1964-10-03 - Cultural exchanges
Summary: A small altercation takes place in Chinatown after an alien tries to tell people to be polite.
Related: If there are no related logs, put 'None', — please don't leave blank!
Theme Song: None
janie takumi starfire 

The throaty growl of Takumi's motorcycle is heard as he weaves his way through the traffic in Chinatown, heading downtown to make a delivery. He is cautious in this part of town. While the average American may see little difference between Chinese and Japanese, there is little love lost in dealings between the two, and he has run into trouble here before.

Starfire ambles down the busy Chinatown streets, taking time to look at all the street vendors and shop windows. Even though she's wearing a perfectly normal sun dress her rather unusual appearance marks her as something apart from the average American and she responds to the staring and pointing with smiles and the occasional wave.

The average American(TM) clearly can't spot the difference. But a real Chinese can. Some of the older men and women that seem to sit in front of their stores everywhere - how many white haired grandparents does this Chinatown have?! - send burning glares as they recognize the facial clues of those that had oppressed their breathen up to 19 years ago. Some of these even throw a curse after the biker, but then look up to that odd colored girl. Oddities these days…

At the northern edge of Chinatown, Janie Wu fixes up her shop for the lunch break, turning the sign in the glass door before stepping outside to lock up, then glancing down the street towards central park. Shrugging a moment she turns around, moving more towards the core of Chinatown.

And to those who know what to look for, Takumi certainly looks Japanese. The muttering does not go unnoticed as he looks for the address for his delivery. He ends up doing a double take, for a variety of reasons, at the orange girl. Weirdly, his bike revs without him doing anything, and that snaps his attention back to what it should be on. He mutters a "Thanks," then swings his bike into a spot between two parked cars a few storefronts down from Janie's shop. He gets off of his bike and goes into the saddle bag for his delivery. He mutters to his bike, "Now stay put and behave this time."

Starfire pauses as a few of the elderly locals make curses and frowns. "Gosh that is an extremely rude thing to say to someone you do not know," she notes, repeating the statement in the speakers native language with flawless pronunciation in case they don't speak English. "And there really is no call for rudeness now is there."

Janie isn't one of those old war vets and can't tell the difference that easily, but the rude looks to the biker and his odd behavior make her wary as she closes in. Not that she would be helpless, but this is chinatown. And sometimes, agression flows just under the surface here.

Package tucked under one arm, Takumi gives Janie a friendly smile in passing. But then he hears what Starfire is saying, understanding only the English part. He speaks up, choosing words carefully, "I appreciate the sentiment, miss, but don't worry about it. They don't like outsiders much here."

With a sigh Starfire turns and puts a hand on her hip. "I do not like walking on the ground, but I do it to avoid upsetting people. Is being polite really an unreasonable thing to expect from others?" She sounds more disappointed than angry though.

"Excuse me miss, but do you see Old man Wu over there? He was tortured for months by Japanese soldiers in the war. Old miss Ming over there lost all her siblings and children in Japanese Air raids. Do you really expect them to be reasonably?" Janie answers, eying the alien in a summerdress. "The color of your dress does accompany your teint though."

Takumi looks at Starfire and gives an ironic smile, "Most people don't understand the damage the wrong words can do." He considers the odd phrasing of her comparison then, and seems a bit baffled, but doesn't comment. Janie's words, however, make him look serious, "The past is a burden we all carry." He sounds like he's quoting something there. He says <"excuse me." Then, and ducks into the storefront. It literally only takes moments before he's walking out empty handed.

Starfire turns to Janie and sighs. "Yes, I do. Holding onto such resentment will only lead to further conflict," she points out. "My dress? Oh, I did not pick it. It was recommended by some friends I met while shopping. They told me about a store of thrifts where good condition used garments can be acquired in exchange for currency."

Janie sighs a moment on the statements about resentment. "Just smile." she mutters to herself in mandarin, then eyes the dress again. "Second hand? Well, that explains the cut. But exchanging currency for any clothing is usual. You might want to take a look at some seamstress shop though if you have spare money, sometimes a slightly different cut can change the whole look of a dress."

As Takumi re-emerges from the store, he takes a look down the block to where he parked. And where a teenageer, prompted by Old Man Wu's comments on Takumi's parentage, has decided to mess with his motorcycle. Without thinking, Takumi yells out, "Hey! Don't touch my bike!" Which… is exactly what he should not have done. The bike, all on its own, roars to life and rears up like a horse, knocking the boy to the ground.

"Smiling is good," Starfire agrees in Mandarin, smiling herself before switching back to English. "If the dress looks nice why would I need it altering? I am familiar with the concept of having a garment altered. It is something we have back home in.. Monoco. Which is in Europe." And then the motorcyle starts acting like it's alive, she seems to float almost a foot off the ground in an instant and her hand begins to glow green and radiate heat. "Please tell your… Machine? To cease attacking or I will be forced to destroy it."

Janie eyes to the machine as it starts to rear, then turns to Takumi, her eyes starting to glare at him as she tries to focus on his black shirt, or rather tries to fiddle the most upper button into the hole it belongs to - which is pretty hard to do if you can only manipulate the string in the button and the button hole but not the button itself. "You heard the lady…" she adds through pressed teeth.

Takumi grabs at his collar, confused at why his shirt is acting up. He rarely talks to his clothing, so it usually behaves. BUt he has more pressing things on his mind. He calls out, "Whoa, whoa, everyone calm down." The bike returns to the ground, but is still running. Takumi puts himself between STarfire and the bike, "No need to go destroying anything." The kid who was knocked down scrambles away from the bike, and Mr Wu (and a few other older bystanders) start making warding signs or prayers against evil magic. Takumi looks at starfire then and blurts, "So that's what you meant about not walking on the ground."

Starfire looks down at Takumi and blinks. "What else would I have meant?" she wonders, the green glow fading from her hand. She glances at Janie and adds "I did not know this would occur, but I do feel it makes my point about why people should try to be polite to strangers. You never know when they might have intelligent machines."

"You mean posessed ones." Janie answered, letting the button go, even if she had planned to try to tighten the collar further should Takumi not reign in his bike. "However it also illustrates nicely how deep history grows."

Takumi comments, to the varying explanations of what just happened, "A little bit of both, really, but I don't have time to stand here and explain." He adds, "I should really be going." And probably avoiding this part of town for a good long while. He heads for his bike then, to depart.

"How strange," Starfire notes, floating there with blatant disregard for gravity. "I know someone who said they were possessed by the spirit of the Norse god of thunder. I wonder if his motorcycle is also possessed by a Norse god."

Wanda goes home.

Janie nods slowly "I don't know, and I neither know any norse gods. I do know however, that the cut of your dress does not do what it might to make you look as good as it could. Just… hmmm, a bit tighter around the waist, some more loose on the lower hem so it will flutter better… You know, a bit Marilyn Monroe."

Starfire finally lands. "I do not know who that is," she admits. "Nor do I have any money for the adjustment of my dress. If I am honest American fashion does not really suit my tastes. It is very.. restrictive compared with what I am used to."

"I don't know how europe is… but I ave seen some designs being pretty reaveling." Janie admits, then sighs as she looks to her clock "I got to get my lucnh though, got to open up in a few minutes again. If you have some spare dollars, I can see what I can do for your dress though. Fashion's Boutique at the next corner."

Starfire nods. "I shall keep that in mind for when I acquire more funds," she assures. "I hope that you have a pleasant lunch!" She frowns thoughtfully, then shrugs and with a wave floats vertically up and away. Fast enough she's gone in moments, although not so fast as to cause any sonic booms.

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