Everything is so cheap here!

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Srf
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Everything is so cheap here!

Postby Srf » Sat Nov 05, 2016 10:31 am

March 24, 2016
Vorga


Dear diary,

Flying Virguliya was a terrible, terrible idea. I left Embrea at 3am and arrived in Vorga 30 hours later - I had to stop over in some cattle shed of an airport in northern Songia and slept on the floor for a while, surrounded by burly Sharfics swigging . I had the same goat curry on both legs of the flight, which was actually alright, and the stewardess was pretty fine, but I was totally crashed by the time I landed in Vorga's airport.

Oh, Vorga International Airport.

So first thing: passport control. The ornery fucker in the booth dragged me into a side room with a bunch of his uniformed friends. and started waving my passport around asking questions. Why is a Wallasean in Vorga? Am I an Embrean spy? Am I with the Quiberonnaise? Perhaps a Praetonian hitman?

Anyway after about thirty minutes they let me out. My bag had been taken off the carousel and was being guarded by five swarthy "porters" in acid wash jeans and pleather jackets. I say guarded but it was more "being held hostage". I had to pay them all a handful of Kora to release it and then grabbed a taxi. A lot of the buildings on the way from the airport were still battle damaged and the taxi driver was almost certainly trying to kill me with his weaving through traffic. Maybe he was still in the dodging snipers frame of mind? He certainly wasn't the only lunatic on the road, and I don't even understand how the majority of crapped out beaters on the road were still capable of moving. Every so often a brand new Dumani car with tinted windows would blow past and the driver started waving his arms around and shouting at it.

It took about thirty minutes to get to the hostel, which was on the fifth floor of a 70s blockhouse overlooking a park. It was almost nice actually. I dragged my bag inside and hit the button for the lift which was, of course, out of order. No worries, I needed some cardio after a day's flying I guess. I got up to the front desk, checked in and went to drop off my stuff. Oh no. My roommates were awful. A Varnian was on his bunk listening to a loud video through his tinny phone speakers, whilst a bunch of Quibs sat around talking to each other in their stupid amphibian speak. I guess they assumed I couldn't understand it so started shit-talking me, but I greeted myself as an Embrean in Quib. They didn't even have the self awareness to be embarrassed, the leader just ran his hand through his long greasy hair and lit up another cigarette. The Varnian seemed ok, raised his hand in greeting and smiled. I smiled back and climbed onto my bed. It was already 9pm and I was pretty tired. I was out within two minutes.

I was hoping for a good night's sleep but woke up to a pair of burly white guys sat on my bed, swigging beers. One had grabbed my shoulder.

"Alright mate!" he asked. "We're off down the boozer to get totally cunted!! You in mate??"

I guessed they were Northers from their accent (and rugby shirts) and had a prophetic vision of vomiting everywhere after a metric ton of alcohol. I grinned and nodded and threw on something that didn't smell. The Varnian was coming too, and the Quibs. Eurgh. I could deal with it though.

I was so tired I can't remember most of what happened. The first bar was a sort of slummy hole-in-the-wall full of big Sharfics in combat jackets. We all grabbed beers for less than a chocolate bar back home and next thing I remember is being three drinks in, having a pair of very muscly Sharfic men joining us and asking in broken Praetannic if we were Wallaseans. We nodded and they smiled and laughed and shared some of their firewater with us. Jesus Christ it burned. Another interlude and it was thirty minutes and a few shots later. One of the Northers, Toby, had told the Sharfics he supported Freiburg's independence and they were looking very angry. One stood up and pulled up his sleeve and showed Toby his fucking war tattoos and started shouting and swearing. The Varnian bought them another beer each to say sorry and then they left. While we were leaving they started arguing with each other and threw the beers onto the floor and began fighting.

