to promise that we would leave our camera friend in our bag (because there’s no way we’re paying an extra 10 Euros just to take higher quality photos… of our impending death) and, thus, resorted to using our terrible phone camera – that has an impractical tendency to overexpose pretty much anything.
After all that fearful exploring the duck and I now proudly present to you some of the usable photos we took during our Teufelsberg adventure:

You might ask yourselves why we didn’t just grab our real camera the moment we had vanished from the sight of the guy at the ticket counter. Well, the duck and I pride ourselves on being honorable citizens of Berlin, and we’re just waaay too scared of being caught doing something that we shouldn’t. Maybe we should work on our audacity, though. I heard that can bring you places! Let’s spend the rest of the month pondering on this, shall we, duck?

Did you know about the history of Teufelsberg? And are you less of a chicken when it comes to breaking the rules? What places are on your Berlin itinerary?

The duck and I will go back to pecking oats now… bok bok b’gawk!