Logs:On the Menu
|On the Menu|
"Oh, no, they have good food there."
<XAV> Conservatory - Xs First Floor
Tall panes of glass and a many-gabled glass ceiling protect this large indoor garden from the elements, while welcoming in sunlight to keep it warm year-round. Adjoined to the southern face of the venerable mansion and surrounded by more conventional gardens beyond, the conservatory is all Old World elegance from the outside. Within, however, it is lush and green and in certain corners--whether despite its careful tending by the groundskeeper or because of it--seems practically wild. Footpaths and a burbling artificial steam wind through the space, connecting its disparate parts. Benches are scattered throughout, thorough soft grasses or mosses under certain trees also invite rest.
The outside wall is lined with tropical and subtropical plants. The ferns and cycads and epiphytes are kept moist by artfully hidden misters that also give the place a sort of magical ambiance, dense foliage wreathed at times with drifting patches of mist. Nearest the building is a desert in miniature, with a few impressively sized cacti as well as palo verde and other trees adapted to arid climes. Between these, and by far the largest section, is dedicated temperate zone plantlife from around the world, the beds growing more carefully manicured and the pads less winding as one approaches the center, where a clearing with a small ring of seats is a popular spot for some teachers to hold court.
Over in the dining hall it's bustling right now -- loud, boisterous, chattery, start-of-term energy still high before too much of the workload has set in. Nessie is avoiding the more crowded dinner rush; she's taken her supper out to the quieter remove of the greenery here, seated with her many legs folded beneath herself under the shelter of a banyan, her plate resting in her lower pincer-arms. She's wearing only a striped loose button-down, ancient and threadbare.
The plate is half-full, mashed potatoes, blackened salmon, sauteed collards, corn pudding, all the food currently ignored as one of her arms with hands waves her fork in the air. "I like rice crackers and Yan Yan," she's saying, brightly, "just in case you ever need to make another apology basket."
Sitting across from Nessie on one of the banyan's massive roots, Kelawini is wearing a pink cap-sleeve button-down with only the bottom few buttons done--it's uncertain whether the rest could be done up at all even if she tried--over a purple shirt, and black capris. She's kicked off her purple flip-flops festooned with red hibiscuses to match their red straps, and is most of the way through mashed potatoes and salmon--her corn pudding is barely touched. "Oh, rice crackers are the best," she agrees earnestly. "Being in the city was way better for junk food than out here, though the stuff that's always in the rec room is pretty great, too." Here her smile skews crooked. "I'm hoping I won't need to make any more apology baskets, but there's always like. Midterm cramming baskets, right?"
Kurt had just entered the conservatory, his plate mostly untouched aside from some remnants of salmon. He's wearing fitted white t-shirt that were tucked into high waisted blue jeans. A red belt completed the look as yellow eyes nervously canvas the area for a place to sit. He spots Nessie and immediately his shyness fades, his tail flickering at excitement. He makes his way to the banyan, a wide smile on his face.
"Hallo!" He glances at both of them. "Uhm, my name is Kurt, d-do you mind if I sit here with you both?" Another nervous glance.
"Those sound great actually," Nessie agrees, with a small wriggle-bounce in place, "I eat like a --" She hesitates, wrinkles her noses, changes tack: "I get sooo hungry when it's studying time. Also I'm very unmotivated in every boring subject so I --"
She breaks off at the sound of approaching footsteps, arms clutching her plate a little closer, but eases as Kurt comes into view. "Yeah, I know who you are," she answers Kurt with a quick smile. "Oh yeah you --" she's reflexively beginning to answer before she stops. Looks at Kelawini with eyebrows raised questioningly. "We were just planning about study food."
"We've met," Kelawini says. Her tone is just a touch flat, but her body language is relaxed as she adds, "I don't mind, though." She curls her toes around her flip-flops and pulls them closer, gesturing for Kurt to take a seat. "I figure I can make a trip special, right? Before exam time. Go into the city, stock up on the good shit in Chinatown where it's mad cheap. Make those all-nighters a lot more bearable!"
Kurt bamfs to the offered seat, setting his plate in his lap as he begins to eat the mashed potatoes with his hands. "Study food?" He says aloud, more to himself, brow furrowing in serious thought. "I have not found anywhere here that make it, but -- I get cravings for kartoffelkloesses." He smiles fondly, and his eyes widen suddenly. "I visited Chinatown when I went to the city! I got the boba, it was like little, uhm, how do you say?" He focuses. "Little... squids?"
