The Manila Tales –A Summer-ish Series Conclusion Update

WORDS WORDS WORDS
Post Reply
User avatar
Hoitash
Posts: 1345
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2012 8:22 pm
Location: Holy Terra
Contact:

Re: The Manila Tales –A Summer-ish Series (Updated 6/26)

Post by Hoitash » Sun Jun 29, 2014 12:20 pm

SpcPotshot wrote:
Hoitash wrote:
Insert preferred road trip music of your choice here. I’m gonna go get noodles. And maybe some duck. Or a pizza….
Or maybe duck pizza?

I've had duck tacos at this place in Bismarck. Pretty good, if a bit pricey.
Well, they put chicken on a pizza, so sure, why not?

Steak's good, too. Especially if you replace the tomato sauce with steak sauce.

Pizza: the miracle food of toppings. Except Hawaiian pizza; that just ain't right.
"Who are you, that do not know your history?" -Ulysses
Misha Time: United States of Misha Meet the Hakamichis
Awesome, served on the rocks: Hisao and Kenji- Master Detectives! (Check out the Archive for more!)
I wrote a book! Brythain edited it! If you like mystery and history please consider: A Sister's Habit
"You are absolutely insane. And entertaining." -griffon8

User avatar
Hoitash
Posts: 1345
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2012 8:22 pm
Location: Holy Terra
Contact:

Re: The Manila Tales –A Summer-ish Series (Updated 7/03)

Post by Hoitash » Thu Jul 03, 2014 10:45 am

“The graves of the warriors who have given their lives for the Emperor now outnumber the stars themselves.” –Imperial Thought for the Day

Previous Chapter

Chapter Six: The Teacher’s Tale


I never did throw up, and I had a great time riding around with Mrs. Nakai, once I managed to suppress the constant terror from hurtling around the city. The scope and size of Manila made me nervous, with its massive throngs of people going to and fro, traffic thick with cars and bicycles, towering skyscrapers mixed with ancient buildings of brick and stone that had seen the rise and fall of entire Empires. Somehow we managed to skirt the worse of it all, taking less-travelled roads and visiting older shops that probably saw more locals than tourists.

Mrs. Nakai knew what she was talking about regarding our next destinations, too. She insisted on buying me a helmet and jacket, so I picked out a vinyl, navy blue matching pair.

As for the bookstore, once I had spent some time enjoying the dust and smell of old books, the two of us spent what seemed like hours searching the haphazard shelves and piles, while the tired old owner seemed stunned silent by the presence of actual customers. Mrs. Nakai had found a couple first edition books she had apparently been looking for, and I found a copy of The Canterbury Tales in Middle English, which I had been looking for ever since my English teacher had brought it up.

When in the bookstore I remarked that I should get Maiko a present, Mrs. Nakai asked what she might like, and when I told her –a signed copy of one of her books- Mrs. Nakai took us to a regular bookstore to get just that. That meant hurling ourselves into regular traffic again, but I was starting to get used to it, although I did worry I might bruise Mrs. Nakai if I held on too tightly to her.

After our shopping trips, we met with the rest of the group at the planned meeting point. Like I had told Mrs. Hanako, I was used to pizza because of Kenji, and the food itself was pretty good. While we were there, I told Akio I had had to borrow his jacket and helmet and thanked him for their use, which seemed to fluster him a bit, for some reason. After dinner, we wandered around town a for a little while to help plan for the next day, before heading back to the suite.

When we got back, Satomi and Refia went to our room to watch TV, Mrs. Nakai was playing chess with Akio, Miya and Kenji were in the kitchen fiddling with Miya’s tablet while Hisato watched, and Mr. Nakai was in the bedroom, though he didn’t stay there for long. Once the sun was truly set and the stars out, Mr. Nakai emerged from the bedroom with a large rectangular case, which he took with him to the balcony.

Having spent the day with Mrs. Nakai, and having not spent really any time at all with her husband, I figured I should do exactly that. Although a bit apprehensive about bothering him, I nonetheless knocked on the sliding window-door to the balcony and opened it a crack.

“Um, is it alright if I come out?” I asked.

“Of course,” Mr. Nakai replied.

“Thank you,” I said, and stepped out onto the balcony.

It was still humid but not quite as hot, which was nice. Mr. Nakai was sitting on the balcony floor, the case opened next to him as he started assembling a large, black telescope. A book was opened and pinned under one foot, revealing what looked like a star chart. A mosquito coil was slowly burning away in the left corner, and Mr. Nakai himself smelled faintly of bug spray. For reasons I’d rather not think about, mosquitoes always left me alone.

Now outside, I faced the awkward position of having no idea what to say, so I settled on the painfully obvious, “Is that a telescope?”

Mr. Nakai looked up at me from his work, smiled, and nodded, “Yeah, astronomy is a hobby of mine, and we’re far enough from the city I can get some decent stargazing in –it helps that the smog tends to block out the lights.”

