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20 - Wisdom is where you find it.

After a recent conversation with my employer, I decided to look around for other work that might be more suitable and draw less attention to his oversight of my tasks. My recent patronage of the grey-bar motel has my special customers taking a second look, and my employers in the shadows have shared similar concerns. Clearly, I'd need to seek out other options.
A quick tour through the employment office revealed a less than glorious side of this station. It appears that not all of the locals are so happy and well-employed, and not all areas are so well-appointed and decorated. The line is long, and the help wanted list is . . . well . . . short. The conversations I overheard were disturbing. The whole setting, with the heat, the discontent, the poor maintenance, and some of the commentary coming from the clerks . . . It was all reminiscent of Tau Station.
I don't plan on visiting this section too often.
Perhaps that was the intent of the administration.
I spent an afternoon helping Mughal San by serving noodles to customers, meeting with smiles of approval from everyone. I really feel like people were warming up to me. Perhaps it is something in the noodles. I'm not sure, but I think they put something special in them to keep their guests happy. It doesn't pay well, so I guess it will just be an occasional thing, though I did enjoy it.
"You are happy here?" the cook asked me as I was preparing some dishes for the customers. This old man is indescribable in how quickly he moves and how he handles knives and other kitchen tools. I would hate to meet him on bad terms in the ruins.
"I find it refreshing," I replied.
"Then you want to quit the port and work here?" he answered with another pointed question. Clearly he knew I wasn't that thrilled about this position. When I didn't answer, he smiled, gave a light bow and filled the bowls with fresh, steaming noodles.
When I returned from a table full of happy guests, he turned to me and offered some advice.
"I see many things here, and many people. You are a traveller, --" he put up his hand to stop my interruption. "You think you are home, but I see you. Your heart cries for more. I felt that way when I was travelling. Instead, my own soul cried for home, for here, for this."
With more spark in his eyes, a brightened smile and lightning speed, he carved up something into smaller portions, which he added to a dish to hand me. He had more words for me as I returned again.
"The Yards of Gadani have the best training facilities I have seen. They also have excellent trainers, and you need one. You may find those foul ration packs useful. You should make sure you have many of them with you when you go. As many as you can carry"
"But you seem to be so good with knives," I said, noting his smile was changing a little. "Surely a student --"
"I don't teach gai jin," he curtly replied, his forbidding hand up again, a bit more forceful in filling the next set of dishes. Once more, I came back for another order and watched his machine-like precision and efficiency. He spoke to me as he worked, showing an uncanny ability to focus.
"When you go anywhere in Alpha Centauri, make sure you mind your manners and keep to yourself. It is a dangerous place for those who don't. You should enjoy your time here, and you are welcome," he said, turning to me. "But this is not your home."
All of what he said had echoed the advice of my friends. Apparently I am as hard-headed as I am anti-social.