Nessie's nose wrinkles, and she pulls back slightly when Kurt bamfs, head turning reflexively at the smell. "Cravings for -- um -- what?" The wrinkled nose is joined by a wrinkled forehead. "What? How are they like squids?" She looks to Kelawini as if the other girl might have an answer. "Ohhh, if we go down to Flushing we are gonna be set. I mean, I might forget to study and just feast but there's worse things right?"
Kelawini fans her hand at the sulfurous smoke that Kurt's teleporting produces. "That's rank. Next time maybe just walk?" Her eyes unfocus for a moment. "They're like...potato dumplings. I bet you find some in the city, there's every kind of food there. I never had no boba like squids, though, that's a new one to me." She tilts her head slightly. "Wait, where's 'Flushing'? Is it mo' better for gri--for eats?" This comes out sounding ever so slightly skeptical.
"Right, sorry." Kurt says quietly, his nose twitching. "Maybe not like squid, but, uh -- bubbles? Chewy." At the prospects of kartoffelkloesses, his whole face brightens, tail flickering in excitement. "Would they have them in this 'Flushing?' Or any real German foods?" He stops eating now, leaning forward with full attention paid to Nessie.
"Oh, no, they have good food there," Nessie says with a quick bright laugh at the question of German foods in Flushing, then stops with an uncertain tilt of her head as she looks at Kurt's expression. "Oh -- um -- sorry I mean -- it's." Her head ducks. She pokes at the salmon on her plate. "It's the bigger, better Chinatown," she explains. "So good for food. But like... Asian food. With, uh, spices in. I don't know about where -- German food is, sorry. Google could maybe help you?"
"There's a bigger Chinatown?" Kelawini's face goes slack with amazement. "We were missing out while we were down there! Really didn't make it outside of Manhattan at all. I'm so going to Flushing next time." She shakes her head at Kurt. "Yeah, the closest thing I've ever had to German food is like. A reuben sandwich? Lots of Asian food back home, German not so much."
"I have never had much Asian food, similar to you -- lots of German food back home, Asian not so much. From what I see, it looks really yummy!" Kurt begins to dig into his corn pudding now. "If I can find Google, I will tell you where to get German food. My mother, she use to make me maultaschen after, uhm..." He looks concerned, but this quickly is hidden with a smile. "They are like, uhm, bigger dumplings, with meat and spinach and just -- good things! You have to try them at least once, jah?"
"Huh?" Nessie's confusion is returning. "Find google?" She shakes her head, takes a small bite of her dinner. "Um, I do like dumplings?" she volunteers with a small smile. The smile brightens again when she adds, "T.V. doesn't tell you this but Manhattan's the boringest part of New York. Queens is where good New York is, the Bronx and Brooklyn have so much going on and then I guess Manhattan is fine if you're rich or a tourist but you should not be just -- hanging out there by choice. I mean, Evolve's there but that's about it."
"You're joking, right?" Kelawini stares at Kurt, incredulous. "Icon with a big colorful 'G' on your phone. Basically what you do every Internet search with? It's--Google." She shakes her head. "I been missing on on good New York, then. Gotta check out Flushing, and Queens." Her eyes are a bit distant again. "No wait. Flushing's in Queens. Right." Only a faint blush, here. "Well, I'm gonna check it out, fo' sure."
Kurt shrinks under Kelawini's glare, stopping eating again. "I... do not really know how to use my phone." He admits reluctantly, his cheeks puffing out slightly. "I-I've never had a phone o-or internet, really. Not used to it, I-I am more comfortable without it." His nose twitches. "I did not go to Queens when I went to the city, I think. I just go to all the main sites, Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, Central Park. I would love to see the good New York!" He smiles wide, sharp canines clinging onto his lower lip.
This doesn't visibly clear up the confusion in Nessie's face. She just stares at Kurt openly, head tilted and one eye scrunched like she's trying hard to decipher something in his expression. "Okay," she says finally, though she sounds intensely skeptical. "Um." She shifts, a little awkward, looking down at her plate. "Yeah." She tries another smile, but this time it seems a little less bright than before. "Flushing, in Queens."