Cheap extended stay hotels raleigh nc

Please share your cheap tickets and travel hacks!

2023.06.04 05:48 Pineapplesaveword Please share your cheap tickets and travel hacks!

Or anything else related to travelling!!
I will start! 😁
I bought a return ticket from Brussels Charleroi to Eilat Israel for €39,98!
Next ticket I bought is from Dusseldorf Weeze to Pula Croatia for €13,59 return!
How amazing! So cheap I couldn't believe it! I love to travel but I don't have much money. This way I can travel! The most expenses are the hotels or Airbnbs and parking at the airport! I don't want to stay in a form in a hostel but that would even make it more cheap!
Please share your experiences!
submitted by Pineapplesaveword to cheapticketsandtravel [link] [comments]


2023.06.04 04:59 winterspan Trip Report: May 9-25, Tokyo and Kyushu

Just returned from a 2.5 week trip in Japan.
I started in Tokyo, before flying to Kagoshima and making my way back through Kyushu. I was by myself, making friends along the way.

TOKYO (Kuramae)

Tokyo was exciting and overwhelming. I really enjoyed staying in Kuramae on the east side. It was really peaceful at night along the Sumida river.
The first night I got in, being totally delirious from sleep deprivation, I ran around Asakusa in the dark. With the day trippers gone, I had Senso-Ji almost to myself.
I stayed in a hotel/hostel with a popular, upscale locals bar and cafe on the first floor, which led to a lot of commingling between travelers and locals. (named Nui). Fantastic idea.
I found a few tiny music venues in the neighborhood which were exclusively filled with locals. Me and some new travel buddies I met were welcomed as tourists, and it led to fun interactions with the bands and random Japanese.
Ueno and the area around the national museum definitely deserve a visit, as does Asakusa obviously. But it’ll be busy. Save for a quick trip, I stayed out of Shibuya/ Harajuku which I didn’t enjoy.
The most interesting day trip was to Fukushima area. I used a legit tour outfit (Real Fukushima) run by the community and was able to go into the exclusion zone area, and make visits to areas that were devastated by the tsunami. We stopped by one of the few combined community centerestaurant/market centers that had reopened since the disaster. It had such a hopeful feel to it after hearing about the problems getting folks to return to the area.Was a great experience overall.
The food in Tokyo was incredible in general and the 24 hour conbinis and ubiquitous vending machines were awesome for drinks and late night snacks.
Out of all the izakayas I went to, only one server was annoyed to deal with English speakers. The rest were friendly and inviting. Always useful to know a handful of Japanese and get your phone translation ready so you don’t burden them.
By far the highlight of my time in Tokyo was being able to attend the Kanda Matsuri festival around Akihibara. I’ve never experienced anything like it. The mix of ancient and modern, with the mobile shrines being paraded while chanting in front of Akihibara’s high tech backdrop was wild.
If you get a chance to attend a local traditional festival — any festival — do it.

KAGOSHIMA

Kagoshima was a cute little city. You won’t need a lot of time in the city itself. The Sengan-en garden was beautiful, as was the ferry and bus around the Sakurajima volcano. I did both in a day.
I stayed in a really cute guesthouse called Hostel Tomal. It was a group of private Japanese style rooms in an old building that had been rescued by a sort of art collective group. The owner was very nice and helpful and spoke English.
At night, it’s a quick walk up to the observation point which has a great view of the city lights. (If using Google maps, keep going through the parking lot when you reach the top). This is really popular during the day for the view of the volcano over the bay.
The entire city was surprisingly calm and quiet at night, especially outside the entertainment district. There were very few western tourists walking around, but I did meet a few.
Food highlights: - western cafe called “CAFESHOP”. Delicious sausage omelette and croissant after eating Japanese style breakfasts for a week. - little curry place called “Friend and Bird”, nice old man running the shop.
If you are into table top games or just want a fun bar to drink and hangout mostly with locals, there is a place called “NEWGAME BAR” with a flat fee.

ASO

I made an overnight stop at Mt. Aso, which was a quick express train from Kumamoto. It’s definitely worth a visit, especially if you are spending a lot of time in the cities. It was incredibly peaceful, I just biked around all evening.
The guesthouse I stayed in was lovely. It was run by a Japanese guy who had worked in California for a time, so he had all this American memorabilia and a big flag flying which I thought was cute.
There is also a great “red beef” restaurant there called “あか牛丼専門店 ごとう屋阿蘇店”.

FUKUOKA

Fukuoka was probably my favorite place, and I stayed for 4 nights.
I was in Hakata, at Webase. It’s sort of a cross between an upscale hostel and a hotel. My private room was equivalent to a business hotel, but had the benefit of a shared kitchen, common space and rooftop patio.
Walking around Hakata, Nakasu, Tenjin at night was beautiful and a lively experience. Similar to Tokyo in that way, but more relaxed.
I ended up at a local music festival out at Uminonakamichi Seaside Park over the weekend. I was one of very few western tourists at the show, and this led to meeting some locals which gave me a ride back and took me to dinner. We went to a local izakaya that looked like an abandoned building on the outside (intentionally) and had a secret doorway. They called it the “ninja house” which was just a joke I think. (The place was called “Chinpunkampun Haruyoshiten”). They did get a chuckle out of making me try to find the hidden door. This experience was easily the highlight of my entire trip. Google voice translate works very well and really makes these experiences possible.
I also took a day trip up to Kitakyushu to see the Sarakurayama Observatory via cable car. It’s a quick trip and definitely worth the detour. Nanzoin was also beautiful to see, but I think I had more fun just stopping at random train stations out that way and walking around.
Food highlights: - really cool Izakaya called “Takenoya Kawabata” - modern Yakiniku place with great beef that will serve a single person called “Yakinikutokasudon Tatsunosu Nakasukadomis”

HIROSHIMA

I only had a short time in Hiroshima, and did the typical route of the Atomic bomb dome/museum and Miyajima/Mt. Misen.
The Atomic bomb museum and surrounding area was a very somber and emotional affair, but important to see.
Miyajima and Mt. Misen were as spectacular as everyone says, but be prepared for lots of crowds. I think I most enjoyed the ferry ride over the most. Absolutely beautiful.
One major food highlight to point out:
“Hakushima Brunch”. The most adorable cafe you’ll find in Japan. Run by a lovely older couple who opened it when they retired. They were so happy to see tourists and interact. The French toast was fantastic and very cheap, and they gave me free home made matcha.

YOKOHAMA

When I got back to Tokyo, I headed to Yokohama the night before I flew out. I didn’t have much time to see everything, but the harbor around the Gundam factory was absolutely stunning at night. Train ride was worth it just for the view.
After two weeks of almost exclusively eating Japanese food, I found an American style BBQ joint (including wagyu brisket!) there which was fantastic. In fact, some of the best BBQ I’ve ever had period. Place is called Midtown BBQ Yokohama.
Overall, I had a wonderful trip. Be polite, greet people in Japanese, don’t fear the trains, get off the beaten path when you can, and get ready to walk like you’ve never walked before.
submitted by winterspan to JapanTravel [link] [comments]


2023.06.04 04:38 Competitive_Army_196 Looking for LCOL but normal/good pay in acct field. Retirement savings good taxes, water supply not drying, lesser crime, etc.

Got my BA in ACCT might get my MACC or do rando courses and take CPA. But also may move if can get a job (i can) right now with some superv exp/costruc work but entry level acct 0 exp.
I am looking to go to state seasons are fine (ie winter,summer,fall, etc all fine.)
dont want like TX, FL, CA, NYC, WA, DE, NJ, AZ, NM.
I like the middle area more i think like WY,SD,ND,WI,OH,IN,IL,IA,MS,AL.GA.SC.NC,VA,WV,KY,KS,NE,TN,ETC.
only concern with colder spots are: Asthma (dont like the congest feeling from wild coldness), old people (dont want sick or slip and boom taken out by some stupid harsh winter when they prob could get 20+ years still)
I want to get like a LCOL with a good pay. So I can have animals, land, home, etc at kind of younger age. Temps arent 2 concerning, crime rates/rising big factor, enviroment/natural disasters are a concern (ie dont want wildfires ie CA or i 10/20 years for my area to be struggling for Water (AZ)?).
Not that I plan 2, but I would prefer a "logical" idea for gun stuff, mostly with this is just if someone is breaking into my home/still on my prop/ attacking me/ being a danger (crime going up i dont want to get charged on some BS if someone tries to rob/home invade) (NJ),
I would prefer low retirement tax implications (this would not be for my ie not for my 401k withdraw but for elderly people who I will be taking care of their disburstments ie SS/ annuity/ forget other shit but perhaps a benefit state to the. On that topic a state with no inheritance/death tax.
medical care/something within 4 hours for major surgery pref ie cancer (sure most places have this i not could use plane/drive from Lcol savings (doubt needed 4 me, old people mb but both good health, poor knees. a decent cancer screening state would b good (do those rankings even exist?)
States with entertainment of some level would be a plus:
really anything just need something:
ie i like Bball, (Indiana (maybe lcol with high pay), bull riding/horse riding (viewing not doing) might b cool, golfing (for old people not me), socialization opportunities for old people maybe?, swimming, fishing, catfishing, sewing, farming,hunting, gardening, mudfishing, College football clubs, nba teams, nfl teams, mlb, museaum, historical marks, hiking trails, national parks, scenery.
One day in my LCOL decent/high pay job I hope to have someone working for me that can solve these questions so I dont have to both yall. Also if needed I dont have a ACCT focus. I do like taxes (dont know anything at all from college at all at all.) I dont mind other ie just standard act1 etc. jobs. I have few years supervisor exp and lots of years for construction fam business. I plan to like on applications if I cant get anything 55k+ legit ie 3 year supervisor? 3 year supervisor that used _____ required skill for 1 year, ads/customer service/ job req/ finance planning/budgeting @ construction ( I did actually do this just in no way what a pro co. would do more like hours as a kid figuring our product price/costs/ pricing/ft etc. I can say I did that family business for 8+ years idk how that looks resume wise but I include skills in there a job might want ie communication or whatever.
for the like req skills somehting like
bill dot com or
quickbooks
pivot/vlookup
sql
would few dedicated hours of yt not get me to a beg level to start a job? like Bill dot com get invoice bring to there, document how Co. wants??
sql will get my ass but not applying for many with that in req.
Thank yall

for initial home looking 3 be 2 bath 3+ acres, if in cheap lcol then 3bed 2 bath 10+ acre. wouldnt mind 2 angus 1 dairy cows, chickens, garden (havent hcosen size yet not big deal), water supply if possible, need ac/some newer stuff (dont want to buy some shitter that needs hella fixing ie fucked roof or shitty porch etc.
trying to stay between 200/700k settlling more at that 350-550 range.
submitted by Competitive_Army_196 to retirement [link] [comments]


2023.06.04 04:17 JoshAsdvgi The "Enukins"

The

The \"Enukins\"
- Little People of NW Alaska (Pt. Hope)
The little monkey men- "innukins-tsenin" of Alaska
as told by an Inupiaq man...

The enukins are described as "Little People", smallish, mischievous creatures of the night. The general region of their habitat is north of Kotzebue, Alaska and perhaps the Point Hope area is best known for being the origin of the "myth."
Many elders in Kotz area hand down andient fireside stories of "Enukins" to Inupiaq children.
Much like the white man tells boogie man stories to frighten his children so the Kotz elders told their children.
For example, the Native Inupiaq mother's would say,
"..if you don't behave, the Enukins will .... "

Anyone from NW Alaska will be familiar with the Little People called Enukins though little is known beyond Native oral history, which I am told has always been there...
I found these thoughts from an old thread by someone called, “Majik Imaje,” he signed himself from Pt Hope, Alaska.
"Enukins, they are The Little People that live underground in the Arctic.
Some of what I am about to tell you will seem preposterous, but just ask any person that lives in any village from Nome clear up to Barrow, Alaska and all of the villages of the entire North Slope Region, will tell you that what I am about to try and explain is "true".
Do I have photos? No, not yet, but I'm working on it, there has to be a way to prove this with recent giant advances in technology I am sure it will become possible to "catch & record proof” of the Ignaugalurauks…
The Little People that live underground and in caves here above the Arctic Circle.
This is no legend or folklore; new sightings are prevalent and constant each and every year!
I will tell you stories and provide photographs of all that "can be seen" in this vast huge expanse of area of several hundred thousand of square miles.
Things happen out here that just do not make sense.
For instance, you may not believe what I am about to explain, you have to be here to experience these happenings, no matter what I type, you will be very skeptical and doubtful ONLY because this does not happen where you live, therefore: ??
Lets start… at the beginning so you have a better understanding of what is going on up here where frequent reports abound and from in each and every village!
This is a vast area we are talking about in square miles, roughly the size of ALL the New England STATES put together empty.
A long time before the whaling companies arrived, the Ignaugalurauk's lived among the people of Point Hope, AK.
One of their young was eaten by a dog and they moved out of the village.
These enukin people are small, 3-4 feet in height!
They live in the old ways to this very day they dressed in caribou skins.
They still hunt with bow & arrow.
They live underground, and in caves all throughout this vast area.
They possess super human qualities that you will never believe.
They are incredibly strong and they can run, very fast; they sneak around the villages stealing food.
When any hunter shoots and kills a caribou, it requires two adult Inupiaq men to lift that caribou to place on a sled. It only takes ONE Ingnakalaurak or Enukins to pick one up and RUN WITH IT, over his head (carrying animal) running, with a dead caribou?
How do you make sense out of that?
Bush Pilots have reported seeing caribou moving, quickly, in a horizontal position??? Figure that one!
Let's stop right here and let me extend an invitation to you.
Anyone can come on up here, talk to the bush pilots.
They will tell you what they have seen with their own eyes, but you will not believe them, because, you know it makes little sense even though you have never been up here or heard of this before.
Come on up!! See and experience it for yourself.

Have I got your attention now …good.
I have no need to lie or exaggerate about any of what goes on up here around Pt Hope.
I have no problem with the truth however,
I do have a huge problem with liars and phonies that is why I stay up here in the Arctic; to us it's “Heaven on Earth”
Inupiaq man, Luke Koonuk was out hunting many miles from Point Hope, Imagine this if you can, …you travel hundreds of miles into a vast empty area, Luke's 4 wheel Honda was stuck in the mud.
He had tried and tried to lift or get it out of the ruts to get it free.
He was exhausted bent over huffing and puffing; exhausted when suddenly out of the corner of his eye he sees, his Honda rise in the air and come bouncing down on firmer ground and something that was sort of a blur, was running away.
When a hunter is lost or stuck or in trouble these little people seemingly appear out of no where to assist and then are gone in a flash.
Many people up here have had many different experiences, I could go on and on with stories of what goes on up here and I promise to tell all I have experienced during my almost 3 decades of living among the Inupiaq peoples.
Hunters, experienced hunters, often talk about caribou that they have shot & killed.
Dead and the caribou will disappear before they reach it to dress it out.
Make no mistake, these people are very good in what they do, they are perhaps the best hunters in the world.
Jump on a 4 wheel Honda or a snowmobile, and go 200 miles out into this empty region at 50 below zero and stay out there for weeks.
You see a caribou and shoot it, it falls down, motionless and they wait and watch; have a smoke… wait and watch.
We do not waste time out here driving; gas is too expensive; well over 5.00 per gallon for years up here.
“That caribou is dead,” said Inupiaq man Joe Oktillik, I got on my machine and drove over those hills, and ??
Where is it, I know this is the spot and there is no blood anyplace, no tracks to the left or the right and no tracks going straight ahead.
The last place I looked Joe said, “was up!?”
Caribou is gone, no tracks? This happens a lot up here.
I am not going to waste time here trying to convince anyone.
Come on up; go out there and see what happens.
I can be your guide.
Or connect you to a reputable source.
The best time to come on up here is in June during whaling festival in Barrow, Alaska;
I live here now, and I am inviting any and all that wish to see, experience, life in the arctic. Although my house is small, I can comfortably fit 4 people at any time.
I have two spare rooms in my two story house here in Barrow Alaska.
There are 5 adults living in this toasty warm house and two rooms to spare for any who wish to visit the Arctic at the top of the world in Barrow.
There are also a few hotels in town but they do not offer free home cooked meals, 5 times per day if necessary. So lets talk about "what goes on up here in the arctic.
STRANGE THINGS YOU WILL NEVER BELIEVE!
submitted by JoshAsdvgi to Native_Stories [link] [comments]


2023.06.04 04:05 No-Bandicoot4368 I think my parents are abusive but I could just be being dramatic