Mr. Nakai looked up, as if to confirm his previous statement. I looked up for a minute and was immediately overcome by unease; the sky was clear, starry, and disturbingly open. I looked back down at Mr. Nakai, who was now setting up a tripod.

“…Why astronomy, if I may ask? Is it a work thing?”

Still fiddling with the equipment, he replied, “Not really work related. It was actually –why don’t you have a seat?”

“Sorry,” I muttered and immediately sat where I was standing, scooting to the side a bit so I wasn’t blocking the door.

“It was actually my grandfather who got me interested in astronomy,” Mr. Nakai said, continuing as if he hadn’t paused, “We would sit out at night together, and he would always be looking up and pointing out constellations, telling me the stories behind them, explaining how they changed depending on the season… Do you ever look up at them?”

I shook my head, “Open spaces make me nervous.”

“Understandable,” he declared. Glancing at me, he looked up at the sky for a moment before resuming his work, “Anyway, you tend to get philosophical looking up at our narrow view of the universe a lot, and my grandfather was no exception. One of the things he said, which never really made sense to me until I went to Yamaku, was… how did he put it?” Mr. Nakai paused and looked off into space; the expression of the academic with a wandering thread of thought he was determined to rein in, “That’s right; he would say ‘some people look up at the stars, see how vast the universe is, and become overwhelmed with their own insignificance. Others see that vastness as a challenge to prove how great they can truly be.’”

I smirked and remarked, “That sounds like something Mutou-sensei would say.”

Mr. Nakai turned to me and smirked, “It does, in a layman’s sort of way. Speaking of Mutou, what do you think of him?”

“Well…” I started, caught off guard by the question, “…he definitely knows his subject, and you can tell he’s really into it… the science club members really like him, but…”

“He’s a little scattered and awkward?” Mr. Nakai supplied.

I nodded, “He has high standards, too, and I hate letting him down, but… I’m really more of a humanities type of person.”

Mr. Nakai chuckled, “Some things never change. Regardless of your preferred subject, he’s a good teacher and a good man. I sometimes wonder if his talents are wasted as a teacher, but, he always knew how to handle the students –he was my homeroom teacher, back in the day.

“Sorry, we seem to have gone off tangent a bit. As I was saying before I so rudely interrupted myself, I’d stargaze with my grandfather, and after he died, I kept at it. He never used a telescope, but I’ve found them to be rather handy,” Mr. Nakai glanced at the now assembled device, lost in some thought or other. Sighing wistfully, he continued, “after my heart attack, I spent a long time in the hospital, and someone had stuck some glow-in-the dark stars on the ceiling of my room. They and the books helped me get through that time. Kinda fitting, really -my grandfather always said looking up at the stars at night was the only thing that kept him sane during the war.”

“…The war?”

“He was a radar operator who was good at ducking. He told me that’s where he got his love for the stars, as he called it. But enough lecturing for today,” Mr. Nakai declared, scooting a bit back from the telescope as he added, “Wanna take a look? Space looks a lot smaller through a lens.”

“Um… okay,” I said, and scooted over to the telescope.

“When is your birthday, if I may ask?” Mr. Nakai asked, flipping idly through the book he had.

“Um, March 8,” I did have a life before Them, after all.

“Okay, so you’d be a… Aquarius, then. Hmm,” he flipped through the book a bit more as he mused, “Not usually visible this time of year, but we might be able to find Sadalsuud, or maybe Sadalmelik….”

After skimming over a few more pages, Mr. Nakai showed me how to adjust the telescope, and had me guide it to whatever spot he had chosen. He had been right about space seeming smaller through the lens; the vast openness of space seemed less intimidating when you could only look at a small part of it. It also seemed to make the stars more special, since you could only see a few of them at a time. Normally they’re all vying for a viewer’s attention, but through the lens only a few of them can be seen, some trying to outshine their fellows, while others contentedly shine on through the silent void of space.

Mr. Nakai seemed to enjoy having a student in something that he didn’t have to grade, too. While we looked up at the expanse of space, he explained the history of various constellations and stars, early astronomers, and the occasional random tangent when something he said reminded him about something else.

Finally tearing myself away from the lens so Mr. Nakai could have a look, I turned to see him smiling and looking up. Noticing my movement, he remarked, “Beautiful up there, isn’t it?”

I nodded, “It is. It’s seems so quiet and peaceful.”

Mr. Nakai chuckled, “It does from down here, with a simple enough telescope. But space is far from peaceful. Over the span of eons it forms and destroys itself –planets forming and crumbling, entire galaxies colliding… even the stars themselves burn out. Some of the stars we looked at tonight are already dead, their remaining light the last vestige of their existence. Some become black holes and form new stars, and the whole thing starts over again.”

I glanced up at the night for a moment, “Sounds dangerous.”