Another hour later - I remember standing arm in arm with the Quibs singing their stupid anthem outside their embassy - we were in a club called "Big Style". What a very strange place. There were women dancing on top of glowing platforms shaped like money and dry ice kept shooting out of the ceiling, and the bouncer standing by the VIP section had a gun. We got talking to some local girls and Toby started talking about how girls were so nice and friendly here and back in his country there was too much feminism. I'm not sure if they understood but they smiled and went closer to him. Another blackout and I was in the VIP section with the Varnian and a Sharfic man who kept buying us drinks and talking about how he was a major in the air force and he was going to start selling military gear to Wallaseans and Axacalers and he needed us on the inside to handle domestics. We were really into the idea and kept toasting it and I think I was given his card. He said we can go to his ranch house outside Yovon and drive his Chagal around the estate, which sounds cool.He poured us another shot and I lost it again. I think I ate a kebab about 3am on the way home and woke up this morning in a bush outside the hostel. Got back to my room and couldn't sleep, I was too wired (or jet lagged?). So I had a shower, wrote this instead and now I'm going out for some breakfast. I want to actually see some cultural things today and maybe make another effort to head out tonight, although the Northers still aren't back and I think the Varnian died in the bathroom.
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Srf
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Re: Everything is so cheap here!

Postby Srf » Wed Jun 27, 2018 3:21 pm

Dos and Don'ts when visiting Sharfland (federation)

Sharfland is a large and culturally diverse country, and the sheer number of unspoken rules and regulations between ethnicity, tribe, class and gender can be daunting to the casual visitor. Social faux pas are easy to commit, and can have unpleasant consequences. While listing every potential pitfall would be an endless exercise, we have compiled a list of the most common dos and don'ts for visiting this fascinating country.

General/nationwide

Do:
Greet people who you plan on interacting with: in stores, restaurants and food carts for example. It's also considered polite to say goodbye or farewell when you or another person leaves an elevator. Even if you can't speak the language, most people within Sharfland will understand a smile, wave and "hello".

Bring gifts when invited to homes: it is very common to be invited to someone's home for a meal, particularly in the north and west. If someone invites you to their home in advance, it is considered polite to bring some sort of gift - something like chocolates, alcohol or tea.

Share food: when you are in a public place such as a park, or a long-distance coach or train, it is polite to offer any sharable food you may have - such as crisps or bread - with your immediate neighbors. It is perfectly acceptable and innocent to offer to the old, young, men, women, families and lone travelers, and the act of sharing food has no sexual or romantic connotation. This tradition extends to bars or teahouses, where it is perfectly normal for lone drinkers to find themselves suddenly joined at their table by new companions.

Don't:
Eat from communal bowls with your left hand: The left hand is historically used across Sharfland for bathroom purposes and considered unclean. It is deeply offensive to plunge this "dirty" hand into a communal bowl of curry or meal and other diners will loudly call you out for such behavior before abandoning the meal.

Discuss politics with people you don't know: Sharfland is still politically fragile and emotions can run high when discussing politics and international affairs. Many Sharfic citizens have interesting and nuanced political opinions, but you had better know your audience very well before contributing yourself. Espousing support for Sovereign Sharfland is extremely risky and can result in your arrest.

Take photos of infrastructure: There is quite a heavy police and military presence in Sharfland. Generally they will leave tourists alone, but become upset if photos are taken of either them or any sensitive infrastructure (bridges, tunnels, government/police/military buildings, airports...) and at the very least will tell you off and demand you delete the photos. If they are feeling especially unpleasant they will confiscate the camera.

North (Mingriulka)
Do:
Don't:
East (Kehmkan/Dushuistan)
Do:
Don't:
South and central (Sumqen/Aktoimup/Sirfika
Do:
Don't:
West (Amayala/Qorbochqa)
Do:
Don't:
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Srf
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Re: Everything is so cheap here!

