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Heya! I'm your friendly neighborhood Larsinny, a demon here to keep you updated on the current debacles going on within the site! Okay, maybe not debacles... Anyway! The Endymion Plot, our Third Main Plot, is underway! We also have our sideplot taking place called Junction! If you're a new member looking to join the new plot, you will want to choose Endymion. However, if you're interested in our sideplot, you may also join that one aswell. The choice is ultimately up to you! The Dungeon Master of the Junction plot is CWIS and the DM of the current Endymion plot is Godai and Grantus.

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 A Cultural Experience (Susan & James)

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ViniVidiVicci

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PostSubject: A Cultural Experience (Susan & James)   Sat Dec 02, 2017 5:03 pm

What a quaint little slice of Endymion. It was actually quite interesting how Little Tokyo came to be, as Susan knew. It was all business of course, with Endymion acting as an American beacon of utopia the companies flocked to it in order to be part of the great rat race called the Free Market, and with large companies came foreign interests and outsourcing. Asian markets, especially the Japanese ones, would want to secure a foothold within the technology that is constantly being consumed by the American people and the best way to do that was to be present for it. Enough Asian people (who liked to remain among their own. Not a remark, just an observation) in one place with enough money to influence real estate purchases and you ended up with a small pocket of Japan right there in America. It was very interesting, one could walk through the streets with their majestic torii gates and toro lanterns and not see or hear even a word of English if you were in the right parts. Suffice to say it was quite the experience... though not one that Susan did often.

It's not that she didn't enjoy visiting Little Tokyo but she never had a reason to visit, it was more of an event than day-to-day and she didn't really have any friends to go with which left her deterred. Today was different. Susan had found a neat-looking recipe for sweet fried dumplings on Food World and was eager to attempt it but they required a specific type of rice flour that she couldn't find at her local grocery's cultural section. She supposed she could substitute typical white flour but it just wouldn't be the same. The point of making the dumplings was to try something new and exotic and that couldn't be done by American-izing them. Luckily she had found an oriental grocery (after walking into about three places that decidedly were not oriental groceries, none of the signs were in English) to peruse the aisles for ingredients. She might even look up more recipes while she was here, it would save future trips and she could try new things! There was just one little snag...

All of the products were in Japanese and she couldn't tell what was what.
"Nnnnnn..." Susan grumbled, staring intently between two boxes of granulated... somethings... as if they were about to whisper to her what they actually were.
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PostSubject: Re: A Cultural Experience (Susan & James)   Tue Dec 05, 2017 3:22 am

James had also been there, namely looking for certain ingredients one couldn't find in normal stores. He noticed a woman looking at bags of flower and grumbling, before he walked over to her and asked. "Uh... What are you looking for miss...?" He paused for a moment... "I-uh... I may be of some assistance." He said, kind of quietly, hoping he didn't offend her somehow... He really hoped she wasn't just upset at the bags of flower for no reason, and needed help. Otherwise he'd look like a fool.

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PostSubject: Re: A Cultural Experience (Susan & James)   Thu Dec 07, 2017 1:53 am

Really now, it was nice and all for the Asian aesthetic to have authentically-labeled ingredients but this was America. Something in this aisle should be readable in English, it was sheer carelessness that none of it was. Well except for the candies that sold well, of course. Why couldn't the aisles even be labelled? That was controlled by the store owners. Negligence negligence negligence. They could draw in far more clientele if they would just be more inclusive with their product... hmm but perhaps that would take away from the exotic appeal... Susan quickly let her mind wander, settling on a mix between surmising what would be a better selling point for Japanese baking products and looking at the box for context clues.