I am sorry for the long post but I need to get it off my chest and I need advice. TW This post mentions abuse. Also the spelling is bad because I am emotional and have dysgraphia. TLDR at bottom but I have no idea if i can sum this up. pretty much a throw away account
I (16F) never really noticed anything that out of sorts my family was until maybe some time maybe last year mabye sooner my memory is patchy at best. I guess I just ignored it and refused to think that my parents could do anything wrong, and I still sometimes think that way. My sister (19F) and I have never been close despite living in rooms right next to each other, though we pretended. I guess we always have pretended. I don't quite know how to explain my mom but my dad's (50M) behavior is simple. My dad is a doctor so he is never home, and when he is he demands our attention. He wakes up early (5 am) by his own choice to run. He gets home at varying hours but never earilier than 6 or 7. He showers eats dinner then goes to bed. I never bonded with him correctly and so when he does get time off it feels wrong. He acts like we shoudl know all about him but I honestly don't. He never did anything to try to bond with me as we have differing interests so it required effort (this is the tame stuff but I need you to understand our dynamic so you can userstand my predicament). I am the black sheep of the 4 of us, I have ADHD and Dysgraphia so I think diffrently I guess, I don't like school or math or science (my who family (not extended family) is into that stuff, doctor, chemical engineer, bio chem major) and I guess I don't, my parents love hiking and pfisical activity and travel and I don't, I am creative and they are not. My dad alwase forced me to do thigns like backpacking (with our family + another family who's daughters was the embodiment of spoiled only child while my sister got to chose ehr friend), or going on a boat but I (only recently put a name to it) am scared of the ocean, and water (not drinking water but like bodies of water). Anyway thats all tame but now that you understand the dynamic, my dad has a temper. He doesn't get mad easily but when he does it is bad. When I was little (5 or 6ish) I didn't want to shower so (I don't remember what happened before this but I was somehow unclothed) and in the hallway of our house. I was throwing a temper-tantrum as all kids do when they are that age. I don't remember how I ended up on the floor but I remember it hurt, then I remember my dad hitting my butt over and over I just remember his face when I stood up, it was angry and red and terrifying. I just remember thinking that if I cry again I didn't know what he would do. These incidents are rare I can only remember 3 but I really don't know if I am just suppressing it or if its only those 3. The second time was my sister she was in (I think it was some sore of manic/dissociate state and needed serious help) what my parents said was a depressive episode and it might have been but there was more too it, ill get to that later. She didn't want to do the dishes (there was more too it but that was how it started) and after months of her being in this weird state they got fed up with one of their kids actually having a problem and they couldn't manipulate or gaslight her out of it so my dad got mad. My sister ended up in her room (I don't remember most I just remember considering calling my grandmother because whenever something like this happens it is nuclear) and she blocked the door with her bean bag. Its heavy and large and when she put it against the door it wouldn't open. I was still blind to my it being my parent's wrong doing and wanted to help. I don't remember why I left ,y room but my sister was at the top of the stairs saying something about her mental struggles and my parents hate "excuses" and my dad acted out. I dont remember much but I remember him dragging her down the stairs while she cried by her feet. Not in a way where her head would hit but just to get her down. They threw her out and I was scared but thought that fights were normal. She came back and they let her in again that same night after a few hours. I won't get into the third time as it is kind of a mix of the last two and you get the picture (me from after I typed this out here: I am remembering some more incidents that are less physically painful but involve my dad using force). My mom(49f) is different, she never really touched either of us in that way she doesn't have too. If I am 90% sure she is either a sociopath, psychopathy, or narcist, though there is no use trying to find out as she in her mind is just shy of being a god. She is the reason I don't know who I am (in the less literal interpretation of that phrase I know my name and stuff just not who I am as a person), or have any hobbies, or really know how to succeed in life. She sees me as some sort of npc/character in her game. Any action that is not in the programed rout is a glitch or problem and isn't real, just has to be reset to fix (my analogies suck but I'm trying). She didn't raise me she trained me, like a dog in some senses. You can train that puppy like disobedience out of the dog's actions, turn them from a food stealing, slipper chewing problem into a service dog if you wanted. She tried that with us I guess. never really let me develop into who I could (and because I am still young might possibly be one day if i make it out of this house in one peice). She would entertain an idea with no real intention of following through. She would manipulate me itno thigns I never really liked. I tried acting when I was younger not professional but still a good program. She loved that, somehting that would fufil my creativity that she could never understand, and she could show off the fancy and expensive program she put her daugter in. She was happy when I got increasingly bigger roles and loved when I sang. I hated singing but I foced myself to like it becuase it made her happy. Fancy lessons she could brag about, performances she could invite anyone too, the perfect family. I even took the elective in middle school but I guess it was better than drama. I had quit acting by middle-school as I had started talking about how tech week caused me to stay up past midnight (I was in 2nd grade when I joined) or the pressure to be perfect, or the makeup and phisicial standards and competition and toxicity. She didn't like that I had become less like her plan in those years. The enviorment was aweful, my sister and I never got along. I am starting to think that she (intentionally or not) shielded me from the worst of it in our childhood, but I might never know as we have never spoken about any of this out loud except for the few rare exceptions. We hated each other most of the time becuase of our parents. They would aways mention our worst qualities to the other when we couldn't hear, but they would do it where it wasn't obvious. "don't worry [sister's name] OP is just having a hard time in school because [Problem], she just needs space". That wouldn't be a problem except we each thought the other was the favorite child. We each had what the other wanted, she had my parents adoration becuase of her extremely good grades and intelligence, and all I wanted was to feel like I was loved and accepted. While I had... well I don't actully know but my mother said that durin one of ehr episodes she said she hated them for me being the favorite and she admitted she was jelous of me but my best guess is that I was treated better some times because I was the daughter they loved to show off, the unique one who is also smart (not as smart as her). We both wanted to be like the siblings in the books that we both loved, who "hated" but didn't really just had minor arguments not almost-strangers who tried to ruin each other who shared a bathroom for a few years and also had similar DNA. Though I guess sometimes we did pull through and were reallly there for eachother, after years of ebig conditoned and molded there really is no undoing that without therapy and healing and years of work. We are doing a lot better and I sheild her as best as I can from my parent's controling nature by letting her know when they invade her privacy by scanning social media and look for key words or phrases thats she would use to see what she is up too. We are working on it but our bond is broken and only starting to heal, and we can't do that when in our parent's clutches. I am starting to suspect my sister has some form of PTSD and I might have something similar. I still feel sometimes as if I am making it up and its nto as bad as I think it to be, or im making it sound worse or dramatic for attention even though I don't talk about it. I am a great story teller most of the time though this is rather rambling, and after years of being told that I am just blowing things out of perportion I don't even know. It might be a real issue and I might be unsafe or I could just have crappy parents who are normal and I'm the probelm. And it's true I am a problem I am manipulative and vindictive sometimes and I have an excuse for everything, but I remid myself that I learned those triats to survie this. If i never show negitive emotion my mom will have nothing to correct so she cannot punish me as much. thier offical punishments are lax but I guess the real punishment is knowing you slipped and you are goign to have to endure emotional burdern for a while. When I get in that rut of beliving I am the problem and that my parents are normal and good I remember one thing my mom said years ago. She told me (after her an another mom were talking about punishemtns and spankings) that I couldn't tell people my dad had spanked me so hard I almost passed out and it left a mark because they would take them away and I would't want that right? My own mother has used similar lines to that 1 million times. My own mother knows her behavior could get CPS called, but then again it could be the way I told the story and I don't remember it. My sister called the cops once but they didn't do anything. My mom told me that and I don't know why but I have a feeling it is because my sister had the same though I ahve had every time I get close to picking up the phone "what about my future?". They pay for collage, expenses, food, housing, monetarily speaking we have it good. I have all the electronics to keep me sane for a little longer and them I am home free... Well that's what I thought until my mom started entertaining the idea that I stay here and do community collage because I am having "trouble with my GPA" I have a 3.?? across both years of highschool. I adapt and learn fast, but I guess in my mom's eyes she realized that I her puppet would be gone. She lives though me and wants to keep doing that, and since my sister went as close to NC as she could get when she left she wants me in this house for as long as she can justify. I am not going to collage to better my future in the normal sense I am going because it is my only escape. Hell my theripist tells my mom everything so I only ask her about ADHD stuff. My parents control our lives through so many other ways, but this post has gone on long enough and I think you get the picture. I only started to notice this when my sister said (I don't remember when or where but I know it was her, maybe I don't know but I do know that is this is suppression then I should see a real therapist) but she said something along the lines of " you know this sint normal right? our parents are abuisve". I dont remember what I said to that but I have begun to notice it and my own triggers everywhere and when I tell people about it the more tame side they say that I do have trauma and need a real therapist. I have paranoia and manic episodes and I am 16 I guess I could be misentepriteing it and just wanting to be special but I honestly believe I have issues.
TLDR: my dad is physically abusive on occasion, and my mom is emotionally abusive and manipulative, my sister is burned out and has a trauma response to any arguing, and my mom is not hinting that she wants to keep me from going to collage which is my one escape. And I am manipulative and vindictive because I had to be to get out of punishment's or spending time with them so I didn't mess up. And I still sometimes think they are innocents.
so here is what I need in advice: what should I do? how do I make it through till collage? how do I get help before I become like them? How do I get evaluated for whatever trauma response I have (I don't want it online for the world to know) without them finding out? how do I do this? and maybe more questions that I am too emotional to think of. wow this was much longer than I expected and very eye opening. I still feel like I am making it up and that they are good parents, I want them too be. Please tell me this is not all in my head?
submitted by No-Bandicoot4368 to Advice [link] [comments]


2023.06.04 04:01 No-Bandicoot4368 I think my parents are abusive but sometimes I think I am making it up.

I am sorry for the long post but I need to get it off my chest and I need advice. TW This post mentions abuse. Also the spelling is bad because I am emotional and have dysgraphia. TLDR at bottom but I have no idea if i can sum this up. Also yes this is my alt account.
I (16F) never really noticed anything that out of sorts my family was until maybe some time maybe last year mabye sooner my memory is patchy at best. I guess I just ignored it and refused to think that my parents could do anything wrong, and I still sometimes think that way. My sister (19F) and I have never been close despite living in rooms right next to each other, though we pretended. I guess we always have pretended. I don't quite know how to explain my mom but my dad's (50M) behavior is simple. My dad is a doctor so he is never home, and when he is he demands our attention. He wakes up early (5 am) by his own choice to run. He gets home at varying hours but never earilier than 6 or 7. He showers eats dinner then goes to bed. I never bonded with him correctly and so when he does get time off it feels wrong. He acts like we shoudl know all about him but I honestly don't. He never did anything to try to bond with me as we have differing interests so it required effort (this is the tame stuff but I need you to understand our dynamic so you can userstand my predicament). I am the black sheep of the 4 of us, I have ADHD and Dysgraphia so I think diffrently I guess, I don't like school or math or science (my who family (not extended family) is into that stuff, doctor, chemical engineer, bio chem major) and I guess I don't, my parents love hiking and pfisical activity and travel and I don't, I am creative and they are not. My dad alwase forced me to do thigns like backpacking (with our family + another family who's daughters was the embodiment of spoiled only child while my sister got to chose ehr friend), or going on a boat but I (only recently put a name to it) am scared of the ocean, and water (not drinking water but like bodies of water). Anyway thats all tame but now that you understand the dynamic, my dad has a temper. He doesn't get mad easily but when he does it is bad. When I was little (5 or 6ish) I didn't want to shower so (I don't remember what happened before this but I was somehow unclothed) and in the hallway of our house. I was throwing a temper-tantrum as all kids do when they are that age. I don't remember how I ended up on the floor but I remember it hurt, then I remember my dad hitting my butt over and over I just remember his face when I stood up, it was angry and red and terrifying. I just remember thinking that if I cry again I didn't know what he would do. These incidents are rare I can only remember 3 but I really don't know if I am just suppressing it or if its only those 3. The second time was my sister she was in (I think it was some sore of manic/dissociate state and needed serious help) what my parents said was a depressive episode and it might have been but there was more too it, ill get to that later. She didn't want to do the dishes (there was more too it but that was how it started) and after months of her being in this weird state they got fed up with one of their kids actually having a problem and they couldn't manipulate or gaslight her out of it so my dad got mad. My sister ended up in her room (I don't remember most I just remember considering calling my grandmother because whenever something like this happens it is nuclear) and she blocked the door with her bean bag. Its heavy and large and when she put it against the door it wouldn't open. I was still blind to my it being my parent's wrong doing and wanted to help. I don't remember why I left ,y room but my sister was at the top of the stairs saying something about her mental struggles and my parents hate "excuses" and my dad acted out. I dont remember much but I remember him dragging her down the stairs while she cried by her feet. Not in a way where her head would hit but just to get her down. They threw her out and I was scared but thought that fights were normal. She came back and they let her in again that same night after a few hours. I won't get into the third time as it is kind of a mix of the last two and you get the picture (me from after I typed this out here: I am remembering some more incidents that are less physically painful but involve my dad using force). My mom(49f) is different, she never really touched either of us in that way she doesn't have too. If I am 90% sure she is either a sociopath, psychopathy, or narcist, though there is no use trying to find out as she in her mind is just shy of being a god. She is the reason I don't know who I am (in the less literal interpretation of that phrase I know my name and stuff just not who I am as a person), or have any hobbies, or really know how to succeed in life. She sees me as some sort of npc/character in her game. Any action that is not in the programed rout is a glitch or problem and isn't real, just has to be reset to fix (my analogies suck but I'm trying). She didn't raise me she trained me, like a dog in some senses. You can train that puppy like disobedience out of the dog's actions, turn them from a food stealing, slipper chewing problem into a service dog if you wanted. She tried that with us I guess. never really let me develop into who I could (and because I am still young might possibly be one day if i make it out of this house in one peice). She would entertain an idea with no real intention of following through. She would manipulate me itno thigns I never really liked. I tried acting when I was younger not professional but still a good program. She loved that, somehting that would fufil my creativity that she could never understand, and she could show off the fancy and expensive program she put her daugter in. She was happy when I got increasingly bigger roles and loved when I sang. I hated singing but I foced myself to like it becuase it made her happy. Fancy lessons she could brag about, performances she could invite anyone too, the perfect family. I even took the elective in middle school but I guess it was better than drama. I had quit acting by middle-school as I had started talking about how tech week caused me to stay up past midnight (I was in 2nd grade when I joined) or the pressure to be perfect, or the makeup and phisicial standards and competition and toxicity. She didn't like that I had become less like her plan in those years. The enviorment was aweful, my sister and I never got along. I am starting to think that she (intentionally or not) shielded me from the worst of it in our childhood, but I might never know as we have never spoken about any of this out loud except for the few rare exceptions. We hated each other most of the time becuase of our parents. They would aways mention our worst qualities to the other when we couldn't hear, but they would do it where it wasn't obvious. "don't worry [sister's name] OP is just having a hard time in school because [Problem], she just needs space". That wouldn't be a problem except we each thought the other was the favorite child. We each had what the other wanted, she had my parents adoration becuase of her extremely good grades and intelligence, and all I wanted was to feel like I was loved and accepted. While I had... well I don't actully know but my mother said that durin one of ehr episodes she said she hated them for me being the favorite and she admitted she was jelous of me but my best guess is that I was treated better some times because I was the daughter they loved to show off, the unique one who is also smart (not as smart as her). We both wanted to be like the siblings in the books that we both loved, who "hated" but didn't really just had minor arguments not almost-strangers who tried to ruin each other who shared a bathroom for a few years and also had similar DNA. Though I guess sometimes we did pull through and were reallly there for eachother, after years of ebig conditoned and molded there really is no undoing that without therapy and healing and years of work. We are doing a lot better and I sheild her as best as I can from my parent's controling nature by letting her know when they invade her privacy by scanning social media and look for key words or phrases thats she would use to see what she is up too. We are working on it but our bond is broken and only starting to heal, and we can't do that when in our parent's clutches. I am starting to suspect my sister has some form of PTSD and I might have something similar. I still feel sometimes as if I am making it up and its nto as bad as I think it to be, or im making it sound worse or dramatic for attention even though I don't talk about it. I am a great story teller most of the time though this is rather rambling, and after years of being told that I am just blowing things out of perportion I don't even know. It might be a real issue and I might be unsafe or I could just have crappy parents who are normal and I'm the probelm. And it's true I am a problem I am manipulative and vindictive sometimes and I have an excuse for everything, but I remid myself that I learned those triats to survie this. If i never show negitive emotion my mom will have nothing to correct so she cannot punish me as much. thier offical punishments are lax but I guess the real punishment is knowing you slipped and you are goign to have to endure emotional burdern for a while. When I get in that rut of beliving I am the problem and that my parents are normal and good I remember one thing my mom said years ago. She told me (after her an another mom were talking about punishemtns and spankings) that I couldn't tell people my dad had spanked me so hard I almost passed out and it left a mark because they would take them away and I would't want that right? My own mother has used similar lines to that 1 million times. My own mother knows her behavior could get CPS called, but then again it could be the way I told the story and I don't remember it. My sister called the cops once but they didn't do anything. My mom told me that and I don't know why but I have a feeling it is because my sister had the same though I ahve had every time I get close to picking up the phone "what about my future?". They pay for collage, expenses, food, housing, monetarily speaking we have it good. I have all the electronics to keep me sane for a little longer and them I am home free... Well that's what I thought until my mom started entertaining the idea that I stay here and do community collage because I am having "trouble with my GPA" I have a 3.?? across both years of highschool. I adapt and learn fast, but I guess in my mom's eyes she realized that I her puppet would be gone. She lives though me and wants to keep doing that, and since my sister went as close to NC as she could get when she left she wants me in this house for as long as she can justify. I am not going to collage to better my future in the normal sense I am going because it is my only escape. Hell my theripist tells my mom everything so I only ask her about ADHD stuff. My parents control our lives through so many other ways, but this post has gone on long enough and I think you get the picture. I only started to notice this when my sister said (I don't remember when or where but I know it was her, maybe I don't know but I do know that is this is suppression then I should see a real therapist) but she said something along the lines of " you know this sint normal right? our parents are abuisve". I dont remember what I said to that but I have begun to notice it and my own triggers everywhere and when I tell people about it the more tame side they say that I do have trauma and need a real therapist. I have paranoia and manic episodes and I am 16 I guess I could be misentepriteing it and just wanting to be special but I honestly believe I have issues.TLDR: my dad is physically abusive on occasion, and my mom is emotionally abusive and manipulative, my sister is burned out and has a trauma response to any arguing, and my mom is not hinting that she wants to keep me from going to collage which is my one escape. And I am manipulative and vindictive because I had to be to get out of punishment's or spending time with them so I didn't mess up. And I still sometimes think they are innocents.so here is what I need in advice:what should I do? how do I make it through till collage? how do I get help before I become like them? How do I get evaluated for whatever trauma response I have (I don't want it online for the world to know) without them finding out? how do I do this? and maybe more questions that I am too emotional to think of. wow this was much longer than I expected and very eye opening. I still feel like I am making it up and that they are good parents, I want them too be. Please tell me this is not all in my head?
submitted by No-Bandicoot4368 to TrueOffMyChest [link] [comments]


2023.06.03 22:35 ThrowRA1737749 AITA For telling my girlfriend to never search for my parents.