Mr. Nakai’s smile faltered, replaced by an odd haunted look I was more used to seeing in the mirror, “Yes, it is,” sighing heavily, he smiled again and gently pat my head, “but from the sidelines down here, even the destruction looks beautiful. The beauty in the bellow of the blast, as Lilly –Mrs. Williams- might say.”

I raised an eyebrow at the remark before glancing down at my watch. I had been out on the balcony a while, and if I wanted to get up early enough to hit the pool before we headed out for the day, I needed to get to bed soon.

“Thank you for letting me look,” I said, “but I should go to bed.”

Mr. Nakai looked down at his own watch, “Hmm, so should I –got an early jog in the morning. So does Akio, so I hope he went to bed. Speaking of, make sure Satomi and Refia are asleep, could you?”

“I will,” I replied, standing up and turning toward the door. I looked back at Mr. Nakai as he started using the telescope himself, rather than go to bed. Like teacher, like student, I guess.

When I reached the door Mr. Nakai called to me, so I turned on my heel, “Yes?”

With one eye in the lens and the other on the book he was holding in his left hand, Mr. Nakai said, “I know Hana already did, but thank you for looking after Refia last night. You made the right call, and don’t forget if you have, well, trouble sleeping, Hanako knows a thing or two about that.”

I nodded even though he couldn’t see, “You’re welcome, and I’ll keep that in mind, Si-er, Uncle Hisao.”

Mr. Nakai smiled and nodded absently, the allure of space already taking up most of his attention. I took one last brief glance skyward, before opening the door and stepping back inside.

+++
Next Chapter

Did someone ask for some Gilbert and Sullivan?

I believe the glow-in-the-dark stars were mentioned in Rin’s route, but I might be imagining them altogether. It’s been a while, and my brain is a jumbled mess of ramen and anime references. And pizza. And booze (which is apparently screwing with my blood protein levels. Oops.)

I imagine Hisao’s teaching style is probably a mix of his own level-headedness, and Mutou’s bluntness and absentmindedness. Because when you go through enough schooling to be put in charge of other human beings, you tend to go nuts along the way (and if not, the little snots will do the job just fine.)
Last edited by Hoitash on Thu Jul 10, 2014 10:48 am, edited 3 times in total.
"Who are you, that do not know your history?" -Ulysses
Misha Time: United States of Misha Meet the Hakamichis
Awesome, served on the rocks: Hisao and Kenji- Master Detectives! (Check out the Archive for more!)
I wrote a book! Brythain edited it! If you like mystery and history please consider: A Sister's Habit
"You are absolutely insane. And entertaining." -griffon8

User avatar
Mirage_GSM
Posts: 5869
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2010 2:24 am
Location: Germany

Re: The Manila Tales –A Summer-ish Series (Updated 7/03)

Post by Mirage_GSM » Fri Jul 04, 2014 8:32 am

“Um, March 8,” I did have a life before Them, after all.

“Okay, so you’d be a… Pisces, then. Hmm,”
Come on, Hisao is a scientist (i.e. an astronomer rather than an astrologer). He would know that she's an Aquarius.
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

My collected KS-Fan Fictions: Mirage's Myths
griffon8 wrote:Kosher, just because sex is your answer to everything doesn't mean that sex is the answer to everything.
Sore wa himitsu desu.

User avatar
Hoitash
Posts: 1345
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2012 8:22 pm
Location: Holy Terra
Contact:

Re: The Manila Tales –A Summer-ish Series (Updated 7/03)

Post by Hoitash » Fri Jul 04, 2014 9:32 am

Mirage_GSM wrote:
“Um, March 8,” I did have a life before Them, after all.

“Okay, so you’d be a… Pisces, then. Hmm,”
Come on, Hisao is a scientist (i.e. an astronomer rather than an astrologer). He would know that she's an Aquarius.
Crap, I forgot about them adjusting everything. I used to be a Pisces myself, and now I'm an Aquarius.

Thanks, and fixed.
"Who are you, that do not know your history?" -Ulysses
Misha Time: United States of Misha Meet the Hakamichis
Awesome, served on the rocks: Hisao and Kenji- Master Detectives! (Check out the Archive for more!)
I wrote a book! Brythain edited it! If you like mystery and history please consider: A Sister's Habit
"You are absolutely insane. And entertaining." -griffon8

User avatar
Minion of Chaos
Posts: 69
Joined: Mon Jul 29, 2013 3:04 pm

Re: The Manila Tales –A Summer-ish Series (Updated 7/03)

Post by Minion of Chaos » Sun Jul 06, 2014 11:58 am

Mirage_GSM wrote:
“Um, March 8,” I did have a life before Them, after all.

“Okay, so you’d be a… Pisces, then. Hmm,”
Come on, Hisao is a scientist (i.e. an astronomer rather than an astrologer). He would know that she's an Aquarius.
Not to start an astrology (completely pseudo-science) argument, but Pisces (Feb 19-March 20) was originally correct for a birthday of March 8 (unless astrology is different in different places, giving it even less credit).

