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Generated: May 18, 2020 4:36 PM
Post last updated: May 16, 2020 5:57 PM
nikt mnie nie dogoni
an obnoxious high-concept thread. translation convention? what's that?
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Snakes with mirrors for faces are not allowed to teleport into people's apartments but that doesn't stop one from eating Valanda.

And now he is somewhere unfamiliar.

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And a startled girl jumps away from him and glares.

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"...À gēr. Àr gárē áu?"

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She grabs the stranger by his arm and pulls him away from the street. "Tylko mogę mówić po Wisku, nie rozumiem pannę."

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Not good at all. It probably won't work but he tries Ilan just in case.

"Rinam rana?"

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She shakes her head. 

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Sigh. He mimes looking around confusedly. If it can even be called miming.

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"Skąd panna przybyła?"

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Bewildered shrug. He points to himself. "Valanda. Gègè. Ìa nèrīh." He points to her. He looks questioning.

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"Joanna."

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"Joanna," he repeats carefully. "Àr gègè."

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"Nie wiem co to znaczy."

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"Nie wiem co to znaczy," he repeats carefully. 

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That's fair.

She points at herself. "Ja nazywam się Joanna." And at him. "Ty nazywaś się Walanda?"

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Okay, he thinks he knows what that means. "Ja nazywam się Valanda. Ty nazywaś się Joanna."

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"Tak! Panna uczy się szybko."

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That sounds like praise of some kind.

He isn't sure how to respond. He does more bewildered looking around.

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"Jesteśmy w Czerecie. Czeret jest miasto w Wisce."

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He repeats all that, looking extremely confused.

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Ugh, this is going nowhere. What if she draws a house in the dirt...?

"To jest dom."

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"To jest dom." He points to the nearest building. "To jest dom?"

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She nods and draws a bunch more houses crowded together. "To jest miasto."

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Nod. He gestures around them. "To jest miasto. To jest Czeret?"

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Nodnod. "To miasto nazywa się Czeret."

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He nods and waits to see where she's going with this.

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More sets of buildings, a bit apart from each other. She gestures at them as a whole. "To jest kraj. Ten kraj nazywa się Wiska."

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Country? State? Maybe city, if the other thing is neighborhood?

She's probably going somewhere with this. He keeps listening.

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"Ja urodziłam się w Wisce i żyje w Wisce. Ja jestem Wiską i mówię po Wisku. Gdzie żywi panna?"

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"Jesteś Wisko - uh, Wiską. Jestem Hárī."

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"Mówiś po Haru?"

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"Uh... 'mówiś'?"

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She points at her mouth. "Ja mówię po Wisku."

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"Ja mówię po Ilan, Hárī..." Wobbly gesture. "Il Esilu, Erelan."

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"Jak panna dostała do Czerecie?"

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...What. Shrug.

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"Panna była w Hari, tak? I teraz panna jest w Czerecie i nie wie nic o Wisce..."

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"Tak." Shrug. He tries to look very bewildered about it, maybe she'll pick up on him being even more confused than she is about it.

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She frowns, then spins him around to pull up his shirt a touch so she can see his back.

"...Możesz iść ze mną do dom mojego przyjaciela."

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Um? Um!

He doesn't fight her - yet - but there had better be a comprehensible explanation eventually.

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"Przepraszam. Nie wiedziałam czy panna jest człowiekiem."

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...If he gestures at the pictures she was drawing before will she get the hint and draw whatever she's talking about?

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She can draw a crude stick figure, sure. "To jest człowiek." And another one next to it that looks basically the same. "To nie jest człowiek. Ogląda jak człowiek ale nie ma plecy."

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"Człowiek?"

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She gestures at herself as a whole.

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He draws a snake. "Człowiek?"

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She shakes her head. "Wąż."

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"Jestem człowiek?"

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She shrugs. "Myśle że tak."

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He draws a stick figure with pointy ears. "Człowiek?"

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"Nie."

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"Człowiek jest marenlendar. Jestem człowiek." And unfortunately he doesn't have enough Wisku to ask why she's so worried about his species.