The businesswoman flinched when the younger boy made his presence known, nearly bumping into the shelf behind her as she took a step backward to let him by as she was sure he wanted. But instead he would address her and offer her aid. Susan tilted her head at him for a second as the thought worked its way through her brain, past the aggressive marketing strategy paired with book clubs and thoughts of how ground corn and rice looked different. Was he a stock boy? He didn't appear to be one, if so there definitely wasn't a uniform requirement. Then again a good amount of mom and pop shops like this one didn't have one to a certain appeal. Well, she wasn't about to look a gift horse in the mouth.
"Excuse me, do you work here?" she asked nearly accusingly, "I'm having a little trouble picking out a product, I'm afraid I don't read Japanese. I am trying to purchase rice flour for making dumplings, do either of these look right to you?" Susan would hold the boxes out to the boy almost as if demanding he take them and look at them, though she may have been a little pushy in her desperation to figure out exactly what it was she was looking at. No matter how long she stared at the odd letters they weren't about to come any clearer and she had places to be as interesting as this little visit was.
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PostSubject: Re: A Cultural Experience (Susan & James)   Fri Dec 08, 2017 2:42 am

James smiled at her, and shook his head. "No, I don't work here but I've tried everything here, and through that I have learned that... Neither of what you have there is the type of rice flower you're looking for. What you need is on the shelf immediately behind you, third shelf from the top, it'll have a picture of a bunch of rice on it. Really easy to see, and it has a name made of five characters. No idea what it means, but I've used it for dumplings before, and it's worked WONDERS." James smiled at the woman, despite the almost stare she gave him. "You... Do know... You could've just asked a clerk right? Not... Trying to be rude or anything, I'm happy to help then again, they might've tried to sell you a more expensive brand than you need... So maybe it's best I offered. Yeah. I'm glad I offered."

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PostSubject: Re: A Cultural Experience (Susan & James)   Sun Dec 10, 2017 1:11 am

That made sense and Susan was a little relieved that the boy didn't work there. She honestly didn't condone lax dress in the workplace, it was entirely inappropriate. She looked back and forth to the boxes in her hands feeling a little betrayed. They certainly looked like they would work but perhaps that was false advertising or they were just inferior products. You couldn't tell by looking at them. So misleading. Susan turned her back to the boy to see what he was referring to, looking over her shoulder and hovering her finger over the shelf of products as she watched for some sort of cue that she had the right box. Picking out the right one she would inspect it. It wasn't a very impressive decal, she would have never picked out this product if left to her own devices.
"Thank you," she smiled sweetly, "That's actually perfect! I'm trying to make some, I found something online I wanted to try."

As happy as she was to receive help and talk recipes with the nice schoolboy she ruffled at his latter comment. He might not have been trying to be rude but he came across as such. That was teenagers for you.
"I-I shouldn't need to ask anyone, I should just be able to read it..." she defended. Truth be told she did try to ask a clerk. Only he wasn't a clerk after all. Still helpful, though. But she didn't want to remain confrontational with someone so generous with her time. Now that would be rude in this conversation. She thought it best to change the topic.
"What kind of dumplings have you made with this before? I'm trying to make sweet dumplings, not the meat kind, is this a good brand for that?" she asked in an engaged tone of voice. It wouldn't do to choose a rice flour that was more savory when she was making sweet treats.
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PostSubject: Re: A Cultural Experience (Susan & James)   Sun Dec 10, 2017 3:50 am

James nodded and smiled at the well dressed woman. She was certainly a grateful person. James could appreciate that. It was always worth it to thank someone for something they do for you after all! Upon being asked what kind he had made he smiled, and answered rather happily "I've made both with that kind. But yeah, it works far more well with Sweet dumplings, if you want to make savory, I prefer the flour with the duck logo... No idea why they chose that logo.. it's kinda stupid, but hey, I'm not in charge of stuff like that so.. what do I know... Aaanyway... I'm trying to pick something to make for dinner for me and my little brother tonight, whole our parents are out... I was thinking maybe something more... Seafood? I just need to pick what kind of fish, but I just can't decide... Salmon... Or carp? Could you... Umm... Could you help me decide?" James asked, trying to be as polite as possible as he did.

