After a few minutes of brief research around Sims City, Calista quickly heard of an up-and-coming club in the borough of Windenburg, which was only ten minutes away from her house. I should definitely go and check this place out, she thought, turning off her computer and rushing out the door.
She had no difficulty locating the nightclub – lights shined for miles away – but the crowd she found lined up to enter it was strange; even stranger than the individuals she met in Forgotten Hollow a few hours before. She wasn’t sure if these people were on drugs, already drunk or just downright weird, but Calista was unable to get any information out of these clubbers about their fashion habits. Maybe I’ll have more luck inside, she hoped.
Calista easily navigated through the line of weirdos and had no issue getting into Club Europa, known as the “hottest club in Windenburg”. She wandered inside and didn’t waste time at the bar or close to the bathrooms: she hit the dancefloor. I might as well blow off some steam and dance a little while I’m here, right? She noticed a group of young men, all wearing different styles and dancing in different ways. Calista didn’t discriminate; she often interviewed men for her blog, and she decided that maybe that’s how she should proceed here. She made her way up to the gentlemen and asked her usual questions; and although she got a few satisfying answers, the loud music made it hard for her to get extra details that would have made her blog post a little more juicy.
Calista enjoyed dancing for a little longer, but she knew that she needed to get outside to get some air. She exited the club and noticed that the line-up of strange people was gone, replaced by a few hippie-looking women, all seeming relaxed and a little more on the normal side. One of them immediately took on to Calista and explained her own personal views on fashion. Calista shared her recent experiences at Forgotten Hollow, and the woman chuckled. “You know, the flea market does have some exceptional fashion every once in a while,” she spoke honestly, as Calista’s eyebrows rose. “Really? A flea market?” she asked in a surprised tone. The hippie lady nodded. “There are some really cool finds there if you look hard, and every now and then a fashion addict will pop up. It’s in the heart of San Myshuno, so I’d say it’s worth a visit. It’s happening tomorrow morning,” said the lady enthusiastically. Calista took note of the exact address, and left the Club Europa with a smile: she had another potential area to investigate.
Calista spent an hour or so preparing some notes for her blog when she got home from the club; she then went straight to bed and slept peacefully, excited for her adventure the next day.
She woke up refreshed, put on one of her favorite outfits to interview in, slapped on her favorite shade of lipstick and walked out of her house with confidence. When she arrived at the location of the flea market, she was initially pretty impressed: it was extensive, woven between buildings and other hot spots in San Myshuno, and completely packed. There were people everywhere, various items for sale – objects, furniture, creations, and of course, fashion items. Calista wasn’t sure she’d find any actual treasure here, but she was definitely hoping to find the right people to talk to.
She browsed around a little at first and observed behaviors while taking a few notes. But soon she was anxious to speak with someone. A vendor with an outgoing and perky attitude instantly caught her attention, and she asked her about her views on selling fashion. “Oh fashion, yes, shoes and clothes, my favorite thing to sell,” the woman started. “Sell ’em like hotcakes, you know? People need stuff to wear, and I’ve got that stuff for them to wear. All decades, all colors and styles, all sizes, you know? What I scrape up, they buy. They love my stuff,” she continued. Calista wasn’t really sure she believed this vendor’s story; she looked over at her section of the market and noticed that not only was it still fairly full of items, but there was very little clothing or shoes: she seemed to carry mainly rare decorative items that appealed to particularly strange clientele. This isn’t the right person to talk to, realized Calista.
“So you don’t really have any clothing or shoes on sale today, do you? Or have you already sold all of your fashion-related items?” asked Calista, trying to politely find a way to leave the conversation. The vendor smiled. “My load varies depending on the day, you know? Last time I was here I had a lot of dresses, all kinds of dresses. Bright ones, short ones, long ones, torn ones, slutty ones, conservative ones… heck, I even had a couple wedding dresses,” she replied, sounding like she was boasting her stock. Calista laughed. Wedding dresses? At a flea market? Who the hell would buy those here? The lady chuckled too, although she didn’t seem to know why Calista was laughing. “Yeah, so today isn’t a fashion day, no. I didn’t snag anything good to sell, only these rare items. You interested?” she requested, as Calista shook her head. “Oh no, I’m a fashion blogger. I’m new in town and just checking out a couple of hot spots,” she answered.
The flea market vendor cackled obnoxiously. “A fashion blogger? Here? Ha! That’s hard to believe. A real blogger would know better than to bother with this place. I mean yeah, we’ve got some cool finds, but a real fashion blogger wouldn’t waste her time. I don’t know if you’re legitimate, but you’re in the wrong place,” she spoke, walking away to help a customer. Calista froze with outrage on her face. Did she just doubt me? She was fuming, and began to stomp away; but the vendor called out to her one last time. “You might try the karaoke bar down the street. It’s open twenty-four hours and has some interesting clientele,” she yelled before disappearing behind one of her stalls. Calista’s face was still furious, but she acknowledged the advice as she marched away from the main flea market area.
