2019-08-13 - Slice of the Old Country


Dasha and Laynia meet while shopping.

Log Info:

Storyteller: None
Date: Tue Aug 13 05:41:38 2019
Location: Little Odessa, Farmer's Market

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It is a bit before dinner time in Little Odessa, and the streets are fairly lively still. In particular there's an old world style market that would have looked perfectly in place in the fifties that is doing a fairly brisk trade. Amongst the shoppers is a woman drssed a bit upscale for the area, but not too out of place. Laynia is presently examining the produce, specifically tomatoes, carefully selecting which she wants to add to her basket. The basket is plastic, currently hung over one curled arm as cinnamon brown eyes study, and graceful fingers pluck a tomato out to be examined in more detail. Yes, fussy shopper, but that's not a bad thing, right? In her basket are a number of other items, whole garlic, several small bags with spices or herbs, a pair of onions, a wedge of parmesan and a wrapped paper bundle, probably some fresh meat.

Dashenka is the kind of woman who stands out in a crowd. Over six feet tall with hair that's snowy white and piercing blue eyes, it's hard not to notice her. Currently she's haggling over the price of a cut of beef with the store's butcher. In Russian. «10.50 a pound? For this? You are stealing from a poor woman for a cut that is barely fit enough for a dog,» she says. The butcher slaps a hand over his heart and pantomimes getting shot. «My dear girl, you wound me! A man has a family to feed, and you'll never see a cut like this at this price. But for you I'll find a way to make rent and sell it to you for 9.50.» Clearly they've been going back and forth like this for a little while. Dashenka scowls, «I will give you 9, or else I will have to go without, and become thin and frail. That is all I can afford.» «Well, who am I to deny a girl like you your youth and beauty? Fine. Nine it is, and may your conscience keep you up at night.»

Oh, no question six feet plus with white hair? DEFINITELY going to catch Laynia's eye. She is amused, a faint smile curving expressive lips as she selects her tomatoes, and some fresh sprigs of parsley. Not nearly as adept at haggling, or perhaps just not inclined to, she pays and then turns toward the rather large woman. Laynia's Russian is very cultured, her accent definitely urban. «He charged me more.» She observes. «Of course, I got ground beef, and not a steak.»

Looking up to the other woman, Laynia smiles more fully. «I love this neighborhood, it feels like home.»

Dashenka looks surprised as another person who speaks Russian comes up to her, taking her steak wrapped in a neat brown paper package. «Oh! Hello! Yes, he's used to have his own shop back in the old country.» Her own accent is eastern in nature, probably somewhere in Siberia. «People like him will talk your ear off about how things used to be, and if you listen patiently you can usually get a good deal» Her own basket is filled with potatoes, root vegetables, and a few fresh herbs.

She nods when home is mentioned. «Yes. My English isn't very good and I always struggle to understand what people are saying. That and I can't read it, but I make do. It's good to meet somebody else I can talk to.»

«Oh, yes, I know just the type. I am afraid I am more hungry than patient, this evening. I will remember it for the next time, however!» Laynia extends her free hand. «Laynia Petrovna, very nice to meet you.» Should the tall woman be so inclined she shifts towards a baker's cart. She doesn't seem to be in a rush to escape, the smile clearly invites company, but she does need to get her shopping done too!

In faintly accented English, she continues. "Yes, English is difficult language, and has strange alphabet." A grin as she switches back. «Well, we are near to Little Odessa, many speak our mother tongue, no doubt part of why you shop here, yes?»

Dashenka shifts her basket to her other arm so she can take the offered hand. Her grip is soft, warm, yet firm. «Dashenka Ivashin,» She says, introducing herself. «It's good to meet you too.» She walks with her new acquaintance, blushing a little as she switches to English. "Yes. It is. The letters are all different but very familiar." Her Russian accent is thick, almost comically so, making her sound like a Russian villain you'd see in a James Bond movie, or in a Rocky and Bullwinkle cartoon.

She nods as they walk, occasionally pausing to put something into her basket. «Yes. I live in an apartment there. Well, more like a closet, but the landlord keeps rent cheap, and lets me pay cash in return for helping him out with maintenance. It's a good deal.»

