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 Mi casa es...Donde esta mi casa? [open to all]

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Antonio FernandezCarriedo
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PostSubject: Mi casa es...Donde esta mi casa? [open to all]   Thu Dec 03, 2009 3:25 pm

Mexico had been a mistake. The Spanish Division expected him to go to a Spanish-speaking country. So he picked someplace the exact opposite.

Fortunately, he knew English. It would be more useful and a better disguise in China.

Everything was so painfully foreign, though. He managed to get his money shifted untraceably and relaxed a fraction. He had been using public bathhouses to get clean and sleeping in an abandoned warehouse until that went through.

Now to get a real place to live.

An internet cafe allowed him to translate the local real estate ads. Sublets and short leases were what he focused the search on, since he didn't plan to stay long.




please excuse my terrible Spanish. I'm doing this from five-year-old memories.

The title: "My house is...Where is my house?"

this is open to anyone who wants to write about the more practical means of suddenly going to Hong Kong - where the heck are you? I figure this is also a good way to get an idea of what's going on.
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Lars Obstfelder
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PostSubject: Re: Mi casa es...Donde esta mi casa? [open to all]   Sat Dec 05, 2009 1:49 pm

Lars swore if another dozen pidgin-spitting people smothered him with crudely worded offers of cheap trinkets, good times and happy endings, he would flay them alive and decorate their ramshackle shanties with their intestines.

Disgruntled, he slipped into the café, the wall of cool air-conditioning a relief from the sweltering heat and suffocating humidity. He grabbed several newspapers off the rack, ordered himself a cup of coffee and paid for his hour of time on the monitor.

Somewhere he had heard that despite its urbanity, Hong Kong was still close-knit as a village - gossip and news from the elite trickled down to the masses and spread like an oil slick; a death in the family was known by everyone when the body was still warm. The tricky part was sifting the truth out of the mire of exaggeration and jealous, biased journalism.

Lars took his seat a few chairs away from an olive-skinned man with a cap of tousled dark chocolate curls. He began speed-reading through the newspapers, lips pursing in disgust every so often as he sipped the watery coffee. When the last page fluttered to the table he finally looked up and cracked the tension from his neck, sighing. Looked like there wasn’t much to be aware of other than the usual precautions. As far as he knew the Division’s funding here was still stable. Oh, but he’d have to contact a broker when he got back to Oslo - the undercurrent whispered of a merger or a possible conglomeration between a few big-name banks in the works; he’d have to get a piece of that…

If there was anything salvageable about Hong Kong it was the money, always the money and making it and gambling it away and the adrenaline risk of losing it all an addiction to those foolhardy businessmen.

He glanced waywardly to the side and squinted, the vaguest hint of recognition jogging him. That face - had he seen it before…?
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Antonio FernandezCarriedo
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PostSubject: Re: Mi casa es...Donde esta mi casa? [open to all]   Sat Dec 05, 2009 5:52 pm

He could feel the start of a vision, a little tickle at his temples. Warily, he let it wash over him, his eyes staring blankly at the computer monitor.

His shoulders tensed. He used the monitor's reflection to scan the room without turning. There. Another foreigner, slim and slight and cold as ice, by the look of him. He was the Division agent, Antonio was sure of it. Antonio printed a page and stood casually, logging off the computer, erasing the history. He just hoped the agent wasn't a sniff or something. He walked to the printer like a man with places to be, taking the sheet and leaving the cafe.

He was three blocks away before he slowed and ducked into a dumpling shop to sit down and take a few deep breaths. Constant running may not have been the answer, but it had been working alright so far. He took a few more deep breaths. He hadn't been seen, or even recognized, he thought. Even if he had, he was low priority, just a run-of-the-mill Watcher who had been duped into working with the Spanish Division. He was a naïve fool, no one of consequence. He doubted they even had a real search party looking for him. If there had been a Sniff on his trail, he would have been captured long ago.

Ludwig, he thought miserably, before shaking the daydream of the boy he once knew away. He looked at the sheet he had printed. It was as good a place to start looking as any other. He bought a light serving of dumplings and took it with him on his way to the apartment complex, relatively confident that he hadn't been recognized or followed.
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Arthur Kirkland
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PostSubject: Re: Mi casa es...Donde esta mi casa? [open to all]   Mon Dec 14, 2009 5:51 pm

Meetings seemed to be longer when spoken in a language that was not his native, but nevertheless, Arthur made an attempt to speak choppy Chinese that he learnt from a beginners book in the language. His fellow businessmen had responded likewise in English, and eventually the meeting fell to being conducted in English, the primary language for business. Arthur was thankful for that fact, and though usage of American English didn't exactly please him, he was more comfortable with it.

