2009-02-21: Am I Strange


Daisuke_icon.jpg Kalindi_icon.jpg

Summary: Daisuke helps Kalindi, who is new to the area, find her way around, discussions turn….odd.

Date: February 21, 2009

Log Title Am I Strange?

Rating: G

NYC - Bryant Park

Located right behind the New York Public Library is the quaint Bryant Park. Looking over 42nd Street, chairs and tables have been set up all around the green, making it ideal for book readers, people to sit down and eat, or just relax with friends. Trees surround three out of four sides of the park, and in one of the corners sits a little stand called The witchcraft creamery which offers ice cream sandwiches, milkshakes, floats, and warmer beverages in the winter..

It is a little bit cold this evening, intensified by the chilly breeze that passes through the park. Most people who meander through the park are wearing at least some kind of jacket to keep the cold from affecting them, but Kalindi has taken this to a new height. The teen wears a black toque, a pair of black woolen mittens and a heavy sky blue jacket, and her shivering suggests that she is still pretty cold. She holds an open city map in her hands, the very picture of a tourist trying to figure out where the heck she is trying to get to.

Daisuke is dressed for the cold in a black jacket over a pair of jeans with a scarf and fingerless gloves, but hat. He's spent almost the last two hours just sketching the people he's seen in the park to work on his technique. He starts to pack up his pencils and notebook in his backpack and looks up to see Kalindi looking through the map just a few feet away from him. He doesn't zip his backpack up but decides to see if she needs help. "Excuse me miss, do you need help finding your way somewhere?" Says the Japanese teen polietly.

Kali looks up from her map and blinks a couple of times in surprise. "Ah, finding my way? Yes, yes I need help very much." Her thick accent is a little bit bizarre, a mixture between the Hindi accent from her youth and the demonic one from when she obtained when she was growing up. She bites her bottom lip and then points at the map, to an area in Brooklyn. "I think it would be easy to find if I knew where on the map I was starting. I do not think I am even close…"

Daisuke finshes zipping up his back pack and goes over to look at the map. "Well you're here, in Bryant Park. Quite a bit away from Brookly since it's on the other side of the East River. You probably want to take the subway here, the BDFV, and thake that into Brooklyn." Daisuke says showing her were everything is on the map. "The entrance to the subway is actually right over there." He says pointing in the direction that it is.

"Ah, thank you. Do you have something for writing?" Kalindi makes a motion with her hand suggesting a pencil or pen. "I do not want to get lost again, it is very hard to become found. This city, it is very big." She tugs on the straps of her backpack, shifting its weight on her shoulders. "Do you know a lot about this city?"

"Yeah, here." Daisuke says opening up his backpack and finishing for a pen, he doesn't want to give her one of his drawing pencils. "Here. And yeah, New York City is pretty big, especially with the five burroughs, it's kind of like five cities in one. And yeah, I know quite a bit. I was raised in Queens and my brother and I used to come into Manhattan a lot to hang out."

"Oh, that is good. I am still not very familiar here. I have not been here for very long. People tell me places that I need to go, but I never know how to get to them. It is so very frustrating." She removes one of her mittens with her teeth, exposing her hand (which has two gold rings on the ring finger and one on the index) takes the pencil and starts tracing a line on her map. "Thank you for letting me use your pencil," she adds as an afterthought.

"Oh no problem, so how long are you in New York for?" Daisuke asks as he's not used to the whole New York Tourist thing since it's where he's lived his whole life. "When I go to Japan I usually set up an itinerary so that might be helpful, just pick the places you want to go, map it out and that way you can visit what you want to see."

"Oh, I am staying… I do not know. Maybe some years, maybe more, maybe my life?" says Kalindi, shrugging. It doesn't seem like she's overly concerned about which. "But right now, I am trying to learn about the city. Get familiar with the things here. But I know nothing about it." She puts the pencil into a mittened hand and struggles to cover her bare hand again, and then offers the writing utensil back to Daisuke.

Daisuke takes the pencil and slips it into his backpack and shurgs. There is something slightly shy about him even if he is being friendly. "Well then take your time and explore, no use rushing around trying to see everything then, right?" He figures she might have just moved here with her parents and her family tends to move around a lot.

Nodding, Kalindi says, "I think that I will see everything important eventually, if I am here for long enough." She tilts her head slightly and then introduces herself, "My name is Kalindi. You can call me Kali, too, if you would like to. Thank you for helping me. Do you want anything as a repayment for your help?"

Daisuke shakes his head. "No, no thank you, I don't need anything." Daisuke says honestly as he just figures he's being nice. "I'm Daisuke or just Dai, that's what most people call me. Nice to meet you Kali." He says pushing his hair back over his ear. "It's not that hard to learn your way around, New York is basically a grid, everything is squares." Well for the most part in Manhattan.

Kalindi nods and notes, "It is nice to meet you too. I used to live in a very big city when I was much younger, but I did not do any of the navigating. I was always with my parents. It is very new for me, to be in a big place again." She removes her backpack and puts it on the ground, letting it sit there. "Do you know how long it will take to get where I am going?"

"My brother and I were pretty much on our own most of the time so we did a lot of exploring together, and I've had eighteen years to learn the city." Daisuke says runing his hand through his hair, a nervous habit he has. "And how long, maybe an hour or so? Might be less, I really don't go out to Brooklyn that often."

"I have an appointment there in two hours… if it will only take one, then I am not in as much of a rush," says Kali, giving a slight smile to Daisuke. "Have you ever lived somewhere else than this city? Have you ever thought that it would be nice?"