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"Dobrze. Choć ze mną?" She holds out a hand.

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Okay, sure, she can... take his hand for unclear reasons...

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Then she can take him to a house a few streets away.

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Sure, why not.

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If Walanda comes inside she can offer him some food, too.

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Sure, fine, what's a little more debt when he's already lost and friendless and vulnerable. What's the food?

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Bread and cheese. (She points them out as 'chleb' and 'ser' respectively.)

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He has never eaten either of these things before. He nibbles tentatively.

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If she's home anyway, she might as well eat too.

"Ja jem. Ty jesz. My jemy chleb z serem."

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He repeats what she says.

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"Gdzie jest Hari?"

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"'Gdzie'?"

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"Gdzie–gdzie jest Czeret, Czeret jest w Wisce..."

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Is he on another continent? Another planet? Another universe? He's clearly nowhere he wants to be.

"...Uh... jest Har." Shrug.

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"Nie znasz inne kraje?"

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"Har jest kraj. Uh." He mimes drinking something. "To nazywa się...?"

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"Woda? Mleko?" She can get him some water, sure.

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Okay, just guessing wildly at which of those it is. "Har jest kraj. Har jest w woda."

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"W wodzie? Jest jakaś wyspa?"

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"Jakaś wyspa?"

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"Mogę rysować wyspę dla ciebie? Choć." If he'll follow her back outside she can draw an island for him.

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He follows.

Yup, it is an island, that is the thing that Har is.

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She nods. But Czeret is rather far inland for him to have washed up on shore, and he did sort of... appear out of nowhere anyway.

"Czy Hari jest inny kraj albo inny świat?"

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Bewildered shrug. "Har jest kraj. Miasto jest w Har. Miasto jest Har - Har jest w Har..." And that's not all but he only knows two words for administrative divisions, so it's a little beyond him to explain that there's a city called Har in a state called Har in an empire called Har.

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Shrug. "Ale które kraje są blisko Hari?"

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Blink. He gestures at the art. Maybe she can draw the question?

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She draws two circles close together, and then two more farther apart from each other. "Blisko, daleko."

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"Kraj nie jest blisko. Wode jest blisko." He draws a square-ish continent, gestures to all of it. "Jest Har." He makes dots in a few places. "Jest miasto, miasto, miasto... uhhh..." He hesitates and then adds one more dot. "Miasto." And then he points to the dots and names them. "Har. Thelm Ret. Anavel Sani. Elit." He gestures at the entire map. "Kraj jest Har." And at the dot for the first city. "Miasto jest Har." He gestures in a circle all around it. "Wode. Nie jest kraj."

He is pretty sure now that he's in another universe.

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"...Inny świat," she decides. "Nie wiem co mamy zrobić o tym ale... nie, nie wiem. Chcę pomóc ci ale nie wiem jak."

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Shrug. He doesn't know what any of that means. And he isn't sure how to ask anything else.

Maybe if he just waits she'll tell him what she wants for the food and the language lesson.

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She doesn't seem to want anything. She rocks back and forth on her heels for a bit before crouching back down to draw more things for Walanda: a river, a tree, a cat. "Rzeka; drzewo; kot."

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...Is it too much to hope for that if he draws the twelve magic symbols she'll be able to guess what he's asking about? It's probably too much to hope for, but it's worth a try anyway.

(The symbols are an arrow, a squiggle, circles, the sun, a line, a circle, a half-empty rectangle, a brain, a square, an X, a leaf, and something that might be a very stylized umbrella or maybe an eye.)

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"Strzałka," shrug, "kółki, słońce, linia, kółko," shrug, shrug, "kwadrat, skrzyżowanie, liść, oko."

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She doesn't seem like she knows the general concept he's talking about. Time to get more concrete about it. He picks up some dirt and lets it run through his fingers.

The dirt stops midair. He takes his hand away. "Oko?"

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Staaaaaaare. "Nie."

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The dirt falls the rest of the way.

"Nie oko." Sigh. "Ceran. Ceran. Rati ulu ani."

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"Oko," she says, pointing at one of her eyes, and then points at the dirt. "Czarodziejstwo."