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PostSubject: Re: A Cultural Experience (Susan & James)   Tue Dec 12, 2017 11:05 pm

The businesswoman would smile and nod in kind, mirroring the young individual. It was very kind of him to be helping him out like this. She would ignore him for a brief moment to dig her tablet out of her purse and make a StickNote to get the... duck flour? Duck flour. To get the duck flour should she ever decide to make pot stickers. It probably would not be any time soon, this was sort of an adventure, but it would always be good to have the most efficient way to do something in her knowledge base. She would bring her eyes back up to the schoolboy and stare emptily for a second.
Oh. Y-yes, that's right. He asked me a question...

"...yes, I believe that I may," Susan responded after her brief pause. Truth be told she was rather busy and while she had a little time to visit this small grocer's she didn't have all the time in the world. Still, it would be incredibly rude of her to decline to help after receiving it herself. She happened to be anything but rude.
"Just what else are you planning for dinner, if I may ask? It may be better to select an entree after knowing what it will be paired with if you already have a decision in mind." Normally it would be backwards to decide a main course after choosing your sides however she was unaware what he already had in his pantry. Despite knowing nothing Susan began to brainstorm decisions with seafood, it would be better to get a jump on things.


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PostSubject: Re: A Cultural Experience (Susan & James)   Fri Dec 15, 2017 11:34 am

"Wel.... Ive got some potatoes at home and all, but I was mainly planning on doing fish with some salad on the side, with water to drink, of course." James said, thinking. The blank stare she had for a minute there was pretty weird... Maybe he should.... Yeah. He would. "Also... are you alright? You just... Stared for a minute there."

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PostSubject: Re: A Cultural Experience (Susan & James)   Sun Dec 17, 2017 7:33 am

"Well I would suggest you include the potatoes in your meal plan if you can spare them, it sounds like you're missing a starch," she commented. Dinner needed the three essentials to count as dinner in her book: meat, greens, and starch. Fruit was optional and usually came afterward.
"Though that does bring up questions," Susan would mumble, placing a finger to her chin as she gazed at the floor, "Now there's more ways to prepare it, you could make soup or... and what would you do with it...? Mmmmno no, I hadn't considered... I guess I didn't factor in dietary concerns or need, mmmm...." The spacey woman would return her gaze to the teenager after realizing she was doing that thing she liked to do, where she impolitely ignored someone on accident and started talking to herself.

"I-I apologize, I don't know what I'm talking about. Let's just stick to your original meal plan, hmm?" Susan would no longer allow the nearly endless possibilities addle her mind any longer. And they were truly endless. There were so many ways you could prepare potatoes alone. Her mind filed though what would pair with salad and what salad that would probably be when the boy voiced his concerns, interrupting her train of thought.
"Hmm? ...oh, I was just thinking..." she would dismiss. It was an often enough occurrence that this would happen at least once every few interactions with most people she knew, though most were polite enough to let it be much like she wasn't one to comment on odd turns of phrase or other character quirks. It was pretty common event, nothing to dwell on.

"I guess it would depend on who you are serving and what your plans are," Susan began, revealing to the teen just what was processing in her mind that she had to pause doing anything for it to finish, "If your brother is a picky eater I would say neither and suggest talapia as it's a fairly bland fish and does well fried, though cod has a nondescript flavor enough to be prepared anyway you could want to. But I would not eat cod with salad, it's better served alongside more informal sides like french fries though you could substitute the salad for baked greens if you have more than lettuce. Salmon is more savory and flavorful and can turn some people off, it's a very fishy fish. But it pairs well with salad and often complements it. I would suggest lemon garnish for both." Susan tilted her head expectantly after vomiting information all over James.
"I guess the question you would want to ask is what would your brother eat. ...Does that help at all?"
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PostSubject: Re: A Cultural Experience (Susan & James)   Mon Dec 25, 2017 4:40 am

"That... Does indeed help! Thanks!" James said, the question finally getting his head on the right track to figure it out on his own. "Is there any way I can repay you? Anything?" James asked her. He didn't like letting good deeds go unrewarded!