He would probably be staying in Hong Kong for a few months, which was too long to pay for a hotel and too short to rent a permanent home. In the end, he used his cost of living expenses to rent a small, modest apartment for the time he would be staying in Hong Kong.

Checking the address of the place on a handwritten sheet of paper, he glanced around himself to try and distinguish where he was. The streets were crowded, making it hard for him to move around without nearly bumping into another pedestrian. Despite that, he tried not to get lost in his surroundings, paying careful attention to the streets. He stopped near a dumpling shop to make sure he was going the right way, checking the sign of the street he was on.

((Sorry this was so late, I've been busy with schoolwork. ><))
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Antonio FernandezCarriedo
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PostSubject: Re: Mi casa es...Donde esta mi casa? [open to all]   Mon Dec 14, 2009 6:31 pm

Antonio was concentrating on eating his dumplings. Perhaps he should have concentrated on watching where he was going. He nearly tripped over a short guy with bushy eyebrows and a clearly non-Asian countenance.

"Excuse me," he said in abrupt, accented English, figuring it was the safest bet for communication. He barely managed to prevent himself from dropping his dinner. He steadied himself with a hand on the stranger's shoulder - probably a rude move, in retrospect. "You all right?"
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Arthur Kirkland
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PostSubject: Re: Mi casa es...Donde esta mi casa? [open to all]   Sat Dec 19, 2009 11:07 pm

Arthur had determined where he was compared to where he wanted to be after checking the street name and the directions he printed back at home. He was about to get moving when someone ran into him, nearly pushing him off balance. His thick eyebrows narrowed in irritation as he turned to face the person who ran into him, who was surprisingly addressing him in English. The man was, unfortunately, taller than him, and was placing a hand on his shoulder to steady himself. The nerve! Arthur thought, getting increasingly irritated.

"Yes," He replied stiffly in his British accent, brushing off his sleeve with his printed directions. "I'm fine..." Another glance at the man had him wondering. He was clearly not of Asian-descent, and he was speaking in English. How often does one come across that in the streets of Hong Kong?
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Antonio FernandezCarriedo
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PostSubject: Re: Mi casa es...Donde esta mi casa? [open to all]   Sat Dec 19, 2009 11:20 pm

"I'm sorry about that," Antonio said sheepishly. He smiled easily, because he almost always smiled easily. "British, eh? And what brings you hereabouts?" He was a little more than politely interested, because he was generally curious about everything. He also felt a vision building and equally felt that the Briton was the subject.

Which meant the man would need to have his fortune told, after a fashion.
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Arthur Kirkland
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PostSubject: Re: Mi casa es...Donde esta mi casa? [open to all]   Sat Dec 19, 2009 11:38 pm

Arthur sighed, giving Antonio a small nod. "It's fine," He said, about to turn and walk away. He wanted to get to his apartment soon, since he was jet-lagged and tired. Not to mention a tad cranky due to being stuck in a meeting for hours and nearly bowled over on his way home. It sounded like a fine idea to have a cup of tea to calm himself down before reading over the meeting notes and unpacking his things.

Before he had the chance to leave, the man who had run into him attempted to strike up a conversation. Arthur paused warily before answering him; it seemed a bit overly-friendly to be talking to someone he barely met on the street. "Yes, I'm from London," He answered, politely trying to keep the irritation out of his voice. Why was this stranger prodding at him about his personal life? "I'm working overseas for the business I work in."
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Antonio FernandezCarriedo
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PostSubject: Re: Mi casa es...Donde esta mi casa? [open to all]   Sat Dec 19, 2009 11:43 pm

"Let me buy you some tea to make it up to you," Antonio offered. The headache was starting to build. He let it. "You British like tea, yes?" He wore the same ever-present, puppy-friendly smile. Antonio had not had real human company in a while, and it showed.
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Arthur Kirkland
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PostSubject: Re: Mi casa es...Donde esta mi casa? [open to all]   Sat Dec 19, 2009 11:56 pm

Arthur was taken aback at the direction the conversation went. Weren't they just talking about something completely different? His wariness was becoming stronger.

