In which there is a victory for persistence.
Pat Rin’s new name, Conrad, doesn’t ring any particular bells for me; I can’t tell whether the joke about it being “the same as the carpets” is a reference to something in-universe that I don’t recall or something out-universe that I don’t know. (There’s a classic SF novel called And Call Me Conrad, but it’s one of the lamentable gaps in my knowledge of Roger Zelazny’s works, so I don’t know if this is one of the authors’ references to classic SF.)
Speaking of names, Charleschow doesn’t particularly sound to me like a place that would have high prices and private seating, but maybe different cultures have different naming standards. Or maybe it’s come up in the world, but keeps the original name because of tradition.
And speaking of names that might have reason to sound familiar, Caratunk, which appears in this story as a surname, comes up a couple of times in the Jethri books as the name of a planet that’s home to some significant trading families. And Vashtara, the cruise ship Beba and Joshu leave on at the end, is the same cruise ship Theo and Kamele travelled on in Fledgling. (Which is surely not a coincidence, since the two were written around the same time, and I can see themes and ideas they have in common.)
I noticed on this re-read, which I didn’t the first time I read it, that the place Beba and Joshu light out for at the end is the same as the origin of the other carpet Conrad took a particular interest in. There’s probably a significance there I’m not getting; maybe next time.