"Oh, yeah, Uncle Po," Tuku says. "He's a mainlander, actually, well he's from the mainland but he's been living here since before I was born so I don't know if that makes him like a honorary native or whatever. A city like this, you get a lot of people who weren't born here, so it doesn't really matter to me. Some people are cool, some people are assholes, that's true no matter where they come from." Tuku shrugs. "So Uncle Po can't see too well anymore, that's why he had to give up sailing, but he's a great cook and all he does all day is tidying up the guest house so I'm sure you'll find that to your liking. It's so easy to get a room in this city where you'll catch lice or get bit by bedbugs, but not at my Uncle's house! He won't even joke about it. That man is very serious about everything he does. Not like me, I'm more of an easygoing kind of guy, you know?"
Their wandering down the pier takes them into the harbor proper, where colorful shops sell all manners of wares - lots of fresh fish right next to street vendors with hot cauldrons of oil frying up today's catch for the seaman on the go. "Oh, you gotta try the fried squid later!" he says. "It's so delicious, but you shouldn't eat before going to sleep, it'll really keep you up, you know what I'm saying?"
It is then that a girl with a flower in her hair takes swift steps towards Tuku; his smile briefly falters before coming back brighter than before.
"Mina, baby!" Tuku says. "I'd love to hang out -"
"- Tuku, today is the tenth -"
"- and chat, but I have a customer -"
"- Tuku, the tenth, the rent -"
"- you see my customer, that's Shimura, she's from the North -"
"Tuku! The rent!"
"- so I really gotta be off! Love you, baby!"
"Tuku!" Mina calls after him, but he's already hustling forward and away from her, his constant swill of words only minutely interrupted.
"So, like I was saying, don't eat the fried squid before sleeping, it's really good but it's also really heavy in your stomach," Tuku says. "But the upside is you don't have to feel it squirming! I know a lot of people here who say live squid is the way to go, that the fresh taste is worth it, but I prefer my food dead, you know?"