User avatar
Hoitash
Posts: 1345
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2012 8:22 pm
Location: Holy Terra
Contact:

Re: The Manila Tales –A Summer-ish Series (Updated 7/03)

Post by Hoitash » Sun Jul 06, 2014 12:48 pm

Minion of Chaos wrote:
Mirage_GSM wrote:
“Um, March 8,” I did have a life before Them, after all.

“Okay, so you’d be a… Pisces, then. Hmm,”
Come on, Hisao is a scientist (i.e. an astronomer rather than an astrologer). He would know that she's an Aquarius.
Not to start an astrology (completely pseudo-science) argument, but Pisces (Feb 19-March 20) was originally correct for a birthday of March 8 (unless astrology is different in different places, giving it even less credit).
Hisao probably would go the scientific route. Either constellation would be difficult or impossible to see that time of year anyway; he's just using them as an instructional tool.
"Who are you, that do not know your history?" -Ulysses
Misha Time: United States of Misha Meet the Hakamichis
Awesome, served on the rocks: Hisao and Kenji- Master Detectives! (Check out the Archive for more!)
I wrote a book! Brythain edited it! If you like mystery and history please consider: A Sister's Habit
"You are absolutely insane. And entertaining." -griffon8

User avatar
Mirage_GSM
Posts: 5869
Joined: Mon Jun 28, 2010 2:24 am
Location: Germany

Re: The Manila Tales –A Summer-ish Series (Updated 7/03)

Post by Mirage_GSM » Sun Jul 06, 2014 2:26 pm

Minion of Chaos wrote:
Mirage_GSM wrote:
“Um, March 8,” I did have a life before Them, after all.

“Okay, so you’d be a… Pisces, then. Hmm,”
Come on, Hisao is a scientist (i.e. an astronomer rather than an astrologer). He would know that she's an Aquarius.
Not to start an astrology (completely pseudo-science) argument, but Pisces (Feb 19-March 20) was originally correct for a birthday of March 8 (unless astrology is different in different places, giving it even less credit).
If by "originally" you mean 3.000 years ago when the Babylonians came up with it, then yes.
Sadly, today's astrologists collectively don't seem to know enough astronomy to know that the constellations changed since then.
Emi > Misha > Hanako > Lilly > Rin > Shizune

My collected KS-Fan Fictions: Mirage's Myths
griffon8 wrote:Kosher, just because sex is your answer to everything doesn't mean that sex is the answer to everything.
Sore wa himitsu desu.

User avatar
griffon8
Posts: 1117
Joined: Mon Jan 25, 2010 8:47 pm
Location: Southeast Michigan, USA

Re: The Manila Tales –A Summer-ish Series (Updated 7/03)

Post by griffon8 » Sun Jul 06, 2014 11:37 pm

Hoitash wrote:One of the things he said, which never really made sent to me until I went to Yamaku
You have too many verbs and not enough nouns in this part.
I found out about Katawa Shoujo through the forums of Misfile. There, I am the editor of Misfiled Dreams.

Completed: 100%, including bonus picture. Shizune>Emi>Lilly>Hanako>Rin

Griffon8's Writing

User avatar
Hoitash
Posts: 1345
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2012 8:22 pm
Location: Holy Terra
Contact:

Re: The Manila Tales –A Summer-ish Series (Updated 7/03)

Post by Hoitash » Sun Jul 06, 2014 11:53 pm

griffon8 wrote:
Hoitash wrote:One of the things he said, which never really made sent to me until I went to Yamaku
You have too many verbs and not enough nouns in this part.
I'll chalk that one up to a person talking without using perfect English... er, Japanese.

Oddly enough, that allowed me to notice an unrelated error, which has been fixed. So thanks for that :).
"Who are you, that do not know your history?" -Ulysses
Misha Time: United States of Misha Meet the Hakamichis
Awesome, served on the rocks: Hisao and Kenji- Master Detectives! (Check out the Archive for more!)
I wrote a book! Brythain edited it! If you like mystery and history please consider: A Sister's Habit
"You are absolutely insane. And entertaining." -griffon8

User avatar
SpcPotshot
Posts: 22
Joined: Tue Sep 03, 2013 4:18 pm
Location: The wastelands of ND

Re: The Manila Tales –A Summer-ish Series (Updated 6/26)

Post by SpcPotshot » Tue Jul 08, 2014 11:54 am

Hoitash wrote:
SpcPotshot wrote:
Hoitash wrote:
Insert preferred road trip music of your choice here. I’m gonna go get noodles. And maybe some duck. Or a pizza….
Or maybe duck pizza?

I've had duck tacos at this place in Bismarck. Pretty good, if a bit pricey.
Well, they put chicken on a pizza, so sure, why not?

Steak's good, too. Especially if you replace the tomato sauce with steak sauce.

Pizza: the miracle food of toppings. Except Hawaiian pizza; that just ain't right.
It's alright if you switch out the ham for sausage, and maybe put on some teriyaki sauce....

