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51 Acquiring a Korean Restaurant in China 