My dog sells hats in Shibuya

In Japanese, this sentence looks a little bit like this: 私の犬は渋谷で帽子を売ります。”Why on earth would anyone need this sentence?”, you may ask yourself. Well, Duolingo says that this is a very important sentence to know. Apparently, the subject of hat-selling dogs is pretty common in Japan – according to the duck, at least; if ducks are adventurous travelers (well, the past few weeks did not look very adventurous, duck, just sayin’) why should dogs not be talented hat salesmen dogs?

Duck-35Why not? Let’s just roll with it and dedicate this little post to the art of Japanese language learning, or rather, the hardships I face when I try to speak Japanese because I am definitely not an artist when it comes to attempting to learn this beautiful language. In order to illustrate my bumpy journey right out of Hobbiton – because that’s how far I’ve come on my quest to destroy my inability to have conversations in Japanese – let me tell you one of two stories:

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The duck and I are going on a spree: S-H-O-P-P-I-N-G!

The duck and I love shopping for groceries (maybe even a little too much, but to each their own, right?), and grocery shopping in Japan is no exception. Once we have managed to get our lazy behinds out of the house (and mentally prepared ourselves for a journey beyond the extensions of our home that are Konbini), there is no stopping us!
Let’s go back a few weeks. We had just moved into our new place and were excited to fill that empty refrigerator of ours. So, we quickly compiled a shopping list (= we added one more item to the list that we had started before even moving in – that’s how much we love grocery shopping), memorized the way to a more or less nearby grocery store, and set off on our first grocery shopping adventure – dreaming of bags filled with beautiful and nutritious food.

grocery duck

And we did return with something that would at least guarantee us to not starve for the next few hours. But shopping for proper food in Japan (for the first time) turned out to be quite a bit of a challenge. Let me explain why:

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