Calista was headed in the direction of the karaoke bar, but she was stopped by an enticing smell: she turned her head and noticed a little dining section of the flea market, called the “Flea Bar and Grill”. There were all sorts of exotic food stalls and stands, and even though there was no fashion to write about here, she could feel her stomach grumbling. I might as well grab a bite here before I move on to the karaoke bar, she thought. She bought a bowl of authentic Pho and joined a young lady at one of the public tables. “You’re new. I don’t know you. Just moved here?” asked the woman politely as she ate her own dish. Calista nodded. “Fashion blogger from a few states away. Looking for juicy fashion topics and stories. Before I waste my time, tell me, is that karaoke bar down the street worth stopping by?” she wondered. The woman squinted, seemed to think for a moment, and then nodded. “I think you’ll find what you’re looking for there, yes,” admitted the lady. They continued to eat their meals in silence, and once she was done Calista thanked the woman, wished her a good day and headed over to the karaoke bar.
This bar was structured in an interesting way; there was a main bar room with areas to lounge, stools and tables; and then there were private karaoke rooms for groups of four or five people to enjoy their singing away from strangers. Some doors were open, seemingly accepting others to enter; Calista picked one and waltzed in.
And she knew immediately that she made the right choice: she stumbled upon two beautifully dressed women, and couldn’t hide her excitement when she approached them. “Finally! I’ve found women with taste in fashion!” she exclaimed excitedly, as the two women in the room smiled at her. Calista observed one of the women in white, and found her outfit particularly pleasing. “Your ensemble is amazing. Please, tell me all about it,” she demanded.
Calista better introduced herself and explained to her potential new friends that she was a somewhat famous fashion blogger seeking the hottest spots and best trends to report on her website. The girls checked her credentials – and approved of them – and quickly detailed their outfits, their preferences, their favorite places to shop and their preferred price ranges. Both ladies were fairly wealthy, and so were able to afford exquisite clothing; and they both apologized that anyone would have sent Calista to explore the flea market. “No fashionista in their right mind would find anything good there,” spoke the woman in white. The woman in blue nodded. “But it’s understandable that you could have been misguided. A lot of newcomers get confused in this town, with all its neighborhoods and hidden areas,” she added.
Hidden areas? I need to make sure I extract that information from them, thought Calista. She shared her encounter with the vendor, and both women stated that they knew exactly which woman Calista spoke with and reassured her that her opinion wasn’t worth anything. “She thinks she’s the queen of the flea market,” giggled the woman in white. Calista tried not to laugh. Her new friends took turns complimenting her outfit and asking about her makeup products, and Calista quickly realized that she may have found a definite hotspot to continue investigating in the future.
But Calista’s main goal, for now, was to find more hotspots. “So, tell me, what are some other areas that I might be able to check out? You said something about hidden locations? Where are those? I’d really love to investigate,” she asked sweetly, expecting her new friends to give up some names. The two women exchanged an awkward glance. “Well, they are hidden for a reason,” explained the woman in blue. Calista frowned. “But I’m legitimate, I’ve proven that, haven’t I?” she complained, wondering why she wouldn’t be allowed to find more fashionistas. Are they part of some kind of secret society or something?
The woman in white became silent, and the woman in blue sighed. “It’s not about that, Calista. The population here in Sims City is… well, as you’ve noticed, a bit odd. There are some hot spots that I really wouldn’t recommend to newcomers who could easily get lost or who are… gullible. You are a smidge gullible, aren’t you?” she said. Calista wasn’t sure how to react. “I suppose I seem that way right now, don’t I? But I assure you, I’m a witty, grown-up and careful woman. I know when there is danger and I actually have a pretty good sense of direction,” she admitted, hoping she’d get a good reaction. The two ladies exchanged another glance, and the woman in white nodded. “Just give her a few names, honey. She’ll find the others on her own,” she allowed.
Calista gulped. Wow, am I actually nervous about this? The lady in blue sighed. “Fine. I’ll write down a few clubs and bars for you, and I’ll throw in the name of my favorite spa, also. However, you must promise me that you won’t reveal the business names in your blog. Don’t state where you interview anyone found in any of these places. Any spots not on this list that you find on your own are free game. But these are not to be disclosed as official ‘fashion’ locations,” she ordered. Calista nodded and watched as the woman wrote down a few things on a napkin. The lady in white observed as well. “There are some people in these places that like their peace and quiet, and if everyone that reads your blog knew where they hang out, it would force them to find new places to relax. We can’t have that. Celebrities and other important figures of society frequent these clubs, so you need to be discreet and not invasive, okay? I don’t believe you’re the type to be annoying, but that was my warning, just in case,” she continued, as the lady in blue slowly handed over the napkin with precious fashion hotspot names. Calista clutched the white piece of cloth with her life: this is where I’ll find my next biggest blog post. Hidden areas? Celebrities? Discretion? I cannot wait for this.