What Barbz said struck me. Somehow I’ve never thought of it. My expenses were mostly normal daily necessities and almost never something of luxurious matters. Of course sometimes I’d need to spend extra such as whenever I needed to buy a new ship or fittings, but that was not to the scale that would drain my savings. I’ve never tried to accumulate money to become rich.
“But Barbz, I feel fine with what I have now. Money is not the most important thing for me”.
“What is the most important thing for you?”
“Happiness!”, I replied firmly.
“Of course, don’t we all want it?”, Barbz retorted.
“Let’s go back to the station and have some dinner.”.
We headed back to the station. It took only a moment since we were just 3 jumps away.
“Where do you want to have dinner, Barbz?”
“Let’s go to the Officer’s Lounge”, he said.
“Hmm.. ok”, I hesitated because that restaurant was the best in the station and it came with its price tag. I had never had dinner there but I supposed it would still have some affordable meals.
“Welcome. Do you have a reservation?”, a smart looking young lady greeted us. She wore a tight dark blue uniform with a knee length black skirt. Very nice looking.
“No, we don’t”, Barbz said.
“Not a problem. Table for two? Come this way please”, she led the way into the restaurant. We both couldn’t help ourselves not to stare at her back.
We were seated at our table and we looked around. The place was not too crowded. From the look I could guess most of them were high ranking officials, either from military or other government agencies, or wealthy businessmen for the civilians.
“May I take your order, Sirs?”
“Let me see… Would you like hot or cold appetizer, buddy?”
“Err…”, I looked at the menu but most of them were using strange language that I’ve never heard of.
“Ok, there is crab and fish. Which one do you prefer?”, luckily Barbz quickly saw my confusion.
“Hm.. fish.. I guess..”, they were both seafood as far as I concerned.
“Ok, two Salmon with spicy ginger broth and caviar”, he said to the waiter.
“Certainly, Sir. Do you have anything in mind for the main course?”.
“Hm, what is today’s chef recommendation?”
“Today’s recommendation is Black Pork steak of Doussivitte grilled with pepper and mushroom sauce. It is one of our signature dishes, Sir”.
“Sounds good. We take that. Medium rare please. You too buddy?”
“Yep same”, that’s all I could say.
“And for dessert, we have selection of fruits and cakes”.
“That would be nice. If I remember correctly you like chocolate cake, right buddy?”
“You heard him. Your best chocolate cake for him please”, Barbz winked to the waiter.
“Of course, Sir. Our chocolate cake is the best in the region”, she smiled seeing the wink. She gave signal to her colleague and two waiters came bringing two bottles of wine.
“I believe red wine is best to accompany your meals, Sir? We would like to recommend these two finest red wine in our cellar”.
“I like that one”, Barbz pointed to the bottle on the left. I almost gulped when I caught the brand and saw the price on the menu.
“Excellent choice. Is there anything else, Sir? No? Thank you, Sir”, and she left with our orders.
“Barbz! This place is outrageously expensive!”, I said to him trying to keep my voice low.
“No worries, buddy. It’s on me today”, he smiled.
And we enjoyed the dinner, although they tasted good, but I couldn’t understand the premium price we had to pay for the meal in that fancy restaurant. To me, fish was fish, and steak was steak. They all tasted good as long as it was cooked correctly.
“How is the steak?”, Barbz asked.
“Very good”, I must admit the steak was perfect. But again, in my opinion the taste didn’t justify the price. Maybe it was only me.
“Look buddy, I know you just want a simple life and you are happy with it. And there is nothing wrong with it. But we should always look for ways to earn more money”.
“Or think of it this way. You have set your budget and make some savings. But have you considered for emergency? Of course I am part of your emergency plan. And I am fine with it. But what if something happens to me too? Would the trust fund be enough for your son’s future?”
“And also important is more money would make you happy. Believe me”.
“Is that true?”, I asked.
“Of course, look at me. I am always happy”, he laughed.
Later that night I was still thinking about what he said…. and… the bill! The amount was like two days of mining! I didn’t know he had so much money. I still did not quite get it. It seemed that he implied money would bring happiness.
And for sure, Barbz always looked happy. At least as far as I could tell.
“Am I happy? I have my high and low time but in general I think I am happy”.
“Would more money bring more happiness to me? Perhaps…”, It certainly looked nice when Barbz could order all those fancy food without worry about the bill at all.
So in the end I decided to do his suggestion starting tomorrow by hauling my ores to the best selling price station. Who knew maybe I and Barbz would have a fleet of Obelisks of our own someday. That would be definitely a happy moment.