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Finally they might be getting somewhere.

"Czarodziejstwo?" he asks, gesturing at all the symbols. "Czarodziejstwo?" he asks, pointing to the eye in particular.

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She shrugs but also pulls a pendant out from under her shirt and blows on it gently, causing it to cast light on the area around them. "Czarodziejstwo."

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He points to one of the symbols in particular and then to her pendant. "Tena." He points to himself and to the eye symbol. "Incona."

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"Tena," she repeats. On the ground she draws a hand and then her pendant. "Incona, tena?"

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Shrug. "Ceran, re," he mutters when she's done drawing. Sigh. He starts pointing to the symbols he drew and naming them. "Cumena. Tena. Mida..."

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"Czekaj, czekaj–" She produces a pocket and starts pulling objects out of it, picks out a compass and demonstrates that it works, pulls out a strand of her own hair and winds it around a hook tucked into the device, and hands it to Walanda so he can see it points to her now. "Tena?"

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"Cumena."

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"Dlaczego?"

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Not a word he knows. He'll just sit here and look unamused until she says something understandable.

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"To jest tena, i to jest cumena? Dlaczego to jest cumena a nie tena?"

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"Tena jest..." He points at one of his eyes, then one of his ears. "Cumena jest..." He mimes lifting something up.

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Slow nod. She picks up a stone with a hole through it and holds it over one eye, then hands it to Walanda. "Tena?"

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Ooh. "Tena... i ordan? Tak, tena i ordan - ordan jest -" He taps his head.

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She makes a face.

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He is not looking at her face.

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"Nie robię ordan."

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"Robię?"

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She shrugs sort of helplessly. 

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"...Dlaczego nie robię?"

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"Bo–bo nie chcę krzywdzić nikogo."

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Okay, this is not helping at all and he's just getting more confused.

"...Nie jestem ordan."

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"Nie jesteś?"

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What part of this can possibly be confusing.

"Jestem incona. Nie jestem ordan. Nie jestem tena i cumena."

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"A ja nie jestem ani z tych. Mam tę rzeczy, robię czarodziejstwo z tymi." She gestures at the pocket and its contents.

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Blink. "...Uh?"

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She points at his symbols. "Nie." And at her pocket again. "Tak."

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He's not sure what that means but okay. Shrug.

"Jestem incona." He mimes giving her something and looks questioning.

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"Co?"

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He mimes receiving something. He mimes eating. He mimes giving her something and looks questioning.

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"Aha. Nie musiś dać mi niczego dla to jedzenie."

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He does not understand any of that.

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Well, she can mime recieving something and shake her head, does he understand that?

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Nope, completely clueless.

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A double-headed arrow that she erases one head of?

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"Dlaczego?"

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"Bo nie wiedziałaś gdzie jesteś i nie mówiś po Wisku."

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Is she saying she appreciates the chance to find out about what languages exist besides Wisku so much it's worth the food? Or is she saying she can't explain what she wants until he can understand her better? Probably the second thing.

He makes a vaguely affirmative noise.

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Good. She sighs; they've spent a lot of time out here now.

"Mój przyjaciel będzie wrócił ani chwile. On nazywa się Dariusz."

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All he gets of that is that there's something important called a dariusz. But if she tries to get him back inside he'll go.

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Yup, that's exactly what she's going to do, and when someone else enters the house she hugs him tight and introduces him to Walanda as Dariusz.

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"Dariusz! Jestem Valanda."

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"Kto to jest, Asiu?"

"Nie wiem. Ktoś z innego światu."

"Tak? No, dobry wieczór, Walando."

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"Dobry wieczór, Dariusz."

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"Czy panna będzie została tutaj długo?"

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Shrug. "Nie mówim po Wisku."

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"Nie mówię po Wisku," Joanna corrects him gently, hesitates and then mimes sleeping.

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"Morana."

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"Morana?"

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He copies the way she mimed sleeping. "Jest morana."

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"Spać. Będzieś spała tu?"

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He can guess what one of those words means. How about if he just looks obviously confused.

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She mimes sleeping again and then points at him? What is confusing here.