"I live outside of the city now, for about a year and a half." Daisuke says and as the question he shrugs. "I've thought about moving to Japan, my Grandmother's there, but it'd just be too weird. What about you, where did you move here from?"

"Ah, um…" says Kalindi, clearly hesitating. She has a problem with lying, but would clearly rather not disclose that information, "Well, I was born in India. I lived in New Delhi, then, I think. I lived somewhere else for awhile, somewhere small… it was warm. And then I moved here." She rubs her arms, gesturing out that she finds here very 'not warm'.

Daisuke nods. "So what brings you to New York? And yeah, I think the winters here are pretty cold too." Daisuke admits as it can get crazy cold when the wind comes right off either river. The joys of Manhattan being an island with lots of tall buildings, it creates quite the wind tunnel. "So what was it like in India, I don't know much about it there execpt what I learned in school."

"It was warm and busy. Everyone was so much taller than me. I was just a little girl when I was living there. It is very nice, though. I might want to go back someday…" Kalindi shrugs and says, shaking off the nostalgia, "But I have things to do here now. It is just business that brings me to New York… There are things to do here."

Daisuke looks confused as Kalindi says business. "Business? Like school business?" He thinks she must be younger than him but he's not that old either at eighteen. "You should go back someday. It's always nice to visit the contry of your heritage and learn about things there." Daisuke loves visiting Japan but he just likes his friends over here.

"School business? No. No, it is not like that. I am not in school," says Kali, clearly a little bit confused now. She picks up her backpack and throws it over her shoulder again. "I am working. I sell things and buy things. It is like… what is it? Those places… you sell and then they buy and then they sell what they buy? It is like that."

"A pawn shop?" Daisuke says wondering why her business would lead her to New York. It doesn't seem like something you travel for. "Oh, I'm sorry, I thought you would still be in school. You look like you're the right age to be in High School." He runs his hand through his hair, that nervous habit again.

Kalindi shakes her head and says, "What is the age that I should be in high school? I am sixteen, I think that you are maybe older than me from what you look like." She shrugs and adds, "I do not know. I am new here."

"I'm eighteen but I was a Junior in High School at sixteen." Daisuke admits. Maybe it's different in America than it is in India. He knows the school system is a bit different in Japan. "Usually fourteen or fifteen to seventeen, eighteenish is normal high school age."

"Oh, I see… Ah, I remember when I was very young, I was going to go to school… I didn't, though. I had moved before that." Kalindi shrugs and adjusts her backpack, "Is it fun, to be going to school? Do you like it very much?"

"Well I graduated but I liked the school part of it, like all the learning." Daisuke was top in his class before he went to Xavier's. "I kind of kept to myself most of high school, but I do miss it." He still does live at Xavier's though and he really likes it there. "So you don't go to school at all?"

Kalindi shakes her head and says, "No, I do not go to school at all. I have never gone." She frowns for a couple of moments and asks, "Is that a strange thing? Maybe I should not say it. You probably know a lot more than me… I wish I had that knowledge." A thoughtful expression appears on her face a few moments after she finishes that sentence.

"Do you want the honest answer?" Daisuke says playing with the sleeve on his jacket. He does find it kind of stranage. "Well if you want to learn, it's never to late to go to school. There are ways to go about it and maybe I do maybe I don't. I'm book smart, you're probably a lot smarter when it comes to businessy things then."

"I always want the honest answer," Kalindi says, crossing her arms. "But yes, I am probably better at business than you are. It is what I am trained to do." She tilts her head a little bit and adds, "I am probably going to be too busy to go to school, I think. It is a long thing, is it not?"

Daisuke nods. "Okay then honestly, it is a bit weird, to me at least, that you're sixteen and haven't been to much school. Most kids do go, not all graduate though." He says with a sigh and looks down. "Some don't get the chance too, but yeeah, it can take years. I don't know how long it would take to get a GED though, that's like a high school diploma."

"Like a highschool diploma?" says Kalindi. She closes her eyes and thinks for a moment and says, "I will maybe look into that. It will probably be good to have." She folds up her map and slips it into her jacket pocket. "But I seem pretty normal to you, yes? Other than the school?"

Daisuke gives her a strange look. "Yes. Why, is there something that shouldn't be normal?" Daisuke asks obviously a bit weirded out by the quesiton. "High school diploma says you graduated high school." Daisuke says that weary and confused tone still in his voice.

"It is just not good to stand out, is what I mean. I want people to think that I am normal so that nobody thinks I am strange," says Kali, shrugging, though the question probably makes her stand out more than anything. "You know what it is I mean?"

"Well do I seem normal to you?" Daisuke asks still a bit nervous. Is she a mutant like him? That's what he's starting to wonder. "I guess, just…I wouldn't ask people if they thought you were normal, that's the first thing to hint that you aren't."

Kali's eyes widen a bit when she's told the last part, and she brings her hands up to her mouth. "Oh, you are right. I am sorry, I do not know what is strange here, so I do not know if you are strange. I am just… I'm am not used to it here. I think that maybe I should be going. Thank you for your help." She hurriedly begins to adjust her winter wear, preparing herself to head off.

"I…I wasn't saying that you were, just that..what you were saying…um…just made it sounds..I'm sorry." Daisuke says thinking he offended her. "Um..take care Kali, it was nice meeting you." He says looking around and sighing. Great, he probably screwed up somehow.

"I am sorry," mumbles Kalindi, looking down at her feet, "I liked talking to you. Goodbye." She adjusts her bag, turns around and quickly starts walking the other way, towards her destination.

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