Me(26M) and my girlfriend Aly(23F) have been talking about marriage and having kids. I am not ready for either, she says kids not now but she is ready for marriage. We have been together for two years. I told her that I would love to marry her, just not now.
Now to the problem. I moved to the states 3 years ago. During this i went no contact with my family. To the point of changing my name. Nothing big happened, i just needed to remove myself from that toxic environment. And for my name, i am atheists and my name is a translation of jesus and my second name is my father’s name and I don’t like it. So i just changed it completely.
Aly wants to get married and knows about my past, just not any names of my family. She puts family as a priority, and i like that. Her family is amazing, so i get where she is coming from. But now after two years she insists its a good idea to go back and rekindle my bond with my family. All because she wants that our future kids have grandparents from the dad’s side and that she will feel like it’s unfair for only be her family at our future wedding. This happened about a week ago.
Now that is summer she wants to take a small vacation to my home country. I am from an island in the Caribbean, perfect for the summer but i feel like she just wants to go to have an excuse to push to meet my parents. I told her that it was a good idea to take a vacation but told her i was not going if she was going to search for my parents.
She said it wasn’t and that she just wanted to relax for a week. She did seem a bit irritated that i said that but i am not sure. She is stubborn so its not out of possibility that she will. But she also have been talking about going on vacation to my home country since our first year anniversary. Yesterday she started searching hotels and activities, all not even close to my home town so i might be overreacting.
Edit1: some have been interested in why i went NC. Well, parents have been in a dysfunctional marriage. Always fighting for anything. Dad and me never bonded as his work keep him out of the house most of the day. Mom was the opposite, stay at home for most of my life, too much attention and using me and my brothers as her life goals. If we did bad at school she will blame us and gave us the cold shoulder. Our opinions where never counted in big decisions concerning all of us. We didn’t have much money so family activities where basically non. As the years went by they never adapted to us growing up, so it was always their little kids and we never had the option to grow socially as everything had a danger. Their toxic back and forth passive aggressive on anything really grind me down in my last years of undergrad. As par of the extended family, father side are most alcoholics, uncle did a murder suicide. Mother side we have alcoholism and some drug addicts and one in jail for it.
Aly’s family is the opposite, always there and learning how to accommodate new needs. For example, she has a younger sister and her parents have taken the time to learn about her sister hobbies and bond by it. My parents would just say, oh cool and walk off. Aly’s family basically adopted me and helped me as soon as when we met, I wasn’t financially stable at all. They have taken time to learn about my hobbies and work. Now a days i go with her father and uncle to fish or the racing track once a month.
As for Aly, she is an amazing woman. We share hobbies that we love doing together. We support each other. She sends me flowers at work, it might sound dumb but that made me cry of happiness the first time she did that. She always find new ways to make me laughs. I found my perfect half with her, no better way to describe her.
Aly knows all of my past. I will talk to her more seriously about it. I love her to death and her family. And as cold as it sounds, it is what it is. If she wants to keep insisting, we will go our separate ways. Nothing like tearing myself apart one more time and rebuild elsewhere. Thank you all for your comments!
submitted by ThrowRA1737749 to AmItheAsshole [link] [comments]


2023.06.03 21:42 castawaygeorge “My name is Maddy… They took me from my holiday” An interesting alleged sighting of Madeleine from Amsterdam

I haven’t seen this sighting mentioned in a post here in a long time. This sighting is very interesting, so I thought I would make a new post about it with some more details.
Background
A. Stam is the reporter of this sighting. In 2007, she worked at a store in Amsterdam that sells party supplies and costumes. This sighting took place around the time Madeleine was reported missing but she could not remember the exact date, around the 6-8th of May. She also claims that multiple coworkers of hers saw the girl and/or the adults in the group. At least one coworker agreed that the girl looked like Madeleine. I could not find out if these coworkers were interviewed by police.
The sighting from the PJ Files
You can find the original statement she gave police in Dutch in Apensos 5 Vol. 1 of the online PJ Files. Specifically pages 55-60. This document provides some additional information that I personally had not read or heard in the videos and articles that I had seen previously. I do not know Dutch so some of the information in the summary is translated by Google.
Summary
A. Stam was working when she saw a family with two adults and two kids come into the shop. They were described as follows:
Man: 30-40 years, 1.70-1.75m, normal to firm build, short dark hair, flaky but well shaven mustache, dark eyes and dark eyebrows. May have been wearing cream colored clothes. Spoke what she believed to be Portuguese. Seemed cold and “not in a party mood”.
Woman: 1.62-1.66m tall, blond shoulder length hair with bangs, spoke English with an accent, which Stam believed to be French.
Older Girl: 7-9 years, golden blonde hair, had the same hairstyle as her mother and spoke French with the mum.
Younger boy: 5-7 years, had dark blonde hair in “flower pot” style, round face, spoke french.
The kids were described as exuberant and got everything in the store that they asked the adults for.
She did not notice at first another little girl was with the group until the girl walked towards her. The little girl was described by Stam as:
3-4 years old
Dark brown shoulder length hair with bangs
Pale face
Big, emotionless, eyes. They were dark but she didn’t think dark brown, possibly green or a lighter brown.
Spoke English without much of an accent.
What struck Stam about the little girl is that she showed little emotions in her face.
The girl came up to Stam and asked, “Do you know where my mummy is?”. Stam pointed at the woman the girl was with and the girl said that the woman was a stranger, not her mummy, and that she had taken her from her mummy.
Stam asked the girl her name and thought the girl said her name was Maggie. When Stam repeated the name back to the girl, she said “No, my name is Maddy”. That stood out to Stam as she hadn’t heard the name Maddy very often.
She then asked the girl where she last saw her mum and the girl said that they took her from her holiday. The girl couldn’t answer where the holiday was or whether she was taken from a camping trip or a hotel. She asked the little girl if she wanted a balloon and she said no, she just wanted her mummy. She was called back to the group and stayed with them. The adults called her by a name longer than Maddy but Stam initially could not remember what they said. Some news outlets claim that she later came to believe they called the girl “La Petite”.
The woman told Stam that they worked at a circus in France. Stam thought this was a bit abnormal because they bought a lot of halloween masks and fake fingers with fake blood, which she thought would be strange for a circus. They also bought some wigs, which Stam described as Afro wigs. They also said they had a “station car” but Stam never saw it. The couple tried to pay with a credit card but were unable to, so the woman came back the next day to pay with a different method.
Stam says she had not heard of Madeleine's disappearance until a few days after she spoke with the little girl. After hearing about it she made the connection and then she showed one of her coworkers a picture of Madeleine who agreed the little girl resembled Madeleine, just with brown hair.
A year after this, Stam created a sketch of the people she claims she saw. You can view it here.
Maddy or Madeleine?
The child in this sighting referred to herself by the name of Maddy/Maddie. This stands out to some as weird because the McCanns claim that Madeleine disliked being called Maddy or Mads and that she would correct people when she was called that. So why would this child, if she were really Madeleine, refer to herself as a name she supposedly disliked?
This claim is seemingly contradicted by the fact that Gerry, some members extended family, and the twins when they were younger are all on record calling Madeleine, “Maddy”. And the fact that Madeleine reportedly introduced herself to at least one nanny at the ocean club as “Maddy”.
I personally think both things can be possible at the same time but also that the McCanns may have been embellishing her hatred of the nickname Maddy/Maddie. Especially Kate, who Gerry has said was never a fan of shortening Madeleine’s name.
In any case, Madeleine had reportedly referred to herself as Maddy before so it wouldn’t be that strange, in my opinion, for her to do it again.
Brown Hair
Another odd thing is that the child had brown hair. It could have been dyed to help disguise Madeleine’s appearance or could have just looked darker in the lighting in the store. Madeleine’s hair sometimes looked light brown or dark blonde, depending on the lighting in the picture of her. Though i'm not sure the lighting in the store could have made that much of a difference.
I think dyeing would be most likely.
Other sightings in the Netherlands
A woman by the name of Hannie said she saw a little girl in Amsterdam that she thought could be Madeleine. The little girl was with a dark haired woman. The little girl had big eyes, crudely cut hair, and what Hannie felt to be dyed red hair. She claims she called the authorities about this at the time. You can read one article about it here.
In The Hague, there was a sighting of a little girl whose picture is in the police files, though you cannot see her face. I could not find whether they identified the girl in the picture. Sighting took place in June 2007. In the sighting, a woman was on a terrace by a beach and on the beach there was some sort of event happening. She saw the little girl (3-4 years) walking with a group of people. The child spoke English but the witness heard one of the men the child was with speak Dutch. Witness says the girl was watching her friend's daughter and when the child came over to her friend's two year old twins, she didn’t get a great look but felt like she saw that the little girl had a similar color defect in her eye to Madeleine’s.
There was another alleged sighting (Apensos 5 vol. 11. Pg. 2400) at a campsite in Holland but I could find no further information within the PJ files. Sighting was from July 2007. There have been a number of other alleged sightings of Madeleine in the Netherlands and Belgium.
Additional Points
Some have pointed out over the years that Ms. Stam seems to have waited a month to report her sighting. If you thought a child had been kidnapped, why wait to report it even if you hadn’t heard of Madeleine’s disappearance? Why let the child leave if you could at all if you could help it? Stam says in the PJ files document that part of the reason why she waited to report was because her boss was trying to see if he could recover CCTV footage from the incident. He was unable to.
Another point of contention is why, if you just kidnapped a child whose disappearance is starting to receive large amounts of media coverage, would you then take that child into a party store and not watch her? Why take her out in public at all. Would the abductor(s) really take that risk?
What are your thoughts on this sighting, do you think there is any truth to Stam’s story?

Some Sources:
https://www.gettyimages.com/detail/video/ana-stam-interview-with-reporter-partly-in-shot-sot-she-news-footage/665253110?adppopup=true
https://mccannpjfiles.co.uk/PJ/APENSOS_VOLUME_1_5.htm
https://www.irishtimes.com/news/portugal-police-file-reveals-sighting-of-madeleine-mccann-in-amsterdam-1.926843
https://themaddiecasefiles.com/i-saw-maddie-too-the-sun-07-08-08-t3327.html
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/madeleine-mccann-dossier-did-this-dutch-couple-325131
https://mccannpjfiles.co.uk/PJ/CHARLOTTE-PENNINGTON.htm (Nanny who says Madeleine called herself Maddy/Maddie)
submitted by castawaygeorge to MadeleineMccann [link] [comments]


2023.06.03 19:50 FinalFantasy_Nerd My mother destroys her relationship with me over photos

My parents - especially my mother - never showed any interest in her children. Any older children for that matter. From a certain age on, she looses all interest in children. However, she calls herself "baby crazy" and she is. She constantly wants to cuddle and hold baby's, wants to make thousands and thousands of photos of her grandkids (my brothers children, 5m and 4f). It is not unsualy that we get up to 30 or 40 pictures of my niece and nephew in our family group chat. My parents don't work since the mid 90s and live off benefits from the government. But she has a huge reborn collections, dolls that are made to look like newborn baby's. One can be a couple hundred euros. She really is baby crazy.
As far as I can remember, my parents raised us without any empathy, warmth or genuineness. They never asked how we are and as teenagers we did discuss it with them. Told them we want some more attention. Their answer: "So we have to ask you ever day how your day was?" as if it was so bothersome. When I moved out to study in a different city they never asked how it goes and never visited, except for when they had business in that city and needed to stay with me so they didn't have to pay for accommodation. When my younger sister was born, I was 13 years old and noticed, how warm and sweet she was with her baby. Not with us tho. It broke my heart hearing her say "I love you" to my baby sister but not me. Now my sister is 18 and hasn't heard "I love you" for a long time. This pattern continued with her grandkids. She adores them but ignores her adult children. Now, since my nephew is 5, my parents pride themselves with the fact that they can give the 5 year old a switch, mobile phone or any other electronic device and he sits on the couch and doesn't bother them. I find it sad tbh. It already started that they are uninterested in him. Last week it escalated and I argued with my mother. Mostly about my pregnancy but also about their lack of interest in their children from a certain age in. Her repsonse: "If we really were uninterested in our children from 6 years old, we would've put all of you up for adoption when you were 6." Two of her coping mechanism with critique is excuses or vastly exaggerating the issue to make it look ridiculous. It's really frustrating to have an adult discussion with her (Btw my father is the quite type, never argues but always stands behind my mother).
The problem: I (30f) am 38 weeks pregnant now. During my whole pregnancy she never asked how I am. Never asked how the baby was, which is not surprising. But now, she has demands. She demands - not even wants but demands - lots of pictures of my baby (not me or my husband, but my baby) because she already bought a photo album to put them all in. The same album she has for her other grandkids. It reads "my grandkids" on the cover. So it's only for her, not a memory that she can give to us when it's full. The issue I have here is that her only goal with these pictures is to post them online or show them (offline) to friends and family. My brother told me that she already promised lots of people these pictures. I assume she does all this to show what a great grandma she is. Her whole Facebook page is full of "best grandma" or "proud grandma" posts. What makes me believe that this whole situation is only for her benefit is connected to her lack of interest. To this day, she didn't even ask for the baby's name. Never. She only knows it because my sister said it by accident when she visited them. I am not mad at her for that. My parents are totally allowed to know the name but they simply never asked. So basically she isn't even interested to know my baby's name but wants hundred pictures to show them around? Doesn't make any sense to me.
In addition, she has no empathy for our wishes. For instance, my husband and I don't want naked photos taken of our baby. She does send us naked pictures of my niece and nephew and children of the extended family I never even met. So this has been an issue. Usually they are in the bathtub or relaxing after swimming in the pool. We did say we feel uncomfortable but her excuse: naked baby photos are totally okay because they are still small. My husband and I believe otherwise. But she is unwilling to compromise.
Some of the other issues I have and her response to my confrontation: - I told her she never asked how the baby is or how I am coping with the pregnancy. Her repsonse: when she was younger it was custom that the child informs the parent of any news in their life's. And since she was raised that way, she is not gonna change. - I told her she has to change since the world is constantly changing. She can't keep staying in the past. The world will never adapt to her. Her response: she is already 54 and can't change that easily, it would require her whole life to change. And, according to her, I wouldn't change either when I am 54. I doubt that. - she asked us if she can make prints of our baby's hands and feet when she comes to visit. My problem: she takes these moments away from us - the actual parents. I would like to do these things myself. - concerning visitation: my parents never asked us when they could come to visit. I am due June 22nd and honestly was hoping that they couldn't afford the trip, since they cannot stay with us and would need a hotel. But last week, they told us that they would like to come around July 17th for 4-5 days.oraweek earlier! They didn't really ask but told us, that this would be the best time for them. When I told them we have lots of things to do in July (new baby, becoming a small family, moving to a different apartment which my parents also know of) and we would welcome them in August, she lost it. They couldn't come I'm August because A) they have "so many" appointments in August and she thought, even tho we are moving, a few days for us to spare would surely work. And b) the baby would already be "too big" in August and I would rob her of these precious weeks when the baby is so small. Time she will never get back. And after all, I probably already would have had 2-3 weeks with my baby already after birth (as if she decides what's enough time for me and my baby). - she said that she thought the time when we plan to move would be perfect for a visit anyway since she can take the baby for the day while my husband and I do the moving or do household chores. I hate people who think that the best help for a young mother is to take her baby away from her so that she can "finally focus on household chores" wtf? - I am SO stressed thinking all she comes for is my baby. She has no interest in seeing me or my husband and said "I already know you two and now I want to get to know the baby". Reminder: she never even asked for the baby's name! But wants to "get to know her"?? How does that make any sense? - She told us she only wants to visit if she can hold, cuddle and kiss the baby. And she was livid when we told her we decide when she can hold the baby. I don't want them to hold my baby just because they are here. I want them to have a genuine interest in our live and our baby. Also I would like my baby to sleep in piece but I am sure she will take it anyway since she repeatedly said "we will only be there for a couple of days and wanna make the most of it". She also said "You can have it back when we are gone" and, what bothered me the most "The baby will belong to you once we are gone". As if it doesn't belong to me while they are here? My husband and I want to habe full control over who holds the baby at what time. For instance I want it back when it's time for breastfeeding but I know she will not easily give it back.
Early on in the pregnancy I knew it would come to that. A necessary discussion about setting boundaries. And it stressed me out so much. So we tried to compromise. We set a visitation date at the end of July (not August) and put some boundaries in place: only holding the baby when asked or if we give it to her, no pictures taken unasked, no hand or footprints taken unasked, if they want information about the baby, they need to come to us not the other way around.
She didn't accept any of these. We always told her we would like for them to come but we want them to respect our boundaries. To no avail. She won't compromise and uses the uno reverse card saying "Well, if you don't want us to be there..." which we never said. Yesterday my husband asked her one final time if they come to visit end of July. She said she would love to but can't due to the collision of "our and your requirements". As if she is entitled to requirements about my baby! My husband then asked what her requirements were and she said: unlimited and unrestricted access to pictures and cuddles/kisses. She said it would "break her heart" to hear us say no to photos, if the baby has a cute moment. Smiling for instance. A moment that she will never get back because she will only be here for a couple of days. And won't see the baby for months after that. But we all know that they won't give a firetruck about my baby once they are gone, once the baby is "too old" in their opinion.
This made me so mad. She really thinks she is entitled to everything concerning my baby. Everything that would proof what a "great/proud grandma" she is. I am so mad that she chooses pictures of my baby over seeing us. She would rather not come - out of spite - than to come, respect our wishes and boundaries and meet her grandchild. I am sure this relationship will not heal from that. I am sure that in the future I will always get to hear "Back then you didn't allow us to come..." etc. So I figured that going low contact might be the best solution for my little family and me.
submitted by FinalFantasy_Nerd to raisedbynarcissists [link] [comments]