When you work at a pizza place in college, you seek the weirdest combinations of flavors.

User avatar
SpcPotshot
Posts: 22
Joined: Tue Sep 03, 2013 4:18 pm
Location: The wastelands of ND

Re: The Manila Tales –A Summer-ish Series (Updated 7/03)

Post by SpcPotshot » Tue Jul 08, 2014 12:27 pm

Hoitash wrote: “Sorry, we seem to have gone off tangent a bit. As I was saying before I so rudely interrupted myself, I’d stargaze with my grandfather, and after he died, I kept at it. He never used a telescope, but I’ve found them to be rather handy,” Mr. Nakai glanced at the now assembled device, lost in some thought or other. Sighing wistfully, he continued, “after my heart attack, I spent a long time in the hospital, and someone had stuck some glow-in-the dark stars on the ceiling of my room. They and the books helped me get through that time. Kinda fitting, really -my grandfather always said looking up at the stars at night was the only thing that kept him sane during the war.”

“…The war?”

“He was a radar operator who was good at ducking. He told me that’s where he got his love for the stars, as he called it. But enough lecturing for today,” Mr. Nakai declared, scooting a bit back from the telescope as he added, “Wanna take a look? Space looks a lot smaller through a lens.”
Which war are you taking about? If WWII, I think all of Imperial Japan's radar's were land and ship-based. That might be the Hearts of Iron talking, though. "Navigator" would work, though; they used sextants and everything.

User avatar
Hoitash
Posts: 1345
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2012 8:22 pm
Location: Holy Terra
Contact:

Re: The Manila Tales –A Summer-ish Series (Updated 7/03)

Post by Hoitash » Tue Jul 08, 2014 12:53 pm

SpcPotshot wrote: Which war are you taking about? If WWII, I think all of Imperial Japan's radar's were land and ship-based. That might be the Hearts of Iron talking, though. "Navigator" would work, though; they used sextants and everything.
Indeed, 'tis WWII. As for radar, I figure land based. Since we pretty much sunk everything the Japanese had that floated, I figured the easiest way for Hisao's grandfather to survive was to have been posted at a radar post near a city on the Home Islands.

Since we practically bombed Japan back to the Edo Period, I also figured he probably spent a lot of time hunkering down to avoid the air raids (after which Soon-hee's grandfather would rebuild whatever defenses and buildings were of importance, but that's a different story.)

And yes, I am aware that the grumpy patron at Zeke's would have to be at least in his nineties.

By the way, did you just reference a Harry Turtledove novel, or a Sabaton song?
"Who are you, that do not know your history?" -Ulysses
Misha Time: United States of Misha Meet the Hakamichis
Awesome, served on the rocks: Hisao and Kenji- Master Detectives! (Check out the Archive for more!)
I wrote a book! Brythain edited it! If you like mystery and history please consider: A Sister's Habit
"You are absolutely insane. And entertaining." -griffon8

User avatar
SpcPotshot
Posts: 22
Joined: Tue Sep 03, 2013 4:18 pm
Location: The wastelands of ND

Re: The Manila Tales –A Summer-ish Series (Updated 7/03)

Post by SpcPotshot » Wed Jul 09, 2014 7:32 am

Hoitash wrote:
SpcPotshot wrote: Which war are you taking about? If WWII, I think all of Imperial Japan's radar's were land and ship-based. That might be the Hearts of Iron talking, though. "Navigator" would work, though; they used sextants and everything.
Indeed, 'tis WWII. As for radar, I figure land based. Since we pretty much sunk everything the Japanese had that floated, I figured the easiest way for Hisao's grandfather to survive was to have been posted at a radar post near a city on the Home Islands.

Since we practically bombed Japan back to the Edo Period, I also figured he probably spent a lot of time hunkering down to avoid the air raids (after which Soon-hee's grandfather would rebuild whatever defenses and buildings were of importance, but that's a different story.)

And yes, I am aware that the grumpy patron at Zeke's would have to be at least in his nineties.

By the way, did you just reference a Harry Turtledove novel, or a Sabaton song?
Alright, I see what you mean. And nope, I have no idea what you are talking about.

User avatar
Hoitash
Posts: 1345
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2012 8:22 pm
Location: Holy Terra
Contact:

Re: The Manila Tales –A Summer-ish Series (Updated 7/10)

Post by Hoitash » Thu Jul 10, 2014 10:46 am

“Do you trust me?” -Aladdin, Disney’s Aladdin

Previous Chapter

Chapter Seven: The Fashionista’s Tale


The girls were asleep when I went to bed –or at least convincingly pretending- and since I had managed to get some decent exercise in, I felt reasonably sure I wouldn’t be inflicted by another nightmare. Although I was worried about Refia wandering off, the night passed uneventfully, and in the morning we readied ourselves for the day ahead.