Laynia's grip is firm, and perhaps a tad chill, but friendly enough. «Bah, do not be ashamed if you're not so adept at English, it is a very difficult language, though…» She switches. "…Practice will help with that." She quips, with a glance up to the towering lady beside her. Once at the baker's cart she selects a small round of sourdough bread, and then casts about with cinnamon eyes looking for something. A hand moves up to shift some straying locks of blonde back from her face. "I too live near hear, a new friend, I think, helped me find it and move in." And even called in a favor to do so on short notice and skipping a lot of the usual paperwork - which is a bonus. "It sounds like you do have a good arrangement, it is nice when all benefit, da?"

Dashenka nods enthusiastically. "Da! Apartment is…" she waggles a hand, "so-so. There are no… I don't know word. Tarakan (cockroach). Or rats. Is clean. Is close to work. I do not own much so it suits me, so I do not complain." She continues walking with Laynia, even though her basket is mostly full and she seems to have gotten everything she needed. "It is also close to Mutant Town, which can be exciting!" She grins hugely, "In Krasnoyarsk, there were not many mutants there."

"Roaches…tarakan are roaches, or 'cockroaches', mostly they are disgusting." Laynia quips. Her eyes alight on some pasta noodles, and she smiles. Apparently just what she was missing! "Still, my place is studio apartment, not large, but is cozy." She is angling for the pasta, target acquired, pursuit mode engaged! "If you are content, what more does a girl need, mm?" Laynia laughs softly at Dash's energy. "Krasnoyarsk, mm? Siberia, I wondered, your accent was eastern. I was actually born in Minsk, Belarus…but I was raised outside of Moscow."

"Roaches," Dashenka says, sounding out the word. "Roaches. Thank you!" When asked what a girl needs, Dashenka laughs, "1971 Ford Mustang Super Cobra Jet." She shakes her head, chuckling, "But that is not something that I will ever own. Perhaps I shall see one at car show one day." She nods at the mention of her home in Russia. "Da. We were close to the forest… but not too close." There's something that changes in the tone of her voice when mentioning the forest. A darker emotion. Perhaps regret? Sadness? She's quick to hide it when she says, "I have never been to Moscow. Or anywhere else other than Krasnoyarsk and here."

"Roaches, da." Laynia confirms. "Glad to help. My English is fair, and if you need help with the writing I can suggest some good books to help, or even help you myself." A good natured shrug, followed by a faint wince, and then a smile. Cinnamon eyes crinkle as she laughs at the very specific car. Sadly, Laynia remembers the model! "Oh yes, a very nice car, I would suggest grey with black racing stripes and trim, black leather interior, of course. Is very expensive now, I would think." Laynia can certainly understand being sad, especially when far away. "Is difficult to be so far from what one knows, da?" Having arrived by the pasta, Laynia purchases some, and then looks content for now.

Dashenka seems a bit hesitant at first, but then goes on, "Da. I left my mother there, but it was…" she seems to be carefully considering her words, now. "Not good if I stayed." She sighs, as they make their way to the checkout stand. "It is better this way. Sometimes these things are best."

Sensing the unease, Laynia does the only polite thing - she makes no further mention, does not draw attention to it as she pays for her remaining items. In truth Laynia has all too keen an appreciation for having left others behind, as far as she knows everyone from her past is dead after her four decade 'vacation' in the Darkforce dimension. A polite 'Spasiba' to the check out girl, her goods transferred to a canvas bag purchased then and there for the trip back home. Dash might notice her favoring her right side just a bit. "So…perhaps we will meet again, Dashenka Ivashin, would you care to exchange numbers?"

Dashenka's eyes light up again as it's her turn to pay for her groceries. "Da! We should! And then you can help me with English!"

Laynia's eyes and nose crinkle as she laughs softly, and nods. "Is a good plan then." She digs out her phone, few years old Samsung model, and will exchange numbers with the rather larger Siberian woman. "I look forward to next meeting, Dashenka. Truly, was very nice to meet you." She saves the contact, and after tucking the phone away smiles. "Be well, yes?"

Dashenka's own phone is a really cheap, basic phone that looks like it'd fall apart if somebody were to breathe on it hard. She puts in her companion's number, saves it and nods. "Da! I will be well. It was very good meeting you." And with that they part ways.

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