Postby Srf » Tue Mar 05, 2019 2:54 pm

REPORT OF CRIME COMMITTED AGAINST FOREIGN NATIONAL
TRANSCRIBED AT ISFARA KEHMANIK REPUBLIC POLICE HEADQUARTERS
TRANSCRIBED ON 05/03/2019
UNDER CARE OF SHARFIC FEDERAL AND TOURIST POLICE LIASON

CASE NO. 05032019-88-901 | REPORTING OFFICER CPT. ALMAZ YABEK

DETAILS OF EVENT
On the morning of 01/03/2019 foreign national Mr Lucius Agoston, 21 (DUMANUM) and foreign national Ms Shelley Graves, 20 (PRAETONIA) departed from their temporary lodgings in Isfara City (Hostel Cool Horse) with the intention of visiting the Petiiri Petroglyphs at Mount Korom. Mr Agoston and Ms Graves entered an unlicensed taxi at 19th of July Square accompanied by two other foreign nationals Mr Santiago de Gigli (FLAMAGUAY) and Mr Ivan Belo (ZEGORA AND BOGATOVIA).

All reached the cave complex at 11:34AM on 01/03/2019 and proceeded to explore the caves in an orderly fashion. Mr Agoston admits that he collected a fragment of pottery from the cave floor and secreted it upon his person without the knowledge of his peers. The group left the caves and patronized a small tavern in the town of Gelon due to its short distance from the caves. Whilst at the tavern much alcohol was consumed against the legal code of the Kehmanik Republic. Mr Agoston asserts that after the meal Mr de Gigli and Mr Belo returned to Isfara, but he and Ms Graves searched for temporary accommodations in Gelon for amorous purposes. Mr Agoston claims that they were unable to secure accommodation and in their inebriated state returned to a secluded area near the cave complex to enact intercourse.

Mr Agoston and Ms Graves were interrupted by a group of vigilantes from Gelon who were armed with sticks and clubs. The vigilantes were offended by Mr Agoston and Ms Graves' behaviour and beat them with sticks and searched them. The stolen pottery was discovered and the vigilantes grew agitated. They claimed than Mr Agoston and Ms Graves were wizards using ancestral artefacts to steal the blood of the townspeople and again began to attack the couple. Mr Agoston was able to push an attacker to the ground and fled from the scene, into Gelon Police Post where he made contact with the Federal and Tourist Police Liason in Isfara. Officers from the police liason attended the scene and Mr Agoston was treated for minor lacerations and shock. The scene of the crime was inspected by officers of the police liason but no trace of Ms Graves was found.

ACTIONS TAKEN
Mr Agoston has been charged with theft of national artefacts and is currently under house arrest in Vorga, in the care of his uncle who is a businessman.

Isfara Republic Police have been sent to Gelon to arrest known troublemakers and vigilantes.

A Federal task force has been assembled equipped with helicopters to search the surroundings of Gelon for Ms Graves.
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Srf
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Re: Everything is so cheap here!

Postby Srf » Mon Apr 29, 2019 6:38 pm

A sharp, shrill alarm rang through the studio apartment and jolted Baat from his sleep. He rolled over, blinking slowly and deliberately while the world came back into focus, and stared at the alarm clock. 6:30. He slammed the button down to shut it up, and swung himself out of bed. His room was a mess - he would have to clean it later. First, he needed a shower.

Another cockroach was in the sink, which he shrugged off because at least it wasn't in the kitchen. He got into the shower and twisted the tap just the right way to get some water that wasn't scalding and wasn't freezing. Ten second rinse, off, lather, thirty second rinse off, get out. Baat flicked through until he got to the state news, which for some reason had the lowest picture quality of any of the channels he had. They were halfway through the anthem, so he climbed out onto the balcony for a cigarette. It only a few square meters, but he enjoyed being outside, and besides he didn't want his neighbours complaining about smoke in the vents again. Vorga was already awake despite it being so early, and the street below him was choked with cars, minibuses and taxis sitting still in traffic. The sun was already up in the sky, but the air was thick and smoggy and still cool.

Baat took a deep drag on his last cigarette and winced as he blew out thick, acrid blue smoke. He hated local smokes, but he hated not smoking more. He took another drag and tried to watch the news broadcast from where he was on the balcony and just about made out the headline. Eight dead in landmine explosion in north. Was that really headline news? That happened every day. Shit, he was late, and not even dressed. He tossed his butt over the balcony and threw on some trousers and a shirt. A quick glance at the mirror - nice. No creases. Out the door, down the stairs, and into the street.