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PostSubject: Re: A Cultural Experience (Susan & James)   Tue Dec 26, 2017 10:36 pm

The businesswoman would smile when the boy did. Normally people give her odd looks when she speaks her mind like that but at the minimum he was grateful for her observation. Susan didn't anticipate assisting anyone while she was here but it felt nice to be helpful. She had to shake her head when he offered to repay the favor.
"Ha, you already have," she chuckled while holding her box of rice flower up toward her face, "I really must thank you again for helping me pick this out, I will tell you how my dumplings turn out if I ever run into you again..... I'm not really certain I learned your name, what was it again?" The businesswoman didn't really bank on seeing the kid again, but if he did frequent this store she would need to come back sometime. He seemed like a pleasant young man and into cooking too! He'd probably make some young lady very happy one day. Lord knew if she could find someone who could have dinner on the table when she got home from work...
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PostSubject: Re: A Cultural Experience (Susan & James)   Thu Jan 04, 2018 11:01 am

((sorry, holidays and all.))

"Well... I suppose. Anyway, I shop here every Saturday. If you ever need to buy anything, come around noon on Saturday. I'll help you!" He said, smiling at the buisnesswoman. "Oh, did I ever get your name at all madam?"

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PostSubject: Re: A Cultural Experience (Susan & James)   Sun Jan 07, 2018 2:05 am

Susan would retain her polite smile even in the face of her question being ignored. He probably didn't hear her or he was so eager it didn't register to his ears. It was nothing to worry about aside from making her feel awkward.
"Well... that would certainly be helpful! Thank you," she touted after a short pause. It was almost a painful situation to be in. Truth be told Susan did not come to Little Tokyo often though now she almost felt obligated to. It wouldn't be a terrible thing she guessed, though she might have to have her meal plans centralize more around asian foods. Maybe she could spoil herself and try more ethnic desserts though she would need an occasion for which to do so. She was sure she could think of some excuse...

"No, I never believe I did..." she pondered, her finger on her chin, "I'm Susan, thank you again Mister...?" This was her chance at redemption. She would ask the boy his name again, this may be her last chance to do so fluidly. Lest she spend the rest of her time interacting with him unknowing who he is, with the hey you's and dancing around titles. She looked at him expectantly, hoping he would tell her this time.
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PostSubject: Re: A Cultural Experience (Susan & James)   Sun Jan 07, 2018 2:40 am

"James. James Mattson, wonderful to meet you Susan." James said, smiling. "Anyway... It's getting kinda late... Im sorry, but I've gotta run, dinner and all. Mayhaps I'll see you again!" He said, before running off, waving goodbye as he went to check out, and head home.

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PostSubject: Re: A Cultural Experience (Susan & James)   Sun Jan 07, 2018 5:23 pm

"Oh! Of course, I shouldn't have kept you. Have a good day! Thanks again!" the woman called after the boy as he scurried off. She stood there for a moment processing the interaction as she realized that she too had places to be. Susan had spent more than enough time in Little Tokyo and portfolios wouldn't process themselves! She was about to join the queue as well when she realized that it would be awkward to say goodbye and then immediately go to checkout to follow him. She would grimace and wring her hands, pretending to browse the shelves of things she couldn't read for a few minutes before eventually also making her way to the counter.

With her flour in tow (and some of the strawberry candies she guiltily picked up while perusing) she would make her way to her Audi in higher spirits. It was nice to be helpful, even nicer when she met a nice young man that wasn't a punk like most of the teenagers she happened to see these days. Tsk tsk tsk, so many disparagement since the Eternal Divide, though some couldn't blame them she certainly would do so. The woman slid the key into the ignition and pulled out of the parking lot and into late afternoon traffic, hoping the authentic flower would be worth the effort.

~~EXIT~~
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