2023.06.03 19:46 stay_bluo Service Apartments Delhi

Service Apartments Delhi

https://preview.redd.it/b4ukhod9bu3b1.jpg?width=1080&format=pjpg&auto=webp&s=696322d92d207d40e9d6e61619f97059785d518e
A service apartment, also known as a serviced apartment delhi or an extended stay apartment, is a fully furnished accommodation option that offers the comforts and amenities of a hotel along with the conveniences of a home. In Delhi, the capital city of India, service apartments have gained popularity among travelers and professionals seeking a comfortable and convenient stay. We also offer a service apartment in Gurgaon , Kolkata, Bangalores
submitted by stay_bluo to u/stay_bluo [link] [comments]


2023.06.03 19:36 AlQueso420 Hotels for Saratoga

Me and my friend were given tickets to SPAC night 1 but our friends house is no longer available for us to stay, any cheap hotels close to the venue or in the area ? (We’re broke and in college)
submitted by AlQueso420 to deadandcompany [link] [comments]


2023.06.03 18:50 irksomehippo Extended stay hotel deciding everyone needs a lease to stay for more than 2 weeks

We've been in an extended stay hotel for a few months (since our lease was up with our last rental) because we are trying to buy a house and don't want another year lease. The company that owns the hotel hired new management that has been bringing a bunch of changes to the place since we moved in. The most recent is a "lease opportunity," which is mandatory to stay. They are requiring a background check and everything. They are a hotel so I'm confused as to how they can do this. They don't even have mailboxes. Will this affect our buying a house? Or should we start packing to move? Thanks!
submitted by irksomehippo to legaladvice [link] [comments]


2023.06.03 18:24 lekker_fietsen Update: NL to istanbul

Update: NL to istanbul
Hello,
It has been a while since I posted about sad emotions when touring. Idk if anyone remembers it but I will give an update.
I'm currently in Serbia and tomorrow I will cross the border into Bulgaria. Since my last post I have visited Vienna, Bratislava, Budapest and Belgrade.
After I got to Vienna I took some days to see the city and rest the bum. I really liked the city and visited all the tourist attractions. In Vienna i lost my debit card. I was lucky that I was still gonna visit a friend close to Budapest that my family could mail a new card to. Had to ask some people to get some cash from an ATM that I could give them back via online banking.
Bratislava was a bit underwhelming, just like Belgrade
I really loved Budapest, (I'm not sure if it was because of my friend living there or my friend tho XD) All in all I stayed at that friend in Budapest for a week, waiting for the card and I became a bit sick so waited that out. After leaving my friend I started kind of getting the same feelings as when leaving home. I missed the person a lot, it almost felt like going on a second trip again with the same problems. Something that probably contributes to this is that there are not a lot of campsites on my route, so I'm mainly staying in cheap hotels. In these places I'm alone and I think I really appreciate the atmosphere of a campsite and talking to some people after a day of cycling. Also the campsites I went to were a bit dead (maybe because the season hasn't started or because of the location) But it is what it is. I'm getting more used to being alone which I guess is a good thing.
Now about the cycling, it's going pretty well. I can do a lot kms and my body (except for the butt) is handling it well. I've had pretty good weather, except for today and the forecast for the next week also doesn't look too good, but we will see. Still have problems with the butt. I bought a new saddle in Vienna, but it didn't really work and in Belgrade I bought a new one. Also didn't work :( So Im currently carrying three saddles, not sure what to do with them. Maybe I send them home with some excess clothing.
Then the last thing is about the future. What to do after Istanbul ( IF I make it. i was not that confident I would actually make it but now that I'm quite close I'm starting to think I can do it. And even about what to do after) I would love to visit Cyprus and cycle eurovelo 8, but I think it will be super hard to get my bike in Cyprus without flying. If you know a way please let me know haha. Also I would like to visit Ankara, maybe without bike and take a train if I find a place to store my bike in Istanbul. Or if I don't I think I will take a boat to Athens and cycle eurovelo 8 back.
If you have any tips/suggestions please let me know
Thanks for reading this insanely long post :))
submitted by lekker_fietsen to bicycletouring [link] [comments]


2023.06.03 17:57 tryna_write DO NOT TRESPASS ALONE

I parked in the tower's lot, letting my headlights bore into the amalgam of twisted metal and glass for a few moments before shutting them off.
Josh muttered, his voice low. "We're really doing this, huh?"
He ran a hand through his mop of curly hair— a dumb tic he developed last summer when his girlfriend, Annabeth, told him it was sexy. She was beside him now, cuddled up in the backseat across his lap.
I glanced at my own girlfriend, Ellie, in the passenger seat. She was trying her damndest to appear brave, but I knew better. There was no way she was comfortable with trespassing tonight.
I sighed, realizing that Josh would also chicken out.
"We're doing this? You sure you want to come?" I prodded.
Josh shifted in his seat, hand running through his hair yet again. "Maybe it's better if I stay in the truck.”
Annabeth shrugged next to him, unsurprised.
"Me, too,” Ellie chimed in, nodding at Josh.
Annabeth met my eyes, a glimmer of understanding passing between us. Our partners were both boring, god-awful goody two shoes.
"Pussies," I jabbed, swinging open my door without giving them a moment to respond.
Annabeth hopped out behind me, waving at the two losers in the truck before spinning towards me with a grin on her face.
"They're weird," she said, rolling her eyes.
For a moment, I was drinking in the way her golden hair shimmered in the moonlight. A light breeze tickled at our faces, sending sparkles of her moon-lit hair between us.
"Yup," I mustered.
I turned, strolling towards the chain link fence that formed a circular perimeter around the base of Sabe's Tower.
Sabe’s Tower. Thirteen stories of abandoned potential, whispering of times past when our town's inhabitants thought we'd hit a population boom, becoming the Houston of West Virginia. In the 70s, our success was tied to coal. Jobs flooded in, and with them, a myriad of people trying to make their way in life. Then the mines abruptly ran dry, decimating our town's economy. Since that time, our population has done nothing but dwindle.
Sabe’s Tower. Thirteen stories of decaying grandeur, silently rotting from the inside out. Some say that's what happened to Sabe himself— a rot took hold in his core, spreading and spreading until nothing but rot was left. In the end, he took his own life, which some say was for the best. He was a greedy fool, the wealthiest man for miles, owning half the surrounding countryside before the mining industry took off. Made a fortune selling his family's land to coal companies, putting every ounce of profit into making his towering hotel more luxurious than a Ritz Carlton.
Sabe’s Tower. Thirteen stories of failed dreams, now screaming vulgar obscenities at our eyes. It is a truly ugly behemoth, domineering our town's skyline with unmerited arrogance. Sabe thought painting the tower purple would give it an air of majesty, like royalties of the past, swaddled in silky lavender robes. His aspiration, after all, was nothing less than to emulate the sacred Tabernacle of Moses, to make his hotel a dwelling place for gods among men. In its current state of disrepair, however, the tower was no more than an eyesore— a visual cacophony of broken glass, peeling sickly-purple paint, and rusted steel inlays.
Adding to the hotel's disgrace, it was cylindrical in form, perched atop the highest peak for miles, jutting into the sky like a middle finger to the gods. Its phallic outline stood in stark contrast to the run-down strip malls lying in its wake.
The fence surrounding the tower was a bit too tall and a bit too wobbly to safely scale, so we circled, looking for an entry point. Every few yards, a DO NOT TRESPASS sign hung, tied to the fence with zip-ties in each corner. Someone had taken the liberty to spray paint a word underneath each sign, now making them all read:
DO NOT TRESPASS ALONE.
"Good thing you're coming with me," I joked, pointing at one of the signs.
Annabeth paused to read it for a moment. "Yeah... kinda weird that someone did that. I wonder why?"
I shrugged, continuing around the perimeter.
Eventually, we found a gate in the fence, held closed with chains at waist level. The gate's post careened steeply outward, creating a manageable gap near the top. The gate post was only held in place by the chains, not even slightly anchored to the ground. Without too much of a struggle, we hoisted ourselves up and through the gap.
Once inside the fence, I found myself spellbound by the abandoned hotel. The stars in the night sky reflected across the windows, bending and warping around the curved perimeter. Each glimmer of starlight turned into dizzying fractals, melding together and slipping between the shards of broken glass with each shift of my gaze.
The result was honestly breathtaking.
At night, the eyesoriffic tower was beautiful. Its silhouette dared to embrace the star-studded cosmos, standing with a quiet dignity that defied its daytime mockery.
I felt Annabeth shuffle beside me.
Suddenly, her phone flashlight was on, illuminating a path through overgrown concrete to the tower. At the end of the path was the structure’s entrance— a gaping hole with no attempt to conceal the darkness within.
"WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING?!" I yelled, spinning to face her.
"W... What do you mean?" she stuttered.
"Turn that off, you idiot," I explained, lowering my voice. "Someone might see the light and call the cops."
The light flicked off, Annabeth mumbling apologies.
I blinked away the afterimage of weeds eating through the concrete lot, silently cursing myself for being so ridiculously hostile toward her.
"Sorry," I mumbled.
"You're good, Donovan" she whispered, brushing her hand across my arm.
As we continued to the open doorway, the outside of the tower came into focus. It was far further dilapidated than I had realized— each accent of purple paint, faded and peeling, was bulging out from between the glass and steel like it was trying to escape. I rubbed a fingernail on the paint, revealing a soft, rotting wood beneath.
I entered the tower first, pausing to let my eyes adjust. The darkness of the doorway opened up into an atrium that must have once made for a magnificent entrance. It was shaped like a slice of pie, us standing near the crust, peering inward toward the center. Above was pitch black, not yielding any answers to just how high up this mighty room's ceiling stretched.
The musty scent that filled my nose was surprisingly welcoming— somewhere between the smell of fishing trips and century old bookstores. I took a deep breath, relishing in the soft stench.
I could vaguely make out wires dangling down from the ceiling of the atrium. They were impossibly long, stretching upward into the infinite gloom.
"They look like vines," Annabeth whispered, her voice a soft purr.
The air was thick with falling dust, filtering down from the abyss above, twirling between the wires in satisfyingly slow-motion. The falling dust made it even harder to see in the dark, leaving the walls on either side of the room foggy blobs. I waved my hand, sending fleeting dust spirals through the air.
I remembered seeing photos of the atrium online, taken on some of the earliest digital cameras ever made. Those pictures showed marble countertops, intricate wooden carvings, and lushly carpeted floors.
The room, as it stands today, is a barren husk of Sabe's vision. The carpet, only present in scattered clumps, was impossibly dark, soiled to the point of true black. It clung to the concrete foundation, viciously holding on for dear life in a losing battle.
I bent down to examine a clump of carpet in front of me, amazed by the absence of light reflecting back. It was like staring into a pit of nothing, a vague absence, an outline of something that should be there.
I poked the toe of my boot at it.
FPOOSH.
It exploded, erupting into my face.
I gagged instinctively, tasting the vile substance mix into my lungs. Annabeth slapped my back as I continued gagging and coughing, begging the mucus to tear itself free from my lungs and just fucking get out of my body because it feels like I'm dying oh GOD.
And eventually, it did.
The violent hacking subsided into slight wretching, then was gone.
"Are you okay?" Annabeth tested.
Do you think I'm fucking okay?
"What the fuck was that?" I spewed.
She bent over the clump of carpet. Underneath the blackened top layer that just violently erupted was a pale network of matted spiderwebs.
"Hmm..." she began, "It kind of looks like mycelium."
She met my raised eyebrow with an eye roll.
"You know, like the roots of a fungus or some shit, I don't know. I just saw the shrooms growing in Bryce's closet that one time he showed me his stash. This white stuff looks just like it. So I guess that makes this black stuff like the part of the shroom we eat, or whatever."
"Oh dip," I responded, nodding. "That makes sense. One time I saw a nature show about some plants that shoot their seeds everywhere when something touches them. It's probably just spreading its spores when we touch it."
"Yeah," she breathed, "pretty gnarly."
We shuffled deeper into the gloom, weaving between dangling cables and clumps of fungus. I felt a drop of moisture flick off a cable, sliding onto my arm.
I groaned. "Fuck. That cable was wet."
"Disgusting," she whispered back.
We made our way to the apex of the room, the center of the tower, revealing a rusted set of elevator doors leaning together like drunks at a quinceanera. The doorway to the stairs, however, beckoned to us with the same unobstructed, pitch-black allure that the tower's entrance emanated just minutes before.
In the dark, it's truly amazing how utterly void all open doorways look.
Upon stepping inside the stairwell, the world vanished. The only proof of having working eyes was a faint, vertical glow of light filtering through the door, abruptly fading into all-consuming black.
Every sound in the entire building bored through my soul, bouncing from wall to wall, ceiling to floor, echoing on and on for all of eternity. The stairwell, directly in the center of the decrepit hotel, was the focal point of every creaking floorboard, every popping nail, every howling gust of wind. It was as if I was holding up a monstrous conch shell to my ear— a deafening murmur of echoes in disarray, smelting together to form satanic harmonies.
"Whoa," Annabeth mumbled.
Her word cut through the other echoes, impossibly loud against their monotonous hum.
Instantly, the echo of her voice filled the stairwell, rising like the build up of a dubstep song until peaking, impossibly overwhelming for a few brief seconds. The echoes of her voice then faded as quickly as they arrived.
She put a hand to her mouth, the whites of her eyes barely visible in the glow coming from the doorway.
I reached out, placing a hand where her shoulder should be. There was not enough space for us to stand abreast in the stairwell, leaving us in a comically squished proximity. She was breathing rapidly, barely managing to stay silent. I squeezed, and her breathing quickly slowed. I felt her hand creep onto mine, and we stood for a minute, simply listening to the cries of the dying building echo around us.
As my eyes adjusted, I could make out a staircase spiraling up the curved wall. Clearly this was a service stairwell, as it is much too cramped for the likes of Sabe's guests. Only a few steps were visible through the darkness at a time, making the staircase feel even tinier than it already was. Luckily, no fungus grew on the stairs themselves, leaving the metal alone to rust.
Annabeth shuffled onto the first step, producing a small object from her pocket. She handed it to me, then pointed up the stairwell, careful to not send echoes through the cylindrical chamber again.
I brought it close to my eyes for inspection, straining against the lack of light.
A joint...
She wants to go to the roof and smoke.
A smile cracked my lips. Classic Annabeth.
Every couple stairsteps, there would be a doorway. Most of them let in a dim glow, offering a glimpse into what must have once been a custodial closet on each floor.
On floor 9, I tugged at Annabeth's hand. We made eye contact in the faint light coming from the doorway. I motioned through it, pointing to the nearly fungus free floor. I wanted to explore at least a little bit, to see if the closet circled around the stairwell or not.
I poked my head through the doorway, freeing myself from the overwhelming cacophony of echoes in the stairwell.
I verified that the closet did, in fact, curve around the circular staircase like a donut. A few steps in one direction led to a terrifying drop— the elevator shaft. Next to it, a sidewalk sized ledge led to an open door, giving a view of the floor's main hallway. The path looked safe— no fungus, cracks, or otherwise obvious defects— so I proceeded, treading as light as a fox, fumbling for Annabeth's hand behind me.
The main hallway ran between the custodial closet and the guest rooms, creating another donut ring around the central stairwell. Throughout the hallway, patches of fungus grew alarmingly close together, threatening to overtake the concrete.
"That stairwell was insane," Annabeth whispered.
I nodded. "Fuck yeah, I wonder what it was like when the hotel was actually open. Must have been miserable for the staff."
We weaved through the fungus filled hallway, coming to room 901. I glanced at Annabeth, raising my eyebrows. The door was slightly ajar, hanging from its one remaining door hinge. I pushed gently, eliciting a monstrous creak.
The room was empty, extending away to the outside in a familiar pie shape. The mold seemed to grow thinner in the room, leaving most of the exposed concrete safe to cross. At the far side, a floor to ceiling panel of windows looked out over our town.
I gasped, taking in the view. Never before had I seen our town from this high up. My eyes drew to the smokestacks by the river, their blinking lights ominously flickering over downtown. Individual streets ran in parallel lines away from the tower, lit with yellowing streetlights. Between the roads, tiny lights cast from window panes twinkled, blending with one another into a starscape of their own.
"Dude," I said. "Look at this."
No response.
I spun, looking for Annabeth, frantically scanning the room. My eyes had adjusted to the outside light, leaving me sightless.
"Annabeth," I hissed.
A cold tingle went up my spine, pulling at hairs on the back of my neck.
"Annabeth?"

Silence.

Silence.

Silence.