"Actually, I--" and he was just about to say no, he was fine and will be on his way now, until he looked up at the man's face. He looked friendly, as if he genuinely just wanted to talk. And...he brought up an excellent point. Arthur would definitely enjoy a cup of tea right now. It was rather odd how friendly this person was being, but it wasn't as if Arthur couldn't handle himself if he turned out to be some kidnapper.

"...wouldn't mind it." He finished, resigned.
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Antonio FernandezCarriedo
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PostSubject: Re: Mi casa es...Donde esta mi casa? [open to all]   Sun Dec 20, 2009 12:00 am

"Good, good," Antonio said, distracted now. He led Arthur (his hand on the small of the man's back, which he fully expected to be berated for) to a Japanese-inspired maid cafe, more because he liked the tea there than for the scenery, though he idly hoped it made the shorter man blush. Antonio was not cruel, but he did sometimes like to embarrass people just to watch them turn red.
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Arthur Kirkland
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PostSubject: Re: Mi casa es...Donde esta mi casa? [open to all]   Sun Dec 20, 2009 12:12 am

Leading with a hand on his back was the last straw for Arthur. "Hey, easy now!" He said through gritted teeth of irritation, rapidly beginning to regret agreeing to this. "That's a little too friendly," He grumbled, brushing off the man's hand. Then he saw where he was being led to, a maid cafe.

What the hell is this?! He thought in shock as he was lead to a maid cafe, his cheeks reddening in embarrassment at the thought of being served by girls in maid dresses. "Are you bloody serious?!" He exclaimed, his head snapping up to look at Antonio while pointing at the maid cafe. Was this a joke, or was there really no other place to get tea around here?
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PostSubject: Re: Mi casa es...Donde esta mi casa? [open to all]   Sun Dec 20, 2009 12:19 am

"Ahhh, you look good in red, Inglés," Antonio grinned. "Sorry about the atmosphere - I guess you don't like it, huh? It's the closest place for European tea, though." He didn't mention the perfectly normal tea shop two streets over, because where was the fun in that? "Anyway, what's your name, Inglés? I'm Antonio, nice to meet you."




inglés - English (adjective), English (the language), or Englishman/woman

In this context, "Englishman."

Inglaterra sounds better :/
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Arthur Kirkland
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PostSubject: Re: Mi casa es...Donde esta mi casa? [open to all]   Sun Dec 20, 2009 12:37 am

"What is that supposed to mean!?" Arthur demanded, looking away from Antonio so he couldn't see his reddened face. Was it too late to back down? Most likely yes. He could see other cafes around, why didn't any of them serve European tea!? But that wasn't Antonio's fault (as far as he knew), so Arthur breathed slowly, trying to calm down. Now he really needed some tea.

"My name is Arthur," He grumbled after a moment.
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Antonio FernandezCarriedo
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PostSubject: Re: Mi casa es...Donde esta mi casa? [open to all]   Sun Dec 20, 2009 12:40 am

"It means what it is and it is what it means," Antonio teased. "An absolute pleasure to nearly knock you over, Arthur. And look, there's a table."
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PostSubject: Re: Mi casa es...Donde esta mi casa? [open to all]   Sun Dec 20, 2009 12:49 am

"How cryptic of you," Arthur grumbled, still standing near the entrance reluctantly. The interior was already making him want to leave and go back to trying to find out where he lived. He never thought he would set foot in a place like this, but he guessed odd things happened when traveling overseas.

"Ha. Yes, I really enjoyed that," He said, his voice heavy on sarcasm as he headed towards the open table.
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Antonio FernandezCarriedo
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PostSubject: Re: Mi casa es...Donde esta mi casa? [open to all]   Sun Dec 20, 2009 12:56 am

"I'm in the business of being cryptic," Antonio shrugged.

"What will you two be having?" the nearest maid-waitress asked, all conciliatory good manners.

"Earl Gray for me, and for my friend..." he looked at Arthur expectantly. "What will you be having, Inglés?"




red text is Chinese...whatever dialect is more common in Hong Kong - Mandarin, maybe?
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PostSubject: Re: Mi casa es...Donde esta mi casa? [open to all]   Sun Dec 20, 2009 5:59 pm

"Ahaha," Arthur laughed humorlessly at Antonio's words, letting the conversation in Chinese fly over his head. He was not fluent enough to understand what they were saying, so he found no need to try. Instead, he focused on looking away from the maid-waitress who was talking to Antonio, even though she had good manners. It did no good, the direction he looked in ended up having other waitresses dressed in maid outfits wandering around. He resigned to staring at the tablecloth intently, reddening again in both anger and embarrassment. Couldn't Antonio at least warn him that they were going to have to go to a maid cafe?

