Two springs past: A haiku

The duck and I have written about our love-hate relationship with spring about a hundred times. Now that we are asked to stay inside we feel our love grow stronger every day, probably because social distancing also includes distancing ourselves from some of the pollen that aggressively swarm around the neighborhood wondering where their former victims have gone… while the duck and I sit at our computer reminiscing about all the sakura we got to see in Tokyo two years ago, when the world was still a little bit less crazy and our main worry was having to interrupt our excursions from time to time to treat our stinging eyes with yet the coolest (literally!) eye drops we’ve ever used. Looking through our collection of photos from a happier spring makes the duck and me feel somewhat nostalgic and weirdly poetic. Today we have finally decided to give in to that poetic itch, took a photo from our  pollen plagued hike up Mount Takao two years ago (here’s a link to that post and video) and let it inspire us to write yet another haiku within a cheesy inspirational quote format like we did last December.
Now let me share with you the duck and my newest piece of fauxetry:

Sparkling pink mountain, scents of blossoms fill the air, and a sudden sneeze.

With this one we tried to add an air of acceptance to those pesky allergies that come with the beauty of spring. I hope that comes across. If not, now you know our intentions, hahaha!
Do you have a favorite season? Please tell us about it (wow, this looks like an elementary school essay prompt. But I’m going with it).

In other news:

Mystery Blogger Award

The amazing Amanda from The Below Average Blog, definitely one of the most entertaining, energetic and enjoyable blogs out there – seriously, check it out! You won’t be dissapointed! – nominated the duck for the Mystery Blogger Award created by Okoto Enigma. Since the duck and I are openly lazy and sometimes have trouble following instructions we’ll at least do part of it and may save the rest for later (this sounds eerily familiar… we’re terrible).

One of the instructions that we can follow is listing three things about ourselves:
1. The duck has a name. But there is only one other person (or maybe two), apart from the duck and me, who knows it.
2. I have a calendar from 2009 hanging above my desk. It doesn’t work for keeping up with holidays, or for January and February, but I don’t care.
3. Last month the duck and I went back to watching one movie every evening. We haven’t missed a single day.

Now let’s get to Amanda’s questions:

What moment of gaming triumph (be it board, video, or, hell, even a physical sport) do you love to tell people about?
Before the duck and I moved to Japan our coworker friends invited us to play the Game of Thrones edition of Risk with them. I had never played Risk before and could look back on exactly one full episode of Game of Thrones that I had watched. So, of course I was in! Unsurprisingly I horribly failed at my Game of Thrones vocabulary, but after a challenging match and with about a pound of chocolate in our tummies, I emerged victorious, and I definitely attribute my triumph to hidden strategy (that may or may not have included a duck whispering instructions in my ear) rather than luck!
A close second is the feeling that I had when I finally got to watch the ending of Final Fantasy VII for the first time after what felt like years of playing this great game.

What is your ideal reading situation in terms of environment?
This one’s easy: Complete quiet, the warm afternoon sun shining in through the window (and maybe a breeze if it’s not spring) and a cup of tea smiling at me from the side table.

What three movies would you recommend to anyone, regardless of their personal taste in film?
(I still remember the day my wonderful friend R. and I spontaneously decided to watch this in the theater. This was probably one of the best decisions I’ve made in my life, haha!)
What We Do in the Shadows
(The duck and I watched this one during a catch-up session with our favorite set of twins and we were shocked at just how good it is! I love recommending this mockumentary to unsuspecting friends and then watching them watch it for the first time. That sounds creepy, and it probably is; you should try it!)
After Life (the 1998 movie directed by Koreeda)
(This one might not be for everyone as it is rather slow. Nonetheless, I still think that everyone should watch this movie because it has such a lovely concept and a style that, inspired by documentary filmmaking, just draws the viewer in. In my opinion, at least.)

What aspects of a series (book, comic, or television) make you want to binge it?
A series needs to have a certain quality to it that allows us to forget that we’re actually reading a book or watching a show. The duck and I both don’t know what exactly creates this, but I suppose it’s a mixture of:
1. A world that we find fascinating and believable.
2. Three-dimensional characters that we can be invested in.
3. Something else that takes us from appreciating an objectively good story to being fully immersed in it. I can’t exactly pinpoint what it is; it just needs to be there. Sometimes it is a scene that somehow resonates with us, sometimes it’s the writing style in a book that we find comfortable, sometimes it’s a storyteller that we can identify with, sometimes it’s something completely different.

Why did you start writing and maintaining a blog?
When the duck and I moved to Japan we decided that a blog would be the perfect space to document some of the things that we encountered there. We thought that that would make us more perceptive (which worked out splendidly, when I remember the many times I sat on a train just writing down observations). Also, we wanted to avoid having to tell everyone individually just how confusing trash sorting is in Tokyo. These days it’s more of a ‘forcing ourselves to go out more or, at least, be more creative or productive’ kind of thing that makes us maintain this blog.

Thank you again, Amanda, for nominating us. It’s always fun to try and put into words what we think about certain topics (though we often seem to fail at that, or use too many words. Whoops).
If we have more energy later on (and don’t forget) we’ll try to come up with our own questions and nominations. Until then –

Happy spring!

The duck and I

Now we’ll get back to chanting our haiku while we re-watch the odd video we created out of the shaky, partly over-exposed shots from our climb up Mt. Takao two years ago:

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