I crept back across the floor, now aware of the entire room at once. There was nowhere for her to be hiding. No desks, cans of paint, ladders, nothing. Just an empty room with patchy fungus growing on the cement.
Something must have happened.
I studied each fungal growth in the room as I passed by. Even with the light cast from the windows, the tops remained impossibly dark. Not a single feature was discernible— only an outline was visible.
Halfway to the door, a three foot wide hole led straight to floor 8. I could have sworn it wasn't there before. I peered into the opening, seeing straight through to the room below. From what I could see, it was identically empty.
"Annabeth," I tried again, nearing the door to the hallway.
"BOO!"
I stumbled backward, tripping over my own feet. I landed squarely on a patch of fungus.
FPOOSH.
I remembered to hold my breath, close my eyes, and plug my nose.
Annabeth cackled from the threshold of the doorway, standing over me with both hands on her forehead.
"You should have seen the look—" she began, breaking off into another fit of laughter.
"Shut up," I groaned, pushing to my feet. My entire body was covered in squishy fungus gunk. I pointed at the hole behind me, continuing. "You could have killed me."
"Blah, blah, blah," she mocked. "You're fine... you're just being a baby."
Annabeth gave me a playful shove, hands lingering for a moment overdue. Swatting her paws off me, I marched back to the stairwell. I led the rest of the way to floor 13, followed by her snickers.
As I reached the top of the stairs and stepped onto the 13th floor, my jaw dropped. It was a scene straight out of a surrealist painting. An enormous pool room lay before us. Glass walls extended up from the tile floors, creating a massive, clear domed perimeter. A swath of stars twinkled brilliantly through the clear ceiling, their light refracting through the glass, casting ethereal patterns onto the room's otherwise bleak surroundings.
The pool itself was a semi-circular cutout covering half the floor space, starting at ground level and deepening in a corkscrew motion. Its ceramic tiles, once probably a bright blue, were now tinged with patches of the same fungal growth we had come across on the lower floors. The growth was sparse here, though, letting the original floor design take prominence.
In the center of the room— on top of the staircase we just stepped out of— stood a circular pillar that extended up to the middle of the glass dome, like a spine holding up the entire tower. A small antenna jutted out from above the pillar atop the dome. Surrounding the antenna was a low fence, perhaps a safety measure for maintenance workers.
Annabeth, having finally contained her laughter, stepped beside me, her face illuminated by the soft starlight filtering in through the dome. She too stood silent, taken aback by the unexpected beauty of this forgotten space.
As we moved around the room, our steps echoed across the vast emptiness. With every patch of fungus we passed, the same eerie darkness hovered, the undulating mold standing stark against the ceramic tiles.
We made our way back to the central pillar. A ladder, carved into the pillar, connected to the glass ceiling with a trapdoor.
"To the roof?" Annabeth sang, rubbing her hands together in a goblin-like motion.
"Ladies first."
As she climbed above me, I couldn't help but crane my neck and drool. She slammed open the trapdoor, and we burst through to the roof.
The fenced-in area was covered with a dark spongy surface, gripping at my knees when I stood up. Wind whipped around us, carrying a chill that cut through my clothes and bit into my skin. With each gust, the antenna above us groaned and swayed, almost as if it were joining in a dance with an unseen partner.
We sat on the squishy rubber surface, comfortably in silence. I met her eyes, smiling dumbly. We passed the joint back and forth until it dwindled down, its ember glow flickering one last time before extinguishing completely. A familiar haze crawled through my thoughts, slowing the passage of time to a languishing crawl.
"Hey..." she started, "I think I've finally found inspiration for my next album."
I scooted closer to her, taking her hand. I knew the topic brought about an unusual timidity in her— a blemish in the badass persona she's so keen on presenting. She won't even talk to her own boyfriend about her music career.
"Yeah?" I floated.
She hesitated for a second, settling into the moment. I felt a tug at my crotch, suddenly all too aware of how pretty she looked in the moonlight. I took in every detail— the way her hair fell across her face, the pattern of her freckles, the soft speckling of stars reflecting across her eyes.
"I think you need to take off your shirt, first, though," she whispered, now inches from my face. "You're filthy."
I glanced down, remembering the fungal gunk that had soiled my clothes when she scared me.
Without warning, her hands slid under my shirt, warm and sure. I helped her yank it off, collapsing into her lips.
***
When we got back to the truck, I was still high enough to see everything in slow motion. Before pulling out of the parking lot, Annabeth and I regurgitated the events of our urban exploration, trying to show our significant others what fun they missed out on. It goes without saying that part of the story was intentionally omitted.
Ellie and Josh were unamused. Their lack of adventure will forever be a mystery to me.
We swung out of the lot, hopping onto the highway headed into town. I swayed between lanes, struggling to keep the double-yellow lines in focus.
"Are you sure you're good to drive?" Ellie asked, gripping the armrest.
"I'm fine," I slurred.
Seconds later, another truck materialized in front of us. I swerved to avoid it, then everything went black.
***
I woke up to a strong hand pulling me out of the window. My truck was upside down, the roof completely caved in.
I groaned. "Aww... fuck...."
The person who pulled me out looked like the kind of guy to chew tobacco and spit wisdom. His fishing cap cast a deep shadow across his eyes in the moon's glow, concealing his gaze. He was an old timer, that's for sure, one of those folk who came during the coal rush and decided to stay when all was said and done. I could see his truck— the same truck I saw moments before the crash— pulled into the shoulder of the highway with its blinkers on.
"Easy now," he reassured, his voice like gravel under a boot. "Anyone else inside?"
I nodded, unable to speak.
I plopped onto the grassy slope embarking off the side of the road. The old man pulled their mangled bodies out, one by one.
The countryside shrank around me. I felt the corners of my vision pulling in, the weed in my system straining the limits of shock I could take before melting down.
"I'm sorry, son," he whispered, his voice carrying the weight of my guilt. "The police will be here soon. Don't you worry."
The police.
I stood up. I knew exactly how the police treated people with my skin color in this town.
I ran.
"Hey now!" the man hollered.
I kept running.
Away from my truck, away from my dead friends, away from the police.
I ran until my breath came in ragged, uncontrollable huffs. I flopped to the ground, laying on the cool concrete, cradling my head with my hands. Blood flowed between my fingertips, pooling onto the pavement.
I laid there until police sirens wailed through the night, rapidly approaching. They stopped at the wreck, leaving me in silence. Moments later, the sirens picked up their mournful song again, heading toward me.
I sat up.
I was back in the lot of Sabe's Tower. Only then did I realize how little distance I really ran from the wreck— a couple hundred yards at most.
Four, five, maybe even six sirens filled the air. They were all coming for me. They knew what I had done.
I bolted from my position on the concrete. I could hide in the tower. No way the cops would look for me in that rotting place. They wouldn't dare.
I squeezed through the gap in the fence, same as before, vaulting past the
DO NOT TRESPASS ALONE
signs in a fluid lunge. The sirens behind me screamed into the night, melding together into a continuous doomsday chant.
Red and blue lights filled the lot. I hit the ground right in front of the gaping entrance to the tower, praying that the weeds poking through the concrete would be enough to mask my form. I army crawled, inch by inch, dragging myself across broken bottles and plywood shrapnell, until I was safely in the darkness of the tower.
In.
Out.
I breathed.
In.
Out.
A police cruiser parked in the lot. Its siren drowned out all other wails for a moment before shutting off. A chubby white officer hopped out, surveying the scene. His gaze came to rest on the spot where I had lain. He squatted down, raking a finger through the pool of blood I left behind. He took a few steps toward the tower, squatting down yet again. Another splotch of blood, no doubt.
His voice floated through the plaza, slightly nasal and a little out of breath. "Dispatch, this is officer Chetty, badge number 741. I'm on the scene at 1019 Pleasant Valley Lane, in the lot of Sabe's Tower. I've located a pool of fresh blood that may be linked to our hit-and-run suspect. Possible injury, suspect could be close. Requesting immediate backup and forensics for evidence collection."
Fuck.
I wormed my way further into the tower's belly, sliding between patches of fungus like a mouse in a snake pit, heading for the stairwell. I had to ascend, to find some nook or cranny out of reach of the pursuing officers. The godforsaken tower was one big game of hide and seek, only this time, losing meant far worse than a bruised ego.
Something gurgled in the darkness.
My blood froze. I halted, my heart hammering a tattoo against my ribs. Holding my breath, I strained my senses, eyes peering into the graying murk, searching for the source of the sound.
It came again, a wretched retching, like an animal choking on its own vomit. Hacking, gurgling, bubbling wetness bursting through strained vocal chords, a sound of fading vitality. It was coming from near the door, just outside the meager halo of light slipping through the hole.
A wet line smeared across the back of my neck. A yelp escaped my lips before I realized it was just a cord dangling from the ceiling.
At my yelp, the gurgling paused.
A heavy hush fell over the place, the quietude of the hunted.
I could faintly make out echoes emanating from the stairwell, only a few feet behind me.
The gurgling continued, sucking at the thick air. It began to drag itself forward through the fungus covered floor— a slow, steady, rhythmic drag against the concrete.
FPOOSH.
A geyser of spores bloomed, mingling with swirls of dust in the meager light. The creature, or whatever it was, did not slow its approach. Out of the darkness, a form began to shape— a silhouette clawing its way toward me.
FPOOSH.
I could see this eruption envelop the mass on the floor. One hand appeared, then another. Its fingers scrabbled over the concrete, searching for any purchase to grip. They flexed, heaving the thing even closer.
A mop of curly hair appeared between the hands. A body, face down. It pulled itself closer, into another fungal growth, grinding its face through the rough concrete.
FPOOSH.
A knife protruded from its back. The handle jutted upward, a grim totem amidst the grime and gore. I shuddered, involuntarily taking a step closer to the stairwell.
It looked up at me.
Or rather, Josh looked up at me.
I stared back, mouth agape.
His face was nearly sanded off from the concrete. His nose took the worst of it, ground down to the bone, leaving only two sucking, gurgling holes between his eyes. His cheeks were a mangled mess of blood and rocks, viscous red flowing freely to the tip of his chin before dribbling off. The chunks of meat hanging where lips should have been flapped against his teeth with every jerky motion, tethered to his face by all too little strands of flesh. Beneath them, his teeth showed bright red and white in a perpetual grimacing smile.
"Josh?" I managed to whisper, my voice a frightened squeak.
Josh opened his mouth as if to respond, ripping both cheeks in half. He hacked, gurgling, spitting up blood that came from deep within his torso. He slowly cocked his head to the side, but instead of stopping at a slant, he kept twisting his neck until bones started to crack and his head dangled upside down.
His mangled, upside down head swung limply as he pulled himself to his knees, his neck like jelly. He wasn't wearing the same clothes he was wearing earlier tonight— no, he was wearing clothes from the night Annabeth first cheated on him with me. He was at a Villanova game, supporting his favorite team since birth. Annabeth knew he would be gone for the weekend, so we took our chance. I was still at her place when he came back, wearing his Collin Gillespie jersey and reeking of beer.
Now in front of me, his prized jersey was in tatters, torn to ribbons by the concrete. He groaned, shuffling and reaching for me with bloody fingers.
I bolted into the stairwell, taking the steps two at a time. I pushed myself faster and faster until the door to floor 9 loomed to my side. I didn't pause for a moment, pushed forward by the gurgling echoes reverberating from below.
My thighs, weak from the frantic climb, begged for a break. I wobbled into the hallway, painfully tip-toeing through the fungus. The door to 901 beckoned ahead, hanging open like it had been awaiting my hasty return.
I stumbled over the threshold when Annabeth's singing filled the room. "Oh, Donovan!"
I froze.
Outlined against the window was a two-headed beast. One face belonged to Annabeth, the other to Ellie. The creature swayed, an obscene dance of bare, fused flesh. It wore no clothes, as if to mock God himself. It had two sets of everything— eight appendages total, like a humanoid arachnid. Annabeth's breasts, now side by side with Ellie's, put Ellie to shame, even now.
Annabeth crooned again, "Oh, Donovan!" each syllable laced with acid and honey. The sound made my skin crawl as it floated through the silent room.
"You always did want more, didn't you Donovan?" Ellie sneered, a harsh grin splitting her face.
Annabeth spat, "More than Ellie could give. More than anyone could give."
The thing dropped to the floor with a thud. All eight limbs moved in unison as it crawled.
"Isn't this what you wanted? Both of us at the same time?" Their voices tumbled over each other, mouths moving in synchrony. Together, their laughter filled the hollow room. "Don't you like the thrill, Donovan? Don't you like playing with fire?"
The thing scurried at me, jumping over fungal growths with powerful leaps. The sudden movement broke my paralyzation, spurring my legs to action. I darted into the closet and through the stairwell door, into the gurgling echoes.
Back down the stairwell I ran, the two headed beast in pursuit. Both girls snarled, hindered by their conjoined size in the narrow passageway. Their struggle echoed through the stairwell, mixing with the gurgling. I fled further down, needing to put distance between that thing and me.
I stopped dead in my tracks between floors 2 and 3.
Josh was there, leaning against the wall with the knife removed from his back, now grasped tightly in his hand. I staggered back up the stairs, instinctively retreating, narrowly avoiding the blade as he lunged at me.
Glancing up, I caught a flash of pale skin bearing down on me, cutting off my escape. My only way out was the door to floor 3. I charged through the closet, leaving the echoes behind me.
Floor 3 was empty— no walls, only fungus and windows. The atrium loomed to my left, a pie shaped hole missing from the floor and ceiling. I backed away from the door, eyeing the dangling cords hanging in the atrium.
Maybe... Just maybe....
Josh stumbled from the stairwell, filling the air with his wet slurping. Annabeth and Ellie followed, scrambling toward me.
I didn't have time to think.
I jumped, grasping at the dangling wires, praying they would hold my weight.
Time stuttered, hanging suspended like an icicle on a winter's morning. The world spun in a dizzying blur as I twisted, fingers stretching for a grip. Panic clawed its icy fingers up my spine, but it was the surprise that struck me most. The simple disbelief that this was happening.
A wire found its way into my hand, snapping without slowing my fall.
The wind whooshed past, ripping the breath from my lungs. Above me, the third floor retreated, its grimy concrete replaced by a view of the atrium's ceiling, wires swinging back and forth from my desperate escape.
Then came the sensation of falling. It's a feeling that strikes a primal chord, an orchestra of fear and adrenaline that means the end of a life. My stomach lurched, free-falling alongside me, while the rest of my body seemed to hover in a state of disbelief.
The impact came as both a shock and an inevitability. There was a moment of sheer, undiluted pain, a soundless scream reverberating through my very bones. It felt like being shattered from the inside out, an explosion of agony that started from my back and radiated outwards. An iron-hot spike of pain shot through me, and then, a chilling void as everything below my waist slipped into a terrifying numbness.
The echo of my body's collision rang in my ears as the world spun into a disorienting whirl of blurs, shadows, and pain. The cold concrete beneath me felt real, solid, a chilling contrast to the sudden loss of sensation in my legs.
In the throbbing silence that followed, I understood. I had fallen. I was broken. I lay sprawled on the atrium floor, gasping, the world tilting dangerously in my vision.
Annabeth and Ellie emerged from the staircase, scrambling across the atrium floor. Red and blue police lights filtered through the tower’s windows, making shadows dance between the monster's eight limbs. Josh wasn't far behind, still clutching onto the bloody knife, head rolling upside down between his shoulders.
"Police, we're coming in!" a familiar nasally voice shouted.
The moment officers stepped foot in the tower, the monsters vanished in a spray of spores.

X
submitted by tryna_write to nosleep [link] [comments]


2023.06.03 17:00 Proletlariet Composite Bond - Main Body

I admire your luck, Mr...?
Bond. James Bond.
Special Agent 007, James Bond is the star agent of MI6. Always cool under pressure and licensed to kill, James is sent to infiltrate enemy organizations and destroy them from the inside. Over the decades, James Bond has gone from serious to campy and back again, but always manages to get the job done through wit, physical ability and superior equipment.
Bond generally wields a sidearm with lethal efficiency, along with a number of incredible gadgets developed by the geniuses at Q Branch. With his remarkable physical ability and ever-changing bag of tools, there isn't an international crime organization that Bond has failed to take down. The only thing that could possible distract Bond are his own vices: women or booze, both of which have gotten one over on him in the past.
James Bond Respect Threads by Actor
Sean Connery- 1962 to 1967, once more in 1971. Physically strong, numerous gadgets disguised as everyday items. Adept in traditional spy skills, like infiltration and observation.
George Lazenby- Once in 1969. Very similar to Connery in his craftiness, skilled specifically in winter sports.
Roger Moore- 1973 to 1985. Downright campy, making use of almost cartoonish skills that actually work in-universe. Skilled driver and pilot with a variety of gadgets.
Timothy Dalton- 1987 to 1989. Colder and more quick to become violent than the others. Usually carries a firearm and a lethal gadget to kill enemies.
Pierce Brosnan- 1995 to 2002. Best variety of gadgets of any Bond. Great feats of endurance and athletic ability.
Daniel Craig- 2006 to 2021. The most realistic Bond, yet has some of the most impressive physical abilities in any of the movies. Low variety of gadgets, but excels in gunfights.
Hover over a feat to see the film it’s from. Additionally, the name of any gif on Gfycat contains the last name of the actor that accomplished it.

