Our first fan

The duck and I bought our first fan two summers ago when we felt that we really couldn’t go on without one. Let me clarify: I’m writing about an electric floor fan – we would never buy an admirer (we’re way too stingy for that), and I don’t remember when I bought my first hand fan. Until that summer, we had always been lucky to live in places with surprisingly well-stocked basements or storage rooms. So that there was always a fan somewhere if we needed one. But that time, we searched in vain.
Houses with built-in air conditioning are rare in Germany; even though it can get hot in summer, days with temperatures above 28°C/82°F are few and far between. However, there are such things as heat waves, like the one in 2019 that brought temperatures above 40°C/104°F – three days in a row. Imagine going through that without an AC unit or even a simple floor fan that can redirect any little breeze that may find its way into the room straight to you (though fans are a terrible AC replacement. But that’s not the point here)! Pair that with a weirdly insulated bedroom that’s comfortably warm in winter and unbearably so in summer, and you get the immersive experience of being a butter cookie in the oven – waiting for your edges to turn golden. This is why, that summer, the duck and I  threw all our reservations overboard and invested in an affordable floor fan. We usually avoid buying bulky items because it’s a hassle to deal with them when we have to move, but if the alternative is possibly waking up baked to a crisp one day, the decision is easy.fan duckNow, two years later, the duck and I have to yet regret this investment; we’ve already used our first fan this year (I even tried to clean it for the first time last week in hopes of ridding it of that dusty smell it must have acquired standing around unused for so long), and the duck has found a new hobby in latching on to the vent grille and instructing me to increase the ventilation speed step by step (so weird).
Still, I wouldn’t mind living with proper air conditioning again (sorry, environment!). That’s why the duck and my next move will hopefully be to a place that is so warm that air conditioning is a fixture, or so cold that we can just burn all our summer clothes and bows for a toasty fire (if there is no toasty toilet seat around).
Actually, the more I think about it, moderate temperatures all year round might be the most comfortable and environmentally friendly option… we’ll see.

What’s summer like in your area? Do you have air conditioning?

Death of an umbrella

Earlier this week, while the duck and I were walking to the station through the rain with a friend, protected by our awesome constellation print umbrella, the conversation steered toward the topic of umbrella prices and shopping sprees in Japan. As some of you might be aware, the duck and I love our shopping sprees to revolve around groceries (yum!). But when we were asked about our first non-food purchase in Japan it occurred to us that that had, indeed, been our 200 yen Daiso umbrella that we bought when it wasn’t even raining (because we’re pragmatic and boring like that). This umbrella has since been our faithful companion wherever we went… until yesterday that is. When, sadly, umbrella broke an arm and thus cannot fulfill its purpose anymore.

Umbrella Duck

Bye, bye, umbrella – it was nice spending our first few Tokyo weeks together – you’ll be missed! This recent loss and the resulting umbrella-less walk through the drizzle this morning inspired me to write about a few rain-related observations (that the duck and I conveniently tend to forget about… until the very moment it starts to rain): Continue reading