The plan for Monday was pretty simple: wander around Manila and the surrounding cities to shop and look at landmarks. Which meant Miya would eventually force me to buy clothes somewhere, but it couldn’t be helped, even if I did just wear the same outfit all the time, not counting the obvious exceptions.

Before we left the suite, Kenji made a point of gathering us together for a pep talk, which judging by the other’s reactions seemed like a regular occurrence.

“Okay people,” Kenji began, “We are on foreign soil in a city, with all the dangers that entails. That said, this ain’t our first rodeo, so remember the rules: stay together, have a plan, have a phone, and have fun.”

“And always have your towel,” Hisao added.

“He’s kidding,” Mrs. Nakai whispered to me.

“The groups for today are pretty simple,” Kenji continued, “Ladies in one, the rest of us in another. We’re on our own for lunch, but we’ll regroup for dinner, at a location depending on where everyone is at the time. Any questions?”

No one had any, so after a quick headcount just to make sure, we filed out of the suite and downstairs. It wasn’t until we were outside and facing the sun, heat, and humidity again that I noticed there were no taxis.

“Are we walking into town?” I asked Miya.

Adjusting the strap of her camera bag, Miya beamed down at me through her sunglasses and replied, “Nope, we’re gonna take a jeepney in today.”

I groaned and slumped my shoulders, feeling like the entire country had declared war on my rebellious stomach. I felt a familiar hand pat my head and grinned. Tilting my head back and glancing up over my sunglasses, I saw Kenji’s arm and head as he stood behind me.

Grinning above me, Kenji lowered his hand and declared, “You’ll be fine.”

Wiping some sweat from my forehead, I remarked, “Well, if nothing else, at least I’m used to being itchy.”

“How far is the jeepney stand?” Refia asked.

Miya looked over to Mrs. Nakai, who had a map and was carrying our backpack of water and other supplies, “Not too far, and we might find one before then.”

“They’re not as common as they used to be,” Hisao said, Hisato clinging to his back.

Kenji nodded, “Everyone ready to head out?”

“One moment, please,” I said. Seeing Hisato on Hisao’s back gave me an idea, so I crouched down in front of Refia and asked, “Hey, wanna a ride to the ride? No sense wearing yourself out so early in the day.”

Refia nodded and clambered into position. She didn’t weigh much more than the bags I had brought, and having her on my back made her easy to carry. I made sure I had a tight grip on her before heaving myself up with a grunt.

“You gonna be okay?” Miya asked.

I smirked and nodded, “Alternative weight training. I’m ready now.”

Kenji nodded and pointed seemingly randomly into the distance, “Alright, people, move out!”

We found a jeepney easily enough, although I did have to politely explain to Refia that digging her heels into my sides to get me to go faster was not appreciated, or effective.

Once again I was too occupied to describe the city, but this time because I had Refia in my lap in a crowded undersized bus, and I was too focused on listening to her and Satomi talk about where they wanted to go and do. Refia wanted to visit as many old buildings and ruins as possible, while Satomi wanted to see what the local shops had to offer.

When I had a chance to ask Akio, who was standing nearby, what he wanted to do, he said look at bookstores and historical buildings. Kenji seemed to be wanting to do the same, while Miya planned on seeing what the local artists were up to. Mr. and Mrs. Nakai seemed content to just go with the flow.

Satomi’s focus on shopping piqued my curiosity, since I didn’t know much about her hobbies, other than they seemed unlike those of the rest of her family. After taking a hard turn that flipped my stomach and forced me back against the seat, I asked her what kind of shopping she had in mind.

“Clothes!” Satomi replied. Pointing at her purple hair, she explained, “With color like this, you need to know what you’re doing when coordinating.”

“Good thing that’s where we’re going first,” Miya stated, glancing at me from the corner of her eye.

Oh joy.

I must have been getting used to the traffic, because the driver’s near suicidal tendency for tight turns and spaces didn’t bother me as much as they had before. I’m not sure how many times we almost hit someone or were almost hit ourselves, because I had the sense to keep my eyes closed or fixed on whomever I was talking to. Unfortunately that also made me incredibly nauseous, but I was getting used to that, too.

The guys got off at a different stop from us, and Hisato raised a bit off a fuss because of it, but calmed down when Miya promised to take lots of pictures and Kenji reminded him they’d be in regular contact –every hour, actually. When Hisato had settled down, they hopped off, and we didn’t get off until we were deep within a more modern section of the city, with skyscrapers and shops mixing with vendors carts and wagons. The first thing I did when we got off was find a wall to brace myself against while I went through a breathing exercise. When I was done, I turned around and saw Mrs. Nakai holding a bottled water for me.

“Thanks,” I said, taking the bottle and slowly draining it.

“Dehydration’s a serious concern out here,” Mrs. Nakai stated.

Miya nodded and glanced at the other woman, “You sure you’re okay carrying the pack?”

Mrs. Nakai nodded and pulled out a map, “So, the nearest clothing shop should be down the block that way, everyone ready?”

