She switches to the backstroke after ten laps. Ten more and she rolls over again; breaststroke. She has waterproof headphones and an audiobook going.
"Everything's an excuse for dueling or fighting, everyone's settling disputes by physical competitions, a bunch of scenes and songs are about being physically superior to your political opponent..."
"Sounds cheesily musical."
"Ereith is conceptually really interesting but I know very little about it in practice."
"I used to follow this Erethani blogger and she had a very scathing review of this musical and it's how I heard about it in the first place so then I just had to check it out and it was exactly as bad as she said it was."
"Ha. I wonder if there's anything that bad about Anitam? We're better represented internationally but people manage to be pretty darn ignorant..."
"Maybe something that leans real hard on the lack of centralized power? Or the patrilinearity, but Anitam's not the only place with that..."
"Patrilineality's not really complicated enough to get wrong."
"Yeah, I wasn't thinking complicated so much as 'let's try to make this a plot point and fail'."
"Like, hm, what's that story where somebody's pretending to be a man to get the wrong kind of birth control while the Oahkar are marching around forcing it on everyone, and then gets pregnant?"
"Oh, I know which one you mean, what's it called, is it War Secrets...?"
"Something like that, it'll hit me some random day if I don't look it up first."
"Maybe the corruption thing, although I'm not sure there isn't enough variance in that to make it hard to actually get it wrong."
"How do you mean?"
"Not being a blue, I'm not sure how much corruption there actually is and how much it actually accomplishes but I don't think it's too unlikely that any fictional depiction of it might have in fact happened at some point, so it might be difficult to be absurd enough."
"Yeah, fair enough."
And he's done with his food.
"Dessert?" she wonders, when she's finished with hers.
"Sounds good! I'll again take suggestions."
"Sweet cheese or cherry chocolate, I'll get whichever you don't."
"Cheese again, then."
And they have sweet cheese and cherry chocolate. Pelape takes the liberty of trading one of each across the plates.
Yum. This restaurant was a good idea!
"I'm glad you like the dumplings."
"Dessert's good too, and so was the company. I'd like to do this again."