He had only climbed down two flights but it was notably more humid, and he felt himself preparing to sweat through his neat white shirt. Nevermind, he told himself, and started walking down the street towards the metro. Halfway down he ducked into a mini-mart. His least favourite cashier, the fat stupid woman, was serving today. "Give me 20 Providence Gold" he said to her, motioning to the cigarettes stocked behind the counter. She just stared at him.

"No Providence. No imported cigarettes today".

"But you haven't had any since last week". Baat waited for her to offer an explanation but she just shrugged. "Fine. 20 Sirifko".

He grabbed his cigarettes and walked out and cursed whoever didn't send any Providence Golds to his shop and sparked up another cigarette while he walked. He managed to finish it just as he reached the metro, and tossed it aside. An old woman who lay begging at the escalator jabbed her finger at him. "You dirty man! Clean up your filth!" Baat ignored her as she continued shouting at him, until he got right alongside her and her palm turned to face the sky. "Money? Money?" Baat stepped onto the escalator.

The station was heaving, again. Baat had missed his train because he was buying cigarettes so he had to wait on the platform for twenty minutes surrounded by hundreds of people, and when the train did arrive it was one of the crappy old ones without any cushion left in the seats. Standing next to him were two young tourists wearing giant backpacks, who kept shifting and swinging and hitting him and everyone else. Baat wanted to say something. When one of the whites looked at him he smiled.

He clocked in to the office with five minutes to spare, and spent them trying to boot up his computer while drinking a coffee from the machine. Access to the coffee machine was one of the only perks working with the boss. Where was the boss? He hadn't said he was going to be away, so Baat spent all morning taking increasingly frustrated calls and promising the boss would "be in shortly" as he was "caught up in a meeting". The Boss eventually arrived at 1 in the afternoon, smelling faintly of beer and steaks and cigars, together with a foreigner in a very expensive suit (Baat guessed he was Dumani, from his dark skin and bushy black hair). The boss did not greet Baat, but did ask him to step out the office while the two finished their business meeting. Baat gladly obliged, and had another cigarette on the roof. He liked the roof. When he was younger, he would never have believed that such a tall building could exist. He thought you would suffocate or freeze if you went so high. But here he was, flicking ash onto the people wandering around like bugs a hundred meters below him. The smog was thinner, and the sun a little brighter, and the air a little less humid. He would have liked to work on the roof, if he could.

He came back down to the office and the Dumani was still inside, so he sat and chatted to the reception girl, Kelsang. She was an Amayali but she was very cute. Baat thought again about asking her on a date, analysing every movement of her eyes and mouth as she smiled and laughed at his jokes. In the end he decided to ask her tomorrow. The boss brought him back into the office as the Dumani left.

"Another successful deal, Baat" he smiled as he dropped heavily back into his chair. The Dumanis are going to jointly build a new power plant with us in Serongol". He pulled a Dumani banknote from a fat-looking envelope on his desk and held it up so Baat could see. "Praise the sun!" he said in Ostic, laughing and pointing to the same phrase printed along the top of the Denari. Baat smiled and wished he could punch the boss and wondered how many packs of Providence Gold he could buy with that single note.

The boss was so happy he let Baat go home an hour early (an hour after the boss left himself). Time for a late lunch, Baat told himself, and walked down an alleyway to the side of the office. His favourite soup stand was there, and as he approached the shrunken little lady behind the food cart started scooping his order into a plastic bowl and pulled a cold can of beer out of a cooler filled with ice. He smiled and handed her a few notes, and went to sit down on the nearest plastic table. A bunch of construction workers shifted over and carried on chatting in Mingriul, or Dushui, or some other provincial language that Baat didn't understand. He looked at his bowl. The fattiest cuts, with a salted egg, and plenty of chillis. His favourite. He cracked open his beer and slurped the soup loudly and forgot all about the boss and Kelsang and his shitty cigarettes and the cockroach in his bathroom.
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