We all were, though it took a moment to get Miya’s attention because she was looking up at something –tracking the sun’s movements, I guess. With Mrs. Nakai in front and the girls in the middle, I joined Miya at the rear of the group as we moved through the dense and noisy city foot traffic.

Since the first clothing shop we stopped at didn’t have blue jeans or long-sleeved T-shirts I didn’t get anything. Satomi found some skirts she liked, and even tried to get me to try on a few things. I politely declined, rather insistently really, but Satomi was a stubborn one, it seemed. She was still sore about my refusal when we left the shop, so to humor her Miya said we’d find a shop that had clothes I’d actually wear, after we visited a nearby bookstore.

“Do you ever wear anything else?” Satomi asked me while we walked.

“I have my school uniform,” I replied, “Those pants are cloth, not denim.”

Satomi rolled her eyes.

The next clothing store had more modern apparel and styles, and reminded me less of a designer boutique and more of the clothing section of a supermarket I had seen online. Satomi glowered as she looked the place over, while I tried to find the boy’s clothes, though I had a feeling that venture was doomed to failure.

Turning to Miya, I sighed and remarked, “I don’t suppose you’ll just let me grab some shirts and jeans from the boy’s section, would you?”

“Wait,” Satomi said, whirling around since Mrs. Nakai had taken over Refia keeping duty for a while, “You wear the same thing every day, and they’re not even girl’s clothes?”

I pointed to my shirt and said, “I figured you could tell.”

“I thought they were your work-out clothes or something,” Satomi spun around and glared at Miya, “Aunt Miya, we need to find her some long sleeved blouses, right?”

Miya grinned and nodded, “Yes, yes we do.”

I sighed. Too much to hope Kenji was hiding behind a rack to rescue me. I mean it’s not that I didn’t appreciate their efforts or was opposed to the choice of clothing, I just don’t see the point; I wear blue jeans because they’re durable and thick, and I wear long sleeved shirts because I hate exposing my skin when I’m not swimming or training. Boy’s clothes fit better, lasted longer, and were cheaper.

Declining outright would be rude, but I had to put up at least a token resistance to their… whatever it was, “I don’t suppose I have a say in this?”

“Of course you do,” Satomi replied, “You can pick colors! Now c’mon, the blouses are this way! Aunt Miya, you can handle the blue jeans, right?”

“Right,” Miya declared.

“Great!” Satomi declared, and quickly grabbed my arm and started leading me towards the clothes. I looked to Miya and Mrs. Nakai, who smiled reassuringly at me, and I realized, no matter what anyone said, they weren’t going to force anything on me I wasn’t comfortable with. So even though I could’ve easily resisted the young girl’s efforts, I sighed for dramatic effect and let her lead me wherever she had in mind.
Last edited by Hoitash on Fri Jul 18, 2014 9:59 pm, edited 3 times in total.
"Who are you, that do not know your history?" -Ulysses
Misha Time: United States of Misha Meet the Hakamichis
Awesome, served on the rocks: Hisao and Kenji- Master Detectives! (Check out the Archive for more!)
I wrote a book! Brythain edited it! If you like mystery and history please consider: A Sister's Habit
"You are absolutely insane. And entertaining." -griffon8

User avatar
Hoitash
Posts: 1345
Joined: Mon Apr 16, 2012 8:22 pm
Location: Holy Terra
Contact:

Re: The Manila Tales –A Summer-ish Series (Updated 7/10)

Post by Hoitash » Thu Jul 10, 2014 10:47 am

Part II:

“Blouses, blouses, blouses… you really have a thing for Western clothes, don’t you?” Satomi mused. Before I could speak or point out what century it was, she continued talking, seemingly to herself, “blue’s obviously your favorite color –just like Auntie Emi… this’d be easier in a department store –do you have a thing against buttons? Buttoned shirts come in like a million colors….”

Satomi seemed to talk to herself as a way to organize her thoughts, even as she dragged me along the islands and racks of clothing that made up the women’s section. A few customers gave us raised eyebrows, but whether it was from Satomi, or from having travelled so far just to shop for clothes we could buy almost anywhere, I couldn’t say.

Satomi darted and wove along the shelves and racks, muttering to herself as she examined the displays of blouses. Every now and then she would pick one up or feel along the front of one. Usually she put back the ones she picked up and didn’t pick up the ones she touched, but once in a while she’d hand me one to hold.

It was only then that I realized that I had never told her my size. Despite that, the blouses and shirts she was looking at all looked like they were the right fit. I had a feeling Miya had something to do with that.

When I was hanging onto six blouses of several shades of blue and blue-ish green, Satomi headed to one of the walkways. Looking around for a minute, she frowned and started hopping in place.

“That should do for today,” Satomi stated, “Do you see the others anywhere?”

I stood on my tiptoes and looked around, trying to catch Hanako’s distinctive hair somewhere amid all the colors of cloth and fabric, or maybe Miya’s ponytail. Or Refia trying to climb a shelf. When that didn’t work, I instead started looking for the blue jeans, which were easy enough to find. Finding them led me to Miya, who was looking over the shelf of denim.