"Hmm?" He asked, his green eyes darting up at Antonio when he was addressed as "Inglés", not lifting his head in an attempt to not look at those girls. "Ah. Any European tea would do," He answered exasperatedly, looking back down at the table again.
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Antonio FernandezCarriedo
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PostSubject: Re: Mi casa es...Donde esta mi casa? [open to all]   Sun Dec 20, 2009 6:32 pm

"For my friend, also Earl Gray," Antonio decided. "With lemon on the side, I should think." He smiled a little when he realized Arthur was very carefully examining the tablecloth. "They're just doing their jobs. In cute little dresses~!"




red text = Chinese
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Arthur Kirkland
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PostSubject: Re: Mi casa es...Donde esta mi casa? [open to all]   Sun Dec 20, 2009 7:57 pm

Arthur blocked out the Chinese once again, making no attempt to understand. He assumed that Antonio was just ordering for him, which would be fine...as long as he didn't ask for something as awkward as the maid cafe situation. When Antonio addressed him again, he sighed, nodding. "Yes, I am aware of that. It doesn't mean I have to watch them, right?" He asked, hazarding looking up at the other man.
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PostSubject: Re: Mi casa es...Donde esta mi casa? [open to all]   Sun Dec 20, 2009 8:03 pm

"Of course not, que - ah, amigo." He berated himself mentally for the slip. Arthur was emphatically not Ludwig, and really he shouldn't be calling practical strangers "dear." Even if it wasn't in their native language. He rubbed his forehead. He managed to prevent himself from telling Arthur he was missing out on half of the experience by not looking.

The businessman probably wouldn't appreciate the teasing.

The tea came quickly, with few flourishes. Their maid-waitress apparently was better than most at picking up the subtleties of foreign expressions.




the word Antonio was about to say: querido, meaning "dear" or "love"

amigo - friend
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PostSubject: Re: Mi casa es...Donde esta mi casa? [open to all]   Thu Dec 24, 2009 11:07 am

Arthur noticed the hesitation in Antonio's speech, but didn't think much of it. The man already seemed to be fluent enough in Chinese to order a cup of tea (he would hope in this situation) and was able to speak to him in English. He probably almost said something in another language.

"Indeed," He said, barely managing to contribute something a little more than monosyllabic to the conversation. The tea came faster than he expected it to, and he thanked the maid-waitress with a nod. "What brings you to Hong Kong, Mr. Antonio?"
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PostSubject: Re: Mi casa es...Donde esta mi casa? [open to all]   Thu Dec 24, 2009 1:33 pm

"Carriedo - or, Fernandez Carriedo. My name is Antonio Fernandez Carriedo," Antonio clarified. "But I'd rather you just call me Antonio, anyway, and forget the 'mister.' As for me, just traveling the world. I like seeing new cultures."
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PostSubject: Re: Mi casa es...Donde esta mi casa? [open to all]   Thu Dec 24, 2009 1:49 pm

Antonio Fernandez Carriedo. Arthur let the name run through his head and decided to take Antonio's advice. Calling him "Mister Fernandez Carriedo" would be a mouthful. Traveling the world, what a nice thing to do. But Arthur probably would not stop working long enough to take that extended a vacation. For now, he would have to be content with traveling for business.

"I see," Arthur said, taking a small sip from his cup of tea. He wished he could ask for some milk to go along with it, but didn't exactly feel up to calling one of the maid-waitresses for help. "Where else have you been?" He asked, for the sake of upholding a conversation.
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Antonio FernandezCarriedo
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PostSubject: Re: Mi casa es...Donde esta mi casa? [open to all]   Thu Dec 24, 2009 4:24 pm

"Portugal, Germany, France, England, Greece, Cuba, Colombia, Peru, Greece..." Antonio scratched his head. "Some others I've forgotten, I'm sure. I go, settle in with a job or two to keep expenses down, and then I leave when I'm...bored, I suppose?"

He did not mention, of course, that he was on the run from the Division, or that he left when he had visions of them catching up to him. "Have you seen much of the world, Arthur?"
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