Physicals

You have a nasty habit of surviving.
Well, you know what they say about the fittest.
Strength
Striking
Lifting/Throwing
Grip
Pushing
Other
Endurance
Blunt Force
Piercing/Cutting
Other
Agility
Movement
Reflexes

Combat Skill

Problem solver?
More of a problem eliminator.
Unarmed Combat
Quick Knock Outs
Against Individuals
Against Multiple Attackers
Against Armed Attackers
With Weapons
Blades
Blunt Objects
Unorthodox Items
Environment Focused

Accuracy

You wouldn’t kill me. You’d miss me.
I never miss.
Pistols
Against Vehicles
Rifles/Submachine Guns
Other Firearms
Non-Firearm Accuracy

Other Skills

I always enjoyed learning a new tongue.
You always were a cunning linguist, James.
Athletics
Driving/Piloting
Driving
Piloting Aircraft
Other
Traversal
Stealth
Other

Equipment

Right, now pay attention 007. I want you to take great care of this equipment. There are one or two rather special accessories.
Q, have I ever let you down?
Frequently.
Weapons
Firearms
Other
Gadgets
Mobility
Reconnaissance/Infiltration

Continued in Comments

submitted by Proletlariet to u/Proletlariet [link] [comments]


2023.06.03 16:48 Smrsin Procedural goodness

I picked up the game after my friend's recommendation and after seeing Yahtzee's review and AI love it. Procedurally generated games usually suffer from blandness and repetitiveness, which seems to NOT be the case of SoD. Or, if repetitive, it is immersing, as you're getting better at cracking cases, but you can always take an unorthodox take on the case.
The side quests are so great! However I would like a tele lens, so you could capture your targets from a distance.
Also, even though I am not sure if it was game-breaking, it would be cool to have an access to fingerprint database, searching by name makes the work easier, but at least some sort of to connect just finger prints to someone would be cool.
Smoking. We need smoking as much as Harry Du Bois needs a bit of love.
Augmentations for mapping out surrounding vents would be nice, but not necessary.
I find it funny how blurred is the line between a detective and a burglar. Love it.
And what I really think should be implemented more, are windowsills, fire stairs and balconies. The risk compensating for somewhat easier access to flats that are not connected to the vents would be the wet status while jumping from sledge to ledge 12 floors above ground - seems balanced to me.
And definitely cheap hotels. Yeah, you have your flat (if you do) but skipping time at cheap brot/hotel would be fitting, for one, two, it could bring a spin on solving the crimes as the staff would for enough money have a lot of info on people.
Stay sleuthing!
submitted by Smrsin to Shadows_of_Doubt [link] [comments]


2023.06.03 16:45 Present-Shoe-8074 Stuck In Thailand: The Never-Ending Story Part 2

Yeah, so we crashed in the hills in Kamala, and I felt the stone road guard scrape against my leg and arm as we drove next to it and next thing I Remember I was on the floor. I opened my eyes as my friend is kickstarting the moped and people gather round, saying ring Ambulance. My friend said hop back on as I hoped up and got on the back bleeding out. We drove to the nearest pharmacy. They treated my wounds and wrapped me back up for 1400 baht.
My friend didn’t wanna drive anymore so even though I was injured I drove back home. After I passed out in my bed as we got back and got Rks passport and emergency cash he told us to get for him.
I woke up and looked up and everyone from the community we stayed at was at the hanging in the door looking in after hearing about my injuries. I could barely move as I took the pills the pharmacist gave me for pain and passed back out.
I woke up after something told me to get up I thought about Rk. I went on Snapchat and saw his character moving closer to the house. I called him he said the police is dropping him home to get his passport and they want to see me with my passport.
I got up immediately as I realised I gave my passport for deposit in Patong for the moped. I got changed not even considering my injuries and wrapped my leg and arm as I ran for the ped. I drove to Patong. It took me 2 hours to find the moped company. I found it eventually. I called home protested that the police have Rk and my friend from home gave the money to my sister who was gonna transfer it but was gonna have to be the next day.
I told Rk he said come they just wanna talk. I went there with my passport and they took it away and said I have to pay 100000 baht to the rental company and 40000 to the driver we crashed into. And Rk had to pay 40000 for court fees and we had 1 day to pay the 40000 to the guy we crashed into.
Rk got released and stupid us to go party with the Thai lady stacy the one we crashed with. We got fucked and went bayhill celebrating rks release. Nothing too wild. No crashes since we learned to get cabs in Thailand. ( funnily I write this from bayhill.)
We got home as reality hit us and this would be our last night out for a while. We went home ringing everyone we knew trying to get money for the company’s. We didn’t know how long this would take.
We went to the police station to pay the guy we crashed into and for anyone that don’t believe this is a true story I have evidence of everything.
I’ll fast forward time 1 week we payed off the rental company. After we was penniless we had learned our lesson the hard way and we aren’t rich we had 3k English spending me and Rk and my other friend had 1k we were far from well off.
Once we paid off the company we walked past a few times after seeing they had 2 new cars and the other one we crashed was in repair. We realised we had been fully extorted for everything we had as they smiled and waved. I had no money at all at this point and my leg was infected I was treating it day by day as I walked round with a crutch.
Now we were trying to get home but no one had enough but my other friend,(who crashed)his mum was booking him a ticket. We went to extend our visa. I didn’t have enough money so I couldn’t extend my visa, I barely paid off the company, I needed help from friends. They got there visas done and my other friend only got a 3 day extension due to being Russian. He had to leave and we wanted to give him a good send off as it set into mine and rks brain that’d we’d be stuck here.
The last day my friend was here we went partying again for the first time since the night after the crash which was about 2+ weeks ago.
(Forgot to mention Stacy snitch to police on me about the whole crash we learned in them 2 weeks and Rk had her at the house for 2 weeks near enough and she hated me and didn’t try help me even though I couldn’t walk. We came to the decision she needed to leave.)
We went out like we usually did and partied and went bayhill after I was on xannax and barely rember anything but next thing I’m in a bush and Rk and my friend were speaking to 2 girls who said come back to there hotel. They told me and bring me I went back in bayhill to get me a girl. They left me after this without telling me properly and I went back to see them gone. I had a English sim and no credit or data. I sat outside bayhill as everyone was coming out asking if my friend had been seen. A girl told me to get on the back of her ped randomly and I had no other choice lol. She took me back hers we hugged you could say lol. I woke up she took me for food and dropped me back to my friends and she demanded I gave her what she spent on me. I just was shocked thinking she done it out of good heart. I gave her 1000 baht.
I met Rk after he dropped my other friend at the airport. It set in we have to move place Tommorow and we didn’t know where we were going. We got wasted and got cab back to our place with a girl who was rks.
I woke up to the air bnb owner telling us to get out. I packed my stuff as fast as I could. We got all our stuff together and got cab to Patong. We found a small hotel off bangala road called Acca. This would be the start to our new beginnings and a downgrade you could say from our last place.
Acca was a weird hotel, my visa had run out so I had to make excuses to why I couldn’t show my passport everywhere. I forgot the first couple days at Acca but we were struggling for money bad and calling home near enough everyday. There were few days we would have enough money to enjoy ourselves. And the days we didn’t we had to tell the hotel we were waiting for money.
Acca so many memories there, we had made a few friends there so we knew most things by this point (Thais and tourists). The famous person we met the night we crashed had a YouTube channel. So people who watched his videos had seen us on there and were coming up to us asking questions. We planned on doing YouTube but nothing for us goes to plan.
I still couldn’t go out in the day because my leg couldn’t go near the sun. I was trapped inside all day and Rk would go out and meet up with the friends he met there. We got messages from friends in london I had when I was 15. They were coming to patong for a holiday and wanted to meet up.
They came and booked our hotel (different room) and we all stayed together our room slowly turned into a mess as we would get ready and go out everyday and get xannyed, drink beer and smoke weed.
We thought they were gonna be help but it made it worse they loved xannax and had money so A lot of problems would arise.
Fast forward time, Stacy was stalking Rk and I forgot to mention, Stacy was a pro Muay Thai fighter who was the champion of a popular Thai island and when she was mentioned to any local girls they would be scared knowing what she could do.
submitted by Present-Shoe-8074 to Thailand [link] [comments]


