Forming habits

The duck and I had to sleep a bit before we continued our thoughts from last week. But now that we’re somewhat awake (being fully awake is never a state the duck and I find ourselves in, no matter how long we sleep), it’s time to think about New Year’s resolutions some more. See, we actually do believe in the saying that 30 days of doing something forms a habit. That has proven true for us in a few instances. Nowhere do they tell you, though, that it takes just a few hours to break a new habit completely. I don’t even know how many times the duck and I have told ourselves that we should eat healthier (meaning: not snacking on pretzels and chocolate all the time) and exercise a bit more. We have gotten close to meeting this 30 day threshold quite a few times (well, we actually don’t believe that it takes 30 days per se. For us something along the lines of ‘a while’ works). But then a stressful moment came and we just had to buy this bag of pretzels and 15 chocolate bars to go with it. And, weirdly, whenever we get rather serious about exercise we get pretty sick (the last time the duck and I went to the gym on a regular basis for about two weeks I ended up having a 2 months-long cold). This is why our resolutions for this year are so *ahem* easy.

Duolingo Duck

However, there is one (rather useless) habit the duck and I have kept up for far more than 30 days: studying a language every day (we are rather proud of our 1338 day streak on Duolingo that we started on one of those days we were home sick after going to the gym). This is what brought you such gems as: My dog sells hats. I’ll include the video (again) at the end of this post, just because our dog’s story is so inspirational that it needs to be shared, especially in the beginning of the year: Continue reading


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!

(T)rainy days

After our celebration of spring earlier this week the weather thought that it’d be hilarious to punish us for our optimism by presenting Tokyo with lots of rain and even snow(!) in the past few days. Even though the duck and I usually only like rain when we don’t have to leave the house, sitting on a train (right now), watching and listening to the constant patter of curious raindrops against the wide windows does have its charm and is inspiring us to assemble our favorite train observations from the past few months while we’re sipping at our imaginary cup of hot matcha latte. Today, I thought I’d share some of them with you – only in text form because I’m not that much of a creep that I take photos of random people (well, I do take pictures of their shoes sometimes) – but first, feast your eyes on yet another duck train selfie, this time with a rainy spring backdrop (which also serves as the general theme for today’s snapshots)!

Spring Station Duck

Because rainy weather turns me into a low-key romantic (add the duck and my love for train rides and you have a huge pile of cheese), please proceed at your own risk:

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No, the title does not come from sweating. I think. But, the more I think about it, it could…
See, now that we’re in the middle of winter, it’s freakishly cold outside most of the time. But that does not always hold true for your average train journey. Of course, if you are standing right at the doors you should prepare yourself for a metaphorical army of snowmen vigorously attacking you for the duration of the train’s halt at each station. If you have managed to snatch a seat, however, and the train is so crowded that you begin to literally see yourself and the other passengers as sardines in a mobile can – first of all, congratulations! You got a seat! Second of all – you’ll soon feel like a sardine that has been cooked to its buttery perfection because the heaters on the train outdo themselves in attempting to counteract the cold from outside.
As a result you will usually find yourself weighing your options: dressing lightly and freezing on the way to and at the train station (good if you spend more time on the train than outside) or wrapping yourself up and feeling toasty warm outside but like a burning toast on the train (good if you’re going to walk around outside a lot and if the trains are not too crowded so that you could potentially take off your outer layer and ignore the weirded out stares that you might get). What shall it be?

Warm duck

Anyway, that’s not what the title is alluding to. Instead, this post is all about the duck and my on-train entertainment:

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Stalking people in Hikarigaoka

Some weeks ago the duck and I were in Hikarigaoka and decided to go people watching there. We did not come to any conclusions but we made a video about our little journey and discoveries. After failing again to please our self-proclaimed top video music critic in our Shibuya to Shinjuku journey documentation (apparently the track is featured in every other video on Youtube) I decided to, instead, take on a good friend’s constructive criticism and give the whole video thing (yet) a(nother) makeover. What do you think?

The camera work is shakier than ever which I think gives our videos a charming touch of incapability, don’t you think?

Anyway, after having spent way too much time on narrating and editing this little collection of moving images, I’ll have my imported Sainsbury’s lemon ginger tea now and then I will not give the duck a back massage (where do all of those crazy ideas come from, duck?!).

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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