Pointing with my loaded arm, I said, “Miya’s over by the blue jeans, but I don’t see Mrs. Nakai or Refia.”

“Weird,” Satomi said. Shrugging, she headed for where I had pointed out Miya, her arm still tightly gripping my own.

“Um, Satomi?” I asked.

“Huh?”

“Is gripping my arm necessary?”

“Keeps you from wandering… derp, sorry,” Satomi let go of my hand, which I flexed a bit, “bit of a habit.”

“I gathered,” I remarked, “Does Refia really wander that much if left alone?”

Satomi nodded, “Dad tried taking her running to help her focus, but she kept getting distracted,” walking a few more paces brought us near enough to Miya that Satomi apparently felt comfortable enough to ask, “Did you find anything? Where’s Mom?”

Miya turned away from the shelf towards us and nodded, waving several blue jeans folder over her right arm, “Hana’s in the boy’s section looking at blue jeans. She said you might be more comfortable with them.”

Satomi sighed and rolled her eyes, but said nothing. Instead, she moved over to Miya and started looking over the jeans, examining them a lot more thoroughly then the blouses she had selected.

“These should do nicely,” Satomi stated. Twirling on her heel, she grinned at me and asked, “Wanna try them on now, or wait for Mom?”

“May as well start now,” I replied.

Miya nodded and handed me the blue jeans, “Changing rooms are… over there,” she said, and led us to where she had indicated.

“Mom has Refia, right?” Satomi asked while we walked.

Miya nodded, “Yet and still.”

While we walked, I took a closer look at the blue jeans. They were baggy like I liked, with one pair slightly heavier than the other two. One was an incredibly dark blue, the second more normal blue like I was used to, and the last an extremely light blue. They were a bit pricier than I was used to paying, but I could count the number of clothes I paid retail for on one hand, not counting underwear and extra uniforms.

Thinking about the price of the clothes made me worry I was being ungrateful for the other’s help, so I stepped beside Miya to thank her for her time and effort.

Miya smiled and pat my head, “No problem, Little Lamb.”

When we reached the entrance to the changing rooms, I paused outside the entrance, still not entirely comfortable with what we were doing. Miya and Satomi were smiling encouragingly, so I sighed and stepped inside. The room furthest on the right from the entrance was empty, so I went in and started trying on the clothes.

“Don’t forget to come out and show us every pair and outfit!” Satomi called, “We need to make sure everything coordinates.”

“Got it,” I called back.

The idea made sense, though it meant we’d be at the shop forever. As I walked out of the changing room to demonstrate my new potential clothing, I couldn’t help but wonder how many times had the Nakais gone to Manila that Satomi thought clothes shopping to be a major highlight. Maybe she just really liked clothes.

I stepped outside and did a slow spin, “How do I look? Oh, you found us.”

Mrs. Nakai and Refia had shown up while I was changing, and were standing next to Miya, who had now taken over Refia holding-duty. Mrs. Nakai was holding a couple of folded up blue jeans that looked more like what I was accustomed to wearing.

“I thought these might be more to your liking,” Mrs. Nakai remarked, “and I think you look lovely.”

I raised an eyebrow; ‘lovely’ was not a word I would use to describe myself. Short, tomboyish, and left-handed, yes. Lovely, no.

I looked down at the floor and muttered, “Um, thanks. Satomi, what do you think?”

Satomi tilted her head at me, “How do they feel on you?”

“Not sure,” I replied, “Feel weird.”

Miya smirked and remarked, “That’s probably because they fit.”

Satomi made a thoughtful noise and walked around me once, “Yep, definitely works. What do you think? Did you look good in the mirror?”

“I didn’t look.”

Satomi sighed and rolled her eyes –at least her eyeballs were getting a lot of exercise, “Go look, and tell me what you think. If you don’t like it, I’ll help you find something that you will.”

“Thanks,” I said, and turned back toward the changing room.

“Take these with you,” Mrs. Nakai said, and tossed me the blue jeans.

When I got back into the room, I mulled over what Satomi had said. She was trying to help, in her own way. Taking a long look at myself in the mirror, I thought maybe she wasn’t as unlike the rest of her family as I had thought.

+++
Next Chapter

I know, I know, you can only take so much of this sappy, slice of life crap.

I recommend compensating with violent video games.
Last edited by Hoitash on Thu May 21, 2015 11:25 pm, edited 3 times in total.
"Who are you, that do not know your history?" -Ulysses
Misha Time: United States of Misha Meet the Hakamichis
Awesome, served on the rocks: Hisao and Kenji- Master Detectives! (Check out the Archive for more!)
I wrote a book! Brythain edited it! If you like mystery and history please consider: A Sister's Habit
"You are absolutely insane. And entertaining." -griffon8

Post Reply