2023.06.03 15:38 obeliskposture Short story about bad times & bad jobs

I've shared fiction here before and it didn't go altogether too poorly, so I'm going to press my luck and do it again. This was written about a year ago, and I'm tired of trying to peddle it to lit magazines. Might as well share it here, know that it met a few eyeballs, and have done with it.
It's relevant to the sub insofar as it's about urban alienation and the working conditions at a small business run by IN THIS HOUSE WE BELIEVE people. (I tried to pitch it as a story of the great resignation with a momentary flicker of cosmic horror.) It's based on a similar job I took on after getting laid off during the lockdown, and the circumstances of the main character's breakup are faintly similar to one I went through several years back (her job sucked the life out of her).
Without further ado:
* * *
It was getting close to midnight, and the temperature outside was still above 80 degrees. We’d locked up the shop at 10:15 and walked over to Twenty, the dive bar on Poplar Street, where a single wall-mounted air conditioner and four wobbly ceiling fans weren’t putting up much resistance against the July heat baking the place from the outside and the dense mass of bodies giving it a stifling fever from within.
Just now I came close to saying it was a Wednesday night, because that was usually when the cyclists descended upon Avenue Brew, the gritty-but-bougie craft beer and sandwich shop I was working at back then. Every Wednesday between March and November, about fifteen to twenty-five Gen Xers dressed in skintight polyester, all packages and camel toes and fanny packs, locked up their thousand-dollar bikes on the sidewalk and lined up for IPAs and paninis. They reliably arrived around 8:00, an hour before we closed, making it impossible to get started on the closing checklist and leave on time at 10:00. The worst of them were demanding and rude, and even the best got raucous and stubborn after a couple drinks. There were nights when bringing in the sidewalk tables couldn’t be done without arguing with them. Most were sub-par tippers, to boot.
After Wednesday came and went that week without so much as a single 40-something in Ray Bans and padded shorts stopping in to double-fist two cans of Jai Alai, we dared to hope the cyclists had chosen another spot to be their finish line from there on out. But no—they’d only postponed their weekly ride, and swarmed us on Friday night instead.
I was the last person to find out; I was clocked in as purchaser that evening. The position was something like a promotion I'd received a year earlier: for twenty hours a week, I got to retreat from the public and sit in the back room with the store laptop, reviewing sales and inventory, answering emails from brewery reps, and ordering beer, beverages, and assorted paper goods. When I put in hours as purchaser, my wage went up from $11 to $15 an hour, but I was removed from the tip pool. On most days, tips amounted to an extra two or three dollars an hour, so I usually came out ahead.
This was back in 2021. I don't know what Avenue Brew pays these days.
Anyway, at about 8:15, I stepped out to say goodbye to everyone and found the shop in chaos. Friday nights were generally pretty active, the cyclists' arrival had turned the place into a mob scene. The line extended to the front door. The phone was ringing. The Grubhub tablet dinged like an alarm clock without a snooze button. Danny was on the sandwich line and on the verge of losing his temper. Oliver was working up a sweat running food, bussing tables, and replenishing ingredients from the walk-in. The unflappable Marina was on register, and even she seemed like she was about to snap at somebody.
What else could I do? I stayed until closing to answer the phone, process Grubhub orders, hop on and off the second register, and help Danny with sandwich prep. After the tills were counted out, I stayed another hour to take care of the dishes, since nobody had a chance to do a first load. Oliver was grateful, even though he grumbled about having to make some calls and rearrange Sunday's schedule so I could come in a couple hours late. Irene and Jeremy, Avenue Brew's owners, would kick his ass if he let me go into overtime.
Danny suggested that we deserved a few drinks ourselves after managing to get through the shift without killing anyone. Not even Marina could find a reason to disagree with him.
The neighborhood had undergone enough gentrification to support an upscale brunch spot, an ice cream parlor, a gourmet burger restaurant, a coffee and bahn mi shop, and Avenue Brew (to name a few examples), but not yet quite enough that the people who staffed them couldn’t afford to live within a ten-minute walk from the main avenue where all these hep eateries stood between 24-hour corner stores with slot machines in back, late-night Chinese and Mexico-Italian takeout joints with bulletproof glass at the counters, and long-shuttered delis and shoe stores. Twenty on Poplar was the watering hole set aside for people like us. It was dim, a bit dilapidated, and inexpensive, and usually avoided by denizens of the condos popping up on the vacant lots and replacing clusters of abandoned row houses.
When we arrived, Kyle waved us over. He didn’t work at Avenue Brew anymore, but still kept up with a few of us. He was at Twenty at least four nights out of the week.
So there we all were. I sat with a brooding stranger freestyling to himself in a low mumble on the stool to my left and Oliver on my right, who tapped at his phone and nursed a bottle of Twisted Tea. To Oliver’s right sat Marina, staring at nothing in particular and trying to ignore Danny, who stood behind her, closer than she would have liked, listening to Kyle explain the crucial differences between the Invincible comic book and the Invincible web series.
I recall being startled back to something like wakefulness when it seemed to me that the ceiling had sprouted a new fan. I blinked my eyes, and it wasn’t there anymore. It reminded me of an incident from when I was still living with my folks in South Jersey and still had a car, and was driving home from a friend’s house party up in Bergen County. It was 6:30 AM, I hadn’t slept all night, and needed to get home so I could get at least little shuteye before heading to Whole Foods for my 11:00 AM shift. I imagined I passed beneath the shadows of overpasses I knew weren’t there, and realized I was dreaming at the wheel.
I was pretty thoroughly zombified at that point. Heather and I had broken up for good the night before, and I hadn't gotten even a minute of sleep. Calling out at Avenue Brew was tough. Unless you found someone willing to cover your shift on like six hours' notice, you were liable to get a writeup, a demotion, or your hours cut if you couldn't produce a doctor's note. So I loaded up on caffeine pills and Five-Hour Energy bottles at the corner store, and powered through as best I could.
I finished the last thimbleful of Blue Moon in my glass. Oliver wiped the sweat from the back of his neck with a napkin and covered his mouth to stifle a laugh at the KiwiFarms thread he was scrolling through. Pool balls clacked; somebody swore and somebody laughed. The TouchTunes box was playing Bob Dylan’s “Rain Day Woman #12 & 35,” and enough bleary 40-something men around the bar were bobbing their heads and mouthing the words to make it impossible to determine which one of them paid two bucks to hear it. A guy by the cigarette machine who looked like a caricature of Art Carney in flannel and an old Pixies T-shirt was accosting a woman who must have been a toddler when he hit drinking age, and she momentarily made eye contact with me as she scanned the area for a way out. Danny was shouting over the bartender’s head, carrying on a conversation with the Hot Guy from Pizza Stan’s, who was sitting on the horseshoe’s opposite arm.
I never got his name, but when Oliver first referred to him as the Hot Guy from Pizza Stan’s, I knew exactly who he meant. Philly scene kid par excellence. Mid-20s, washed-out black denim, dyed black hair, thick bangs, and dark, gentle eyes. He was only truly alluring when he was on the job, because he seldom smiled then—and when he smiled, he broke the spell by exposing his teeth, stained a gnarly shade of mahogany from too much smoking and not enough brushing.
“How’s Best? Marcus still a joker?” Danny asked him.
“Yeah, you know Marcus. You know how he is.”
So the Hot Guy had been working at Best Burger (directly across the street from Avenue Brew) ever since Pizza Stan’s owners mismanaged the place unto insolvency. (Afterwards it was renovated and reopened as a vegan bakery—which incidentally closed down about a month ago.) Danny used to work at Best Burger, but that ended after he got into a shouting match with the owner. I happened to overhear it while I was dragging in the tables and collecting the chairs from the sidewalk the night it happened. It wasn’t any of my business, and I tried not to pay attention, but they were really tearing into each other. A month later, Oliver welcomed Danny aboard at Avenue Brew. I hadn’t known he’d been interviewed, and by then it was too late to mention the incident. But I’d have been a hypocrite to call it a red flag after the way I resigned from my position as Café Chakra's assistant manager two years earlier—not that we need to go dredging that up right now. Let's say there was some bad blood and leave it at that.
Anyway, I was thinking about giving in and buying a pack of cigarettes from the machine—and then remembered that Twenty didn’t have a cigarette machine. I looked again. The Art Carney-lookalike was still there, fingering his phone with a frown, but the girl was gone—and so was the cigarette machine.
I had only a moment to puzzle over this before Danny clapped me on the shoulder and thrust a shot glass in front of me.
“Starfish!” he said. (Danny called me Starfish. Everybody else called me Pat.) “You look like you need some juice.”
He distributed shots to everyone else. Marina declined hers, but changed her mind when Kyle offered to take it instead.
She and Kyle had stopped sleeping together after Kyle left Avenue Brew to work at the Victory taproom on the Parkway, but Marina was still concerned about his bad habits, which Danny delighted in encouraging.
We all leaned in to clink our glasses. Before I could find an appropriate moment to ask Marina if I could bum a cigarette, she got up to visit the bathroom. Danny took her seat and bowed his head for a conspiratorial word with Kyle.
I watched from the corner of my eye and tried to listen in. Like Marina, I was a little worried about Kyle. He got hired at Avenue Brew around the same time I did, just before the pandemic temporarily turned us into a takeout joint. He was a senior at Drexel then, an English major, and sometimes talked about wanting to either find work in publishing or carve out a career as a freelance writer after graduating. But first he intended to spend a year getting some life in before submitting himself to the forever grind.
He read a lot of Charles Bukowski and Hunter Thompson. He relished the gritty and sordid, and had already been good at sniffing it out around the neighborhood and in West Philly before Danny introduced him to cocaine, casinos, strip clubs, and a rogue’s gallery of shady but fascinating people. (None were really Danny’s friends; just fellow passengers who intersected with the part of his life where he sometimes went to Parx, sometimes came out ahead, sometimes spent his winnings on coke, and sometimes did bumps at titty bars.) Kyle recounted these adventures with a boyish enthusiasm for the naked reality of sleaze, like a middle schooler telling his locker room buddies about catching his older brother in flagrante and seeing so-and-so body parts doing such-and-such things.
Marina hated it. She never said as much to me, but she was afraid that the template Kyle set for his life during his “year off” was in danger of becoming locked in. The anniversary of his graduation had already passed, and now here he was trying to convince Danny to contribute a couple hundred dollars toward a sheet of acid his guy had for sale. He wasn't doing much writing lately.
I was the oldest employee at Avenue Brew (as I write this I’m 37, but fortunately I don’t look it), and when Kyle still worked with us I felt like it was my prerogative to give him some advice. The longer he waited to make inroads, I once told him, the more likely he’d be seen as damaged goods by the publishing world. He needed to jam his foot in the door while he was still young.
I could tell the conversation bored him, and didn’t bring up the subject again.
The bartender took my glass and curtly asked if I’d like another drink.
“No thanks, not yet,” I answered.
She slid me my bill.
I missed the old bartender, the one she’d replaced. I forget her name, but she was ingenuous and energetic and sweet. Pretty much everyone had some sort of crush on her. Sometimes she came into Avenue Brew for lunch, and tipped us as well as we tipped her. Maybe three months before that night—Danny witnessed it—she suddenly started crying and rushed out the door. Everyone at the bar mutely looked to each other for an explanation. (Fortunately for Twenty, the kitchen manager hadn’t left yet, and picked up the rest of her shift.)
She never came back. None of us had seen her since. But drafts still had to be poured and bottlecaps pulled off, and now here was another white woman in her mid-twenties wearing a black tank top, a pushup bra, and a scrunchie, same as before. Twenty’s regulars grew accustomed to not expecting to see the person she’d replaced, and life went on.
“How’re you doing?” I asked Oliver, just to say something to somebody, and to keep my thoughts from wandering back to Heather.
“Just kind of existing right now,” he answered. His phone lay face-up on the counter. He was swiping through Instagram, and I recognized the avatar of the user whose album he hate-browsed.
“And how’s Austin been?” I asked.
“Oh, you know. Not even three weeks after getting over the jetlag from his trip back from the Cascades, he’s off touring Ireland.” He shook his head. “Living his best life.”
He’d hired Austin on a part-time basis in September. We needed a new associate when Emma was promoted to replace a supervisor who'd quit without even giving his two weeks. There was a whole thing. I'm having a hard time recalling the guy's name, but I liked him well enough. He was a good worker and he seemed like a bright kid, but he was—well, he was young. Naïve. One day he found Jeremy sitting in the back room with his laptop, and took advantage of the open-door policy to ask why the store manager and supervisors didn’t get health benefits or paid time off. Jeremy told him it "was being worked on," and that he couldn’t discuss it any further at that time. I understand the kid got argumentative, though I never knew precisely what was said.
Irene started visiting the shop a lot more often after that, almost always arriving when the kid was working. No matter what he was doing, she’d find a reason to intervene, to micromanage and harangue him, and effectively make his job impossible. A coincidence, surely.
It’s something I still think about. By any metric, Jeremy and Irene have done very well for themselves. They’re both a little over 40 years old. I remember hearing they met at law school. In addition to Avenue Brew, they own a bistro in Francisville and an ice cream parlor in Point Breeze. They have a house on the Blue Line, send their son to a Montessori school, and pull up to their businesses in a white Volkswagen ID.4. But whenever the subject of benefits, wages, or even free shift meals came up, they pled poverty. It simply couldn’t be done. But they liked to remind us about all they did to make Avenue Brew a fun place to work, like let the staff pick the music and allow Oliver and me to conduct a beer tasting once a day. They stuck Black Lives Matter, Believe Women, and Progress flag decals on the front door and windows, and I remember Irene wearing a Black Trans Lives Matter shirt once or twice when covering a supervisor's shift. None of the college students or recent graduates who composed most of Avenue Brew's staff could say the bosses weren't on the right team. And yet...
I'm sorry—I was talking about Austin. He was maybe 30 and already had another job, a “real” job, some sort of remote gig lucrative enough for him to make rent on a studio in the picturesque Episcopal church down the street that had been converted into upscale apartments some years back. Austin wasn’t looking for extra cash. He wanted to socialize. To have something to do and people to talk to in the outside world. He wanted to make friends, and all of us could appreciate that—but it’s hard to be fond of a coworker who irredeemably sucks at his job. Austin never acted with any urgency, was inattentive to detail, and even after repeated interventions from Oliver and the supervisors, he continued to perform basic tasks in bafflingly inefficient ways. Having Austin on your shift meant carrying his slack, and everyone was fed up after a few months. Oliver sat him down, told him he was on thin ice, and gave him a list of the areas in which he needed to improve if he didn’t want to be let go.
When Austin gave Oliver the indignant “I don’t need this job” speech, it was different from those times Danny or I told a boss to go to hell and walked out. Austin truly didn’t need it. He basically said the job was beneath him, and so was Oliver.
It got deep under Oliver’s skin. He did need the job and had to take it seriously, even when it meant being the dipshit manager chewing out a man four or five years his senior. He earned $18 an hour (plus tips when he wasn’t doing admin work), had debts to pay off, and couldn't expect to get any help from his family.
The important thing, though, the part I distinctly remember, was that Oliver was looking at a video of a wading bird Austin had recorded. An egret, maybe. White feathers, long black legs, pointy black beak. Austin must have been standing on a ledge above a creek, because he had an overhead view of the bird as it stood in the water, slowly and deliberately stretching and retracting its neck, eyeing the wriggling little shadows below. As far as the fish could know, they were swimming around a pair of reeds growing out of the silt. The predator from which they extended was of a world beyond their understanding and out of their reach.
The video ended. Oliver moved on to the next item: a photograph of the bird from the same perspective, with a fish clamped in its beak. Water droplets flung from the victim's thrashing tail caught the sunlight. And I remember now, I clearly remember, the shapes of like twelve other fish stupidly milling about the bird's feet, unperturbed and unpanicked.
Danny peered at Oliver’s phone and observed a resemblance between the bird—its shape and bearing, and the composition of the photograph—and a POV porn video shot from behind and above, and he told us so. Elaborately. He made squawking noises.
“And mom says I’m a degenerate,” Oliver sighed. “Can you practice your interspecies pickup artist shit somewhere else?” Oliver flicked his wrist, shooing Danny off, and held his phone in front of his face to signal that he was done talking.
Danny sagged a little on his stool and turned away. I sometimes felt bad for him. For all his faults, he had the heart of a puppy dog. He really did think of us as his tribe. There was nobody else who’d only ever answer “yes” when you asked him to pick up a shift, and he did it completely out of loyalty.
He was turning 29 in a week. I wondered how many people would actually turn out to celebrate with him at the Black Taxi. Kyle probably would—but even he regarded Danny more as a source of vulgar entertainment than a friend.
Then it happened again. When I turned to speak to Oliver, there’d been a pair of pool cues leaning side-by-side against the wall a few stools down. Now they were gone.
This time it might have been my imagination. Somebody passing by could have casually snatched them up and kept walking.
But a moment later I seemed to notice a second TouchTunes box protruding from the wall directly behind me. I let it be.
Marina returned from the bathroom. Danny rose and offered her back her seat with an exaggerated bow. Before she got settled, I asked if she’d like to step outside with me. She withdrew her pack of Marlboro Menthols from her canvas bag, which she left sitting on the stool to deter Danny from sitting back down.
Marina never minded letting me bum cigarettes from time to time. I couldn’t buy them for myself anymore; it’s a habit I could never keep under control, and was only getting more expensive. Like everything else in the world. About once a month I reimbursed her by buying her a pack.
The air out on the sidewalk was as hot as the air inside Twenty, but easier to breathe. After lighting up, Marina leaned against the bricks and sighed.
“I wish Oliver would fire Danny already and get it over with.”
I nodded. Marina rarely talked about anything but work.
“He sneaks drinks and doesn't think anyone notices he's buzzed,” she went on. “He steals so much shit and isn’t even a little subtle about it. He’s going to get Oliver in trouble. And he’s a creep.”
“Yeah,” I said. These were her usual complaints about Danny, and they were all true. “At least he’s better than Austin.”
“That’s a low bar.”
Three dirt bikes and an ATV roared down the lonely street, charging through stop sign after stop sign, putting our talk on hold.
“Remind me. You’ve got one semester left, right?” I asked after the noise ebbed.
“Yep.”
Marina was a marketing major at Temple. She’d had an internship during the spring semester, and her boss told her to give her a call the very minute she graduated. Her parents in central Pennsylvania couldn’t pay her rent or tuition for her, so she was a full-time student and a full-time employee at Avenue Brew. Her emotional spectrum ranged from "tired" to "over it." She’d been waiting tables and working at coffee shops since she was seventeen, had no intention of continuing for even a day longer than she had to, and feared the escape hatch would slam shut if she dallied too long after prying it open.
She’d considered majoring in English, like Kyle. She went for marketing instead. I couldn’t blame her.
“Are you okay?” she asked. “You’ve been kind of off all day.”
“I’m terrible.”
“Why?”
I gave dodgy answers, but she asked precisely the right follow-up questions to get me going about what happened with Heather the night before.
It was the new job. Before the pandemic, Heather worked as a server at a Center City bar and grill. (That's where I met her; we were coworkers for about a year, and then I left to work Café Chakra because it was quieter and closer to where I lived.) When the place closed its doors and laid everyone off during the lockdown, she got a stopgap job at the Acme on Passyunk, and hated it. Then in March, she found a bar-and-lounge gig in a ritzy hotel on Broad Street. Very corporate. Excellent pay, great benefits. Definitely a step up. But her new employers made Irene and Jeremy look like Bob and Linda Belcher by comparison. It was the kind of place where someone had recently gotten herself fired for leaving work to rush to the hospital after getting the news that her grandmother was about to be taken off life support, and not finding someone to come in and cover the last two hours of her shift.
Heather seldom worked fewer than fifty-five hours a week, and her schedule was even more erratic than mine. At least once a week she left the hotel at 1:00 or 2:00 AM and returned at 9:00 the next morning. Neither of us could remember the last time she’d had two consecutive days off, and it had been over a month since one of mine overlapped with one of hers. She’d spent it drinking alone at home. All she wanted was some privacy.
I’d biked to South Philly to meet her when she got home at 1:30. The argument that killed our relationship for good began around 2:30, when I complained that we never had sex anymore. Heather accused me of only caring about that, when she was so exhausted and stressed that her hair was falling out in the shower. Quit the job? She couldn’t quit. The money was too good. She had student loans, medical bills, and credit card debt, and for the first time in her life she could imagine paying it all off before hitting menopause.
So, yeah, I was cranky about our sex life being dead in the water. Say whatever you like. But at that point, what were we to each other? We did nothing together anymore but complain about work before one or both of us fell asleep. That isn’t a relationship.
She said my hair always smelled like sandwiches, even after bathing, and she was done pretending it didn’t turn her off. I told her she was one to talk—she always reeked of liquor. As things escalated, we stopped caring if her roommates heard us. “You want to be a father?” she shouted around 4:00 AM. “Making what you make? That poor fucking kid.”
We fought until sunrise, and I left her apartment with the understanding that I wouldn’t be coming back, wouldn’t be calling her ever again. I biked home and sat on the steps facing the cement panel that was my house’s backyard. After my phone died and I couldn’t anaesthetize myself with dumb YouTube videos or make myself feel crazy staring at the download button for the Tinder app, I watched the sparrows hopping on and off the utility lines for a while.
At 11:40 I went inside. One of my roommates was already in the shower, so the best I could do was put on a clean Avenue Brew T-shirt before walking to the shop and clocking in at noon to help deal with the lunch rush.
“That’s a lot,” Marina finally said. “Sorry.”
I don’t know what I was expecting her to say. She was sixteen years my junior, after all, and just a coworker. She didn’t need to hear any of this, and I definitely didn't need to be telling her. But who else was there to tell?
She’d already finished her cigarette. I still had a few puffs left. She went inside.
I decided to call it a night.
The second TouchTunes box was gone—naturally. Danny had taken my stool, and regarded my approach with a puckish you snooze you lose grin. I wasn’t going to say anything. I’d just pay my bill, give everyone a nod goodnight, and walk the five blocks back home.
And then Danny disappeared.
One second, he was there. The next—gone.
Danny didn’t just instantaneously vanish. Even when something happens in the blink of an eye, you can still put together something of a sequence. I saw him—I seemed to see him—falling into himself, collapsing to a point, and then to nothing.
You know how sometimes a sound is altogether inaudible unless you’re looking at the source—like when you don’t realize somebody’s whispering at you, and can then hear and understand them after they get your attention? I think that was the case here. I wouldn't have known to listen if I hadn't seen it happen. What I heard lingered for two, maybe three seconds, and wasn't any louder than a fly buzzing inside a lampshade. A tiny and impossibly distant scream, pitchshifted like a receding ambulance siren into a basso drone...
I don’t know. I don’t know for sure. I’m certain I remember a flash of red, and I have the idea of Danny’s trunk expanding, opening up as it imploded. A crimson flower, flecked white, with spooling pink stalks—and Danny’s wide-eyed face above it, drawn twisting and shrinking into its petals.
For an instant, Twenty’s interior shimmered. Not shimmered, exactly—glitched would be a better word. If you’re old enough to remember the fragmented graphics that sometimes flashed onscreen when you turned on the Nintendo without blowing on the cartridge, you’ll have an idea of what I mean. It happened much too fast, and there was too much of it to absorb. The one clear impression I could parse was the mirage of a cash register flickering upside-down above the pool table.
Not a cash register. The shape was familiar, but the texture was wrong. I think it was ribbed, sort of like a maggot. I think it glistened. Like—camo doesn’t work anymore when the wearer stops crouching behind a bush and breaks into a run. Do you get what I’m saying?
Nobody else seemed to notice. The pool balls clacked. A New Order track was playing on the TouchTunes box. A nearby argument about about Nick Sirianni continued unabated.
Finally, there was a downward rush of air—and this at least elicited a reaction from the bartender, who slapped my bill to keep it from sailing off the counter.
“Danny,” I said.
“Danny?” Kyle asked me quietly. His face had gone pale.
“Danny?” Oliver repeated in a faraway voice.
After a pause, Kyle blinked a few times. “You heard from him?”
“God forbid,” said Marina. “When he quit I was like, great, I can keep working here after all.”
“Oh, come on—”
“Kyle. Did I ever show you those texts he sent me once at three in the morning?” The color had returned to Oliver’s face.
“No, what did he say?”
Oliver tapped at his phone and turned the screen toward Kyle.
“Oh. Oh, jeez.”
“Right? Like—if you want to ask me something, ask me. You know? Don’t be weirdly accusatory about it…”
I pulled a wad of fives and ones from my pocket, threw it all onto the counter, and beelined for the exit without consideration for the people I squeezed through and shoved past on the way.
I heard Marina saying “let him go.”
I went a second consecutive night without sleep. Fortunately I wasn’t scheduled to come in the next day.
The schedule. It’s funny. Oliver was generally great at his job, and even when he wasn’t, I cut him a lot of slack because I knew Irene and Jeremy never gave him a moment’s peace. But I could never forgive him those times he waited until the weekend to make up and distribute the schedule. This was one of those weeks he didn’t get around to it until Saturday afternoon. When I found it in my inbox, Danny’s name wasn’t anywhere on it.
As far as I know, nobody who hadn’t been at Twenty that night asked what happened to him. We were a bit overstaffed as it was, and everyone probably assumed Danny was slated for the chopping block. The part-timers were, for the most part, happy to get a few additional hours.
Oliver abruptly quit around Labor Day after a final acrimonious clash with the owners. I never found out the details, and I never saw him again. Jeremy and Irene took turns minding the store while a replacement manager was sought. None of the supervisors would be pressured into taking the job; they knew from Oliver what they could expect.
About three weeks after Oliver left, I came in for my purchasing shift and found Jeremy waiting for me in the back room. I knew it was serious when he didn’t greet me with the awkward fist-bump he ordinarily required of his male employees.
“You’ve seen the numbers,” he said. Business for the summer had fallen short of expectations, it was true, and he and Irene had decided to rein in payroll expenses. My purchaser position was being eliminated. Its responsibilities would be redistributed among the supervisors and the new manager, when one was found. In the meantime, I'd be going back to the regular $11 an hour (plus tips of course) associate position full-time.
Jeremy assured me I'd be first in the running for supervisor the next time there was an opening.
I told him it was fine, I was done, and if he’d expected the courtesy of two weeks’ notice, he shouldn’t have blindsided me like that.
“Well, that’s your choice,” he answered, trying not to look pleased. His payroll problem was solving itself.
I racked up credit card debt for a few months. Applied for entry-level museum jobs that might appreciate my art history degree. Aimed for some purchasing and administrative assistant gigs, and just for the hell of it, turned in a resume for a facilitator position at an after-school art program. Got a few interviews. All of them eventually told me they’d decided to go in a different direction. I finally got hired to bartend at Hops from Underground, a microbrewery on Fairmount.
I’m still there. The money’s okay, but it fluctuates. Hours are reasonable. I’m on their high-deductible health plan. There’s a coworker I’ve been dating. Sort of dating. You know how it goes. In this line of work you get so used to people coming and going that you learn not to get too attached. I walk past Avenue Brew a few times a week, but stopped peering in through the window when I didn't recognize the people behind the counter anymore.
submitted by obeliskposture to stupidpol [link] [comments]


2023.06.03 11:20 titritmoroccotours Jewish Tour In Morocco

Essaouira Morocco is a small town just below Casablanca. For decades, it has been the favorite beach destination among the natives of Morocco. In the 70's, it became a popular travel destination among hipsters. Jimi Hendrix was one of the popular guests and his pictures are displayed in many hotels and local bars in Essaouira. Later, this town became popular because of the strong winds. It became a vacation spot for surfers and wind surfers seeking for a different adventure. Medina which is known before as Mogador is a town in Essaouira surrounded by walls and several gates. Afterward, the people of Medina has outgrown its walls and started living beyond the walls of Medina.
The design of this town was ordered by Sultan Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdallah to Theodore Cornut, a French architect. One of main attractions in the city that will make an impression to you is the colors of their doors. The doors in Essaouira Morocco are painted with brilliant colors of blue. If you plan to have a trip in Morocco, reserve some of those days in Essaouira. It will definitely bring you a different kind of experience.
For the surfers and wind surfers who would like to experience a different chill in Essaouira Morocco, you can choose to stay at a cheap reformed Riads or renting house and palaces to an expensive suite in a hotel situated in front of the beaches. You will need a taxi ride from the station of the bus in case your hotel reservation does not include a taxi pick up to visit the town. Taxis are not allowed to enter the Medina so before leaving your hotel, ask for the closest gate possible going back to your hotel. To take a glimpse around town you can take the public bus while "Petit Taxis" can accommodate up to three persons
submitted by titritmoroccotours to u/titritmoroccotours [link] [comments]


2023.06.03 09:00 TheCurserHasntMoved (Sneakyverse) The Travels of a Galactic Cowboy, Part One: The Star Council, Chapter Nine: Corvian Home

First Previous Next
Skeeter had made an error. Not a big one, but one that did have significant downstream effects. He'd assumed that he could visit enough of each planet to give a sort of general feel to each one's character in three or four days, but it was looking more and more like he'd have to extend the stay at Corvian Home for at least a week. He could scarcely remember being so excited by making a mistake. In most respects, Corvian Home was wildly different from Terra. From its many small islands to its ever turbulent storms, to its mediworld gravity, it was unlike any place found on Terra. It still baffled him that the xenos thought Terran gravity was heavy. The way in which it was similar had to do with the wide variety of culture, which made getting a general sense of the place a tad more difficult than planets with a more unified culture.
So, he had to ask Captain Vexkeed to extend the stay, which wasn't cheap. Additionally, it required the refund of any unsatisfied passengers who were on more time-sensitive journeys. However, it turned out that the majority of the passengers had apparently viewed the voyage as a "Sneaky Cruise," which made Skeeter laugh until he couldn't breathe when Captain Vexkeed told him. Likewise, when he told Suzie and Ivan, they found themselves completely overcome by mirth. Kip on the other hand couldn't see the humor in it. This, of course sent all three adults into the throes of hysterical laughter, which only further perplexed the boy.
The inscrutable, to Kip, Terran sense of humor aside, it turned out that apart from paying a fee to extend the journey and maybe five or six refunds, there was very little adjustment in terms of the We Bring Friends from Afar to Joyous Meeting making drastic changes to her manifest. Which was amenable to Skeeter's bank account, and his conscience. In any case, it let him fill out the itinerary with a wide variety of events from the local sporting events, to seeing interesting geological formations or particularly treasured vistas, to attending musical theater, to restaurant hopping in one of the larger cities with a conveniently cosmopolitan makeup. Even better, all of the things toxic to Humans, Doggos, and Lutrae were also toxic to the Corvians, so the risk of accidental poisoning was almost nonexistent.
"We actually discussed this in class last week," Kip was saying as the shuttle shook in the storm winds, "once a group went to a new island, the storms cut them off from the original group, except for the very few traders brave enough to fly in… well, this."
"That so?" Skeeter prompted genially.
"Yeah, for the most part I guess people would just float along with whatever everyone else thought, but I guess that's true for most places. Except, since they were separate and all, they didn't all go along the same currents, and so even islands that are pretty close can be crazy different."
"That, and it is ruining the landing shots," Ivan grumbled as he kept the camera trained on the trio.
"Well, back home rain's a good thing!" Suzie exclaimed exuberantly.
"Rain makes rye," Skeeter rejoined.
"Rye makes whiskey," Suzie laughed.
"You mean industrial disinfectant or emergency stomach purging doses," Kip said flatly.
"How'd you find out about that?" Skeeter asked.
"Greg George mentioned it in his book. He dumped so many doses in a glass that any sane person would think he was trying to poison someone with the fumes."
"Oh, I loved My Side," Suzie said, "It had always bugged me that the Lost Boys never got a fair say."
"Wait, isn't he a hero? He talks like you guys almost worshiped him…"
"It's complicated," Skeeter said, "I served on a ship with one of the Lost Boys once, Stephen the Line. It was hard to not be in awe of him. Hard to remember that behind the deeds was a man just trying to serve like me."
"Oh…"
"Were you discussing more about Corvian Home in the classes?" Ivan asked before the silence could turn cold.
"Oh, sure, lots. Like on this one island there's a big festival where they celebrate the harvest of these huge nuts, and then there's this island where they have 'Imitation plays,' where Corvians try to mimic exactly how the plays sound from other races. Tutor Brixvee showed us a video of one they copied from the Star Sailors, and it was pretty cool."
"Do you figure she had lessons on Corvian Home since she knew we were headed here?"
"Of course," Kip said with a bitter scowl, "she's full of dirty tricks like that." His hosts couldn't contain their mirth, not that they tried all that hard.
Later that day, the intrepid travelers were in the throes of a local festival. They had surmised that it was probably related to local folklore, as various icons and masks were featured heavily, but the press was so active and exuberant, that not even the Terran implants could keep up, slaved as they were to the Terran compads with better translation matrixes than even the local networks. Therefore, three out of the four friends found themselves swept up in a feathered fury of dance and rough song, to their ears anyway, while the only clue to Ivan's immense pleasure at the experience was his swiftly wagging tail. Which the locals had no idea was the unconcealable tell that his exterior coolness was in fact, a complete sham.
The festivities seemed to show no sign of abating as night fell over the city sheltered in a rough and rocky crown from the storms of the sea, so in order to get a good night's sleep they were obliged to catch a local shuttle ride between islands to find a slightly less festive town to bed down in, and Suzie took the opportunity.
"So I hear Y'all's planet name isn't what anybody calls it," she said impishly to the shuttle pilot.
"INDEED, ahem, indeed. We know that you mammal-peoples, and the reptile-peoples, and the water-peoples, cannot do it."
"Come on, give us an example," Suzie said in that challenging, teasing way that made Skeeter both cringe and love her.
The pilot laughed, or at least Skeeter thought he, or maybe she? At least Skeeter thought that the pilot laughed, whichever sex they were. He had a hard time with regular Terran corvids, let alone these giant bird people that reminded him of the former. Then said pilot of undetermined sex made a weird clicking noise in the depths of the throat and said, "That is the name."
"I can see why y'all think folk can't do that. Hey Skeeter, why don't ya give it a shot?"
"No," he said flatly.
"Aw come on, it's their planet's name, you should at least try," she said with that wry smile she had that made promises. Promises that he had a very difficult time resisting for… reasons.
He then made a right proper fool of himself trying to replicate the sound by clicking his tongue in various ways before giving up and just saying, "I'm stickin' with Corvian Home."
After making a right proper fool of himself, the other passengers obliged to laugh at him, and Suzie turned on Kip saying, "Your turn."
Kip shot her a sullen look.
"Aw, c'mon, you gonna let these folk just laugh at Skeeter all by his lonesome?" she chided.
Kip downright pouted at her.
"Coooome oooooon," she taunted.
Realizing that she wouldn't quit unless he gave in, Kip also made a mockery of himself trying to replicate the throat clicking sound to the delight of all and sundry. "Shut up," he mumbled as he laid his ears back.
"Ivan?" she asked of her final victim.
He clicked his tongue once, and when Suzie gave him a pout he said, "That is as much as I am trying."
"Now you try," Kip shot at her.
"I know my limits, unlike you boys," she laughed to Kip's indignant sputtering.
Meanwhile, Jerry was having a less festive time. Instead of happening to land on an island that happened to be hosting a festival for one reason or another, he had purposely chosen the center of finance for his outing. He'd had a relatively uneventful series of meetings with financiers, entrepreneurs, and shipping guild heads, and various other parties interested in securing access to new markets for their various trades. It was all very productive, and very boring, and not for the first time he felt a stab of regret for the last time that he had interacted with Skeeter.
Even still, it was a satisfying day. There was a lot of troubling mentions of debts though. Jerry was no stranger to the lending industries of various planets of the CIP, and even had some Republican contacts in that realm, those who could stand his needling of the Republic's systems, but nobody he knew ever said anything about "debt masters" or "clan debt." Troubling indeed, but he chalked it up to clunky translation. Even CIP systems could have trouble with new languages, and he just knew that Republican datapads were inferior. They had to be, of course.
Still though, there was something about the references that bothered him. Something furtive behind the eyes of the avian people who spoke of either concept. Then, there was the fact that only those who were obviously startup businesspeople would speak about them, never the financers. Very troubling indeed. He resolved himself to investigate the matter if he could make the time the next day.
The following morning, the intrepid travelers went on the only "heavyworlder safe" zipline tours available on the planet, which just so happened to be in the heavily forested canyons and followed paths through the foliage designed to simulate danger. Skeeter and Kip found it thrilling, but Suzie found it merely pleasant while Ivan was actually bored by the thrilling experience. The man was pleased with getting a shot of kip chanting breathlessly, "Let's go again, let's go again, let's go again, let's go again!" While Suzie was more pleased to have sneakily captured a shot of Ivan's unamused expression as he sped along on the pullies.
"Sure, why not?" Suzie had said to Kip.
To which Ivan said, "Because is boring."
"What?!" Kip nearly shouted.
"You take ride in boarding torpedo, and you will be understanding then."
"The real answer to why not is I already booked a nature walk. There's this island where there's like this bowl formation full of flowers. It looks amazin'" Skeeter explained to Kip's dismay.
Meanwhile, Jerry was exhausted. He'd reshuffled the meetings so that he had mere moments between them to prepare, but he was good at his job, so long as his counterpart wasn't a Republican, and could get the proper contact details to the correct people for whatever the other party hoped to accomplish, so long as it was legal, and it all was. It was therefore by mighty effort alone that he had a scant two hours in which to seek out the information he sought before he would have to retire to sleep, or else be completely useless the next day.
He took snagged a gravcar and told the cabbie, "Take me to where you and the lads go for a spot of drink, or whatever the legal intoxicant is around here."
The cabbie gave him a one eyed beady stare and said, "Are you sure, mammal-people? The places we go are not the high class places, by the storms."
"I'm sure, I'm sure. I might not look it these days, but I came up from a working family. My dah still makes fun that I lost my calluses."
The cabbie blinked twice and raised his crest. Jerry had no idea whether that was a good sign or not, but the blue plumed cabbie lowered his crest and blinked again saying, "Sure, mammal-people. I will take you there, but do not cause the fights or my clan will have share of the debt."
Jerry thought about pressing the issue, but something about how the cabbie's feathers had puffed out and still weren't lying flat convinced him that social lubricant was the needed thing. "What is the preferred intoxicant?" he asked.
"We smoke an herb. It usually does not work for mammal-peoples, so you might not have the fun you look for."
"I see, we also have some intoxicants taken this way, do you draw the smoke through water first?"
"Yes, do you mammal-peoples do this too?"
"It's called hookah, and has a long tradition in several of our cultures. Or bongs, which have a somewhat younger tradition, as history is measured."
"Maybe then you will get the happy haze and no fights will be started, mammal-people."
"Maybe, maybe. I'm just after a good banter, and the banker types are too stuffy."
"You are right, you are right, debt masters do not laugh when you joke, they charge you more interest!" the cabbie laughed, and Jerry fell silent.
At the, well, Jerry would call it a hookah lounge, Jerry found that the lads about avoided him and shot him suspicious glances, and also found that apart from a relaxed feeling in his limbs, the smoke had no effect on him. It was a pleasant feeling, and he could maintain it by taking a draw from the hookah every two minutes or so. It seemed that was a prodigious rate of smoking though, for eventually the suspicious glances turned to those of curiosity or even grudging respect. Jerry surmised that despite his rather drab coloring, they knew an expensive suit when they saw one.
Eventually, a clearly intoxicated Corvain stumbled over to his table and sank down on one of the cushions, "Why do you smoke so well, mammal-thing-people?" he slurred.
"I am used to a much stronger herb, and this makes me simply feel good. Does it not feel good for you?"
"'Course it do. Can't smoke as much."
"Wondering anything else?"
"You a Sneaky?"
Jerry thought about correcting the error, but another glance at the state of his conversation partner dispelled the notion, so he said, "Yes, but I am not very stealthy."
"It's just what people call you… dunno why…"
"I'm not bothered, I know the reason and it's funny."
"Funny?"
"Yes, do you know it?"
"Ish a meme."
"The first one of us that the Star Sailors met was mistaken for a pet, and they named him Sneaky."
That, as planned, brought forth uproarious laughter from the intoxicated Corvian who confided, "That's the kinda thing people-things get bristly about."
"I know, people-things get brislty about all sorts of things. Like the bankers, they won't tell me what debt masters are."
"They own clan debts."
"Clan debts?"
"You know, the debts you clan has, from like way back."
"Do you mean to say you were born in debt?"
"Sssssure, isn't everybody? Well, not rich people-things I guess, but ever-peoples I knowed."
"And these debt masters, they merely collect the interest?"
"Mostly."
"Mostly?"
"If you're not… if the job doesn't pay… erm… they so like tell you to do stuff."
"Involuntary servitude," Jerry said coldly.
"Yeah, that. The hatchlings get that rough."
"Explain please," Jerry said with cold intensity.
It seemed that the intensity of Jerry's gaze or maybe the soft quality of a hammer that his voice emulated, gave the Corvian some degree of sobriety as he stammered, "Yes-yes. The erm, the uh or-or-orphanages. The hatchlings there have no parents to provide for them, so the debt masters have them do something useful."
Jerry was very close to becoming a very dangerous man as he asked, "Are the debts of these children for sale?"
"Y-y-y-y-y-yes?"
"Where does one go to buy debts?"
First Previous Next
submitted by TheCurserHasntMoved to HFY [link] [comments]


2023.06.03 08:53 ReyRey3 Is my bucket list plan feasible or am I just being naive?

For the longest time I’ve been wanting to travel Latin America for an extended period of time. A year at least. Perhaps two.
I’m a 30 year old American that owns a house and works a 9-5 job. No kids, no girlfriend, just a cat.
My idea is that would put all of my things in storage, rent my home with the help of a property manager. I thought about selling but the idea of having a place to come back to sounds like the smarter option. Plus I can make an additional $400 on top of my mortgage payment which can help facilitate the trip.
Another source of income that I receive is roughly $1800.00 in disability from the government from being injured during my time in the military. All said and done, I’ll bring in roughly $2200 per month without having to work. Now the actual amount I’ll have available to travel will probably be less if I minus the cost of a storage unit, fees associated with having a property manager and other small expenses like my phone bill. Let’s call it $1800 per month.
Will this be enough to travel? I plan on traveling slow. Maybe 30-60 days in each country. I’ll stay at a mix of hostels and cheaper hotels and most likely cook my own food or opt in for street food.
submitted by ReyRey3 to travel [link] [comments]


2023.06.03 07:22 graciebeeapc My former boss outed me as an atheist to my parents and I cut her off

TL;DR My former boss outed me to my parents as a nonbeliever and I finally cut her off after a text message that I feel wasn’t a genuine act of understanding on her part.
Background first and then the texts at the bottom! So I was raised in a household where you’re supposed to respect authority, and that included people older than you. My former boss is around my moms age, so texting her so openly about how she hurt me and cutting her off felt strange. But I’ve now learned that respect is something that someone else must be willing to give me in order for me to give it back. It’s earned, not positional.
So essentially I visited my old workplace the day before my fiancée and I left to move to another state and my former boss (let’s call her Helen) asked about whether or not I was still a Christian. Well I didn’t want to lie to her face about this (I had in the past when I was still hiding it) so I admitted somewhat awkwardly that I’m not. She started crying and it was super awkward and then she made me promise not to “blaspheme the Holy Spirit” which I agreed to so the conversation would end. She asked why I deconverted but I told her I just didn’t want to talk about it. Keep in mind, this all happened at my old workplace. She also wasn’t happy that my parents didn’t yet know about my fiancée and I’s marriage plans. We’ve had a lot of tension between my parents and I, and for multiple reasons, I decided I didn’t want them at our marriage. We’re having a full blown wedding in maybe 6 years or so when we can afford it, and we’ll invite them and extended family then.
I was finishing up packing that night when my mom comes upstairs and says I have a visitor. So I come downstairs expecting a grandparent or something but it’s Helen and her husband (we’ll call him Richard). She’s in tears talking about how she can’t let me go like this. Keep in mind, my mom was in the kitchen, right there. So I took her and her husband out on the porch to talk to fiancée and I. Well it went horribly. They were very pushy and not respecting my boundaries and calling everything they didn’t like of the devil. I started having a trauma response (which mine is just to shut down). Eventually, my partner and I left. We got in my car to escape them after he threw a cuss word at them (we had been very patient up till then and it was deserved). In my car I was sobbing and they went into my house to talk to my parents. They told them that I’m no longer a believer, which my mom said she already knew and now Helen is using that to justify her telling my mom. In reality, my mom just had a gut feeling about it. She didn’t know for sure, and it still wasn’t Helen’s place to out me. My fiancée and I went to a hotel for the night and when we came back for his car a few hours later, they were just leaving my house. If you got through all that then thank you!
Here are the texts we exchanged. Me: “Hey (Helen), I’d like to address some things and set boundaries after what happened the other night. First and foremost, I can’t ignore the fact that you and (Richard’s) actions were completely inappropriate, both as my former employers and friends. Please don’t mistake this as me not understanding why you did what you did or that you had good intention behind it. I know that you love me, but your love for me does not excuse or allow your disrespect toward me. You disrespected my clear desire for the conversation to end (and really not even happen in the first place) and worst of all you revealed extremely personal information that I trusted you with to my parents when I wasn’t ready or willing to tell them. My personal information is mine to tell in my own time, whether or not you and Robbie agree with that. I shouldn’t have to ask you to respect my privacy. (Fiancée) ended up responding out of frustration, but he shouldn’t be blamed when you had overstayed your welcome, accused him of lying, and were insisting on continuing the conversation after we stated multiple times that it should end. I know you believe the Holy Spirit called you to this action, but ultimately it just brought me pain and made matters worse. I think that may be worth reflecting on. I don’t think our relationship can continue as normal from here on out. You’ll probably see me again at (former workplace) to visit the others, and if so I don’t want to talk about this situation or my disbelief. That’s the boundary I’m setting. I understand that you love me, but if you further disrespect my boundaries then I’ll be forced to end our relationship entirely.”
Helen: “My dear sweet (OP), first thank you for reaching out with your thoughts. I have not responded because I wanted to really pray about this first. You are right I do believe the Holy Ghost sent me along with my on great concern and love for you. I love you like a daughter and way more than just any past employee. I am sorry that I brought you any pain and I am sorry that you felt any disrespect at all. If you ever want to talk about why I fought for you so strongly concerning all that you shared with us at the store, getting married and not including you family or friends and no longer believing I would love to listen to you and let you lead the conversation. If you do not want to talk about it then all you need to know is I love you ❤️ you are always in my prayers, you always have a place to come back to. (No judgement) if you ever need I would fly to (new state) and drive back to (old state) With you. I absolutely adore and love you. I want Gods best for you always. You have a Big Host of people who will always (no matter what) love you. Please keep in contact with these people including me. Last I want you to know I did NOT (as you ask of me) tell your parents of your plans to marry we did talk about your disbelief and it is important to know your mother already knew that. We said a prayer that night and your parents said the sweetest prayer for (fiancée) it made me tear up. Again I am sorry for your hurt, I love you ❤️ Gods best for all that you do.”
Me: “Please stay out of my business. I’m not interested in continuing this relationship, and I’m blocking your number. I’m not obligated to stay in contact with you or (Richard), especially when I still don’t feel as if there’s an actual understanding between us.”
I know my response seems harsh, but I have no tolerance left for this sort of thing. So many people love me and then use that as an excuse to disrespect my boundaries and demand love and respect back after. Did I do the right thing?
submitted by graciebeeapc to exchristian [link] [comments]