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"...Tak. Gdzie?"

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"Tutaj?"

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That is one of the words she tried to explain earlier and he thinks it means either "here" or "this" but it's too abstract to be sure. He isn't going to sleep in a public room, though.

He's not really in a good position to be haggling for more than they want to give him, and he isn't in a good position to figure out which rooms are private enough, but he has to try anyway. He squares his shoulders and looks her in the eye. "Tutaj?" he echoes in a tone that suggests he's skeptical this place is acceptable.

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She points toward a set of stairs.

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"Ohhhh." He goes to investigate the stairs.

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They lead to a second floor which has a couple simple bedrooms.

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Any sign of which of them is a guest bedroom?

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One of them definitely isn't but the other seems mostly unused.

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He goes in the mostly unused one and looks around. It's weird that the other one has its door open. Maybe they're both guest rooms?

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There's just enough in this room that someone could plausibly claim they'd been sleeping there. Nothing interesting, just a candlestub and some clothes folded on top of a chest of drawers.

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He really hopes they just leave those things in their guest room. If he's in the wrong place there'll definitely be trouble.

He'll just lie down on the bed and hope no one complains.

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No one complains but Joanna pokes her head in after a bit to make sure he's okay.

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He sits up and tries to look ready to leave if she tells him to.

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She just smiles at him and leaves; if he's tired, he can rest.

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Okay, that means he probably picked the right room. He gets up and closes the door.

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No one will bother him until after sunrise, if he stays in the room that long.

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He's up by then but not sure what he's supposed to do now.

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That's okay, that's just when Joanna comes to get him for breakfast.

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He can go have breakfast, then. And ask what the foods are called.

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The whole meal is śniadanie. There's chleb again, and something called jajka and something else called kabanos.

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Jajka he thinks he recognizes as eggs. The other foods continue to be mysterious. Kabanos might be made of some kind of alien meat, maybe. He's pretty sure it's all edible to humans, anyway.

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"Mam pytanie dla ciebie."

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"Ciebie?"

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She points at him.

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Okay then. He tries to look like he's listening.

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No, he should follow her, it'll be easier if she can draw things.

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Then he'll follow her.

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"Nie wiem co mam robić z tobą ale znam ktoś kto może," she starts.

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Well, he caught any of that...

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She draws a squiggle on the ground.

"Moja... znajoma żyję tu, w rzece."

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He's not really following but he'll watch the art.

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"Chce brać cię do nią."

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He still isn't really following.

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She draws two stick figures, labels them ja and ty, and draws an arrow leading from them to the squiggle.

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...Okay.

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Great! "Chodźmy," she says, and indicates that he should follow her.

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He follows.

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Then she'll lead him a ways out of town, to a river.

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She had a word for that earlier, didn't she.

He doesn't say anything, just observes the river.

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A girl surfaces and tilts her head at them.

"Kto to jest? Czy mam go zjeść?"

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Well, that's a thing that's happening. Is this person an aquatic species?

He doesn't say anything, still, because presumably Joanna wants to talk to the water person.

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"Go?"

The other girl stares at her and she shrugs.

"Ona przybyła--przepraszam, on przybył tu z innego świata. Nazywa się Walanda. Walando, to jest moja znajoma, Basia."

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"Dobry wieczór."

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"Dzieńdobry," Joanna corrects, "jeszcze jest jasno." She points up at the sky.

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Okay, so you say "nice to meet you" differently if you can see the sky versus if... oh, maybe it's about being in public or in private. That makes sense. He nods.

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"Dzieńdobry, Walando."

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"Dzieńdobry. Jestesz człowiek?"

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She shrugs.

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"Basia umarła, i zmieniła się w rusalkę."

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Well, he understood none of that but it might be that what he asked was rude.

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Joanna points at Basia and then mimes choking.

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Is she in trouble or is that a threat? He can't tell.

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"Walando?"

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...He's listening and can try to look like it but he's also completely lost.

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She's out of her depth.

"No, chciałam pytać o drzwiach."

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"Dla niego?"

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"Tak."

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"A ja mam znacz wszystkiego?"

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"Znasz coś."