Sunday, April 10, 2011

Fun Town!

Night Street - Yokohama by cocoip Night Street - Yokohama, a photo by cocoip on Flickr.

Back in Cynadecia, the Warrior Women of Madarua fortify their mycophagic diet with giant centipedes, especially during and for several months after pregnancy. Hence, when Beatriss heard that in certain quarters of Khanbaliq, giant centipede racing was a popular sport, she was intrigued. A little investigation revealed that the best-known place for pede racing was in “Fun Town,” a temporary entertainment district, built especially for the laborers who were building the city walls. On the way to Fun Town, Beatriss, Tetsukichi, and their followers, Naron and Fu Ying, were called in to prevent a potentially serious altercation. A customer at a popular noodle house was drunk and belligerent. He refused to pay for his meal and was scaring away other customers. B & T & co. seemed to effectively intimidate both the drunk and the noodle house owner. The drunk agreed to leave. The owner agreed that he wasn’t going to get paid. The drunk, who introduced himself as Golfo, followed the party to Fun Town, becomingly increasingly less drunk on the way. The party was suspicious of Golfo, but they let him pay their entrance into Fun Town. (Workers get in free on their Fun Day. Others pay on a “sliding scale.”) Beatriss and Tetsukichi did not find much fun in Fun Town. They had to change money before they could buy anything and the exchange rate of 3 Yuans for 2 Funs put them in a suspicious mood from the start. They lost money on pede races and the sticks of meat for sale were goat or sheep or something else not centipede. People gave them cryptic advice such as “Seek the Inn of the White Horse” and “Not all who lie are sleeping” that served no purpose but to annoy them. Finally, one of Tetsukichi’s followers (Fu Ying), informed his employer that he would be leaving his service as he had found a new calling, as a handler of trainer for the hundred-foot racers.

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