Duck Walk

Okay, now I’ve seen everything. I keep saying this to myself here in Tokyo as I see incomprehensible happenings and think that I will never see anything stranger than that and then something else walks by and I have to change my mind again. I have had to change my mind a lot here in Japan. For example, it is apparently perfectly normal for someone to take a walk through the park… backwards. Yes, they walk backwards for quite some distance and I have never seen them turn around. I am assuming that this practice must exercise different muscle groups and is beneficial in some way. I assumed at first that they were just doing it to confuse me; same reason they don’t name their streets. I can’t give my friends directions to my house here in Japan, so no one ever comes over. Just as well. They would never figure out how to flush our toilet.
But I have seen backwards walkers enough now, that I realize, here in Japan, this is normal behavior. The backwards walkers even take their dogs with them. The dogs walk forward, of course, and their owners walk backwards. I don’t know what the dogs think of this, but dogs put up with a lot of strange behavior, I’ve noticed. I want to take a video of a backwards walker with their dog and then play the clip backwards. That would be interesting. I wonder if I could get Bjorn to walk backwards?
But that is not what made my jaw drop this morning. Since moving here, I have seen dogs in strollers, cats on leashes, dogs in baby carriers, all sorts of animals wearing humiliating outfits of one kind or another, but this morning was the first time that I have ever seen a couple taking their duck to the park for some exercise. I didn’t see the waddle-in-the-park part of this excursion; I saw the trip home. A young couple, crossing the street, coming home from the park, carrying their pet duck. And they did not have it tucked under one arm as you might suppose someone would carry a duck. No. The poor creature was up on the man’s shoulder, on its back, with its big orange feet pointing forward and waving helplessly in the air. Its head was up, looking down the length of its white, feathered belly towards its feet. It is the first time in my life that I have felt embarrassed for a duck. What’s worse, it appeared that the duck was used to this treatment and that this was the way, of course, that one always came home from the park. So, I will say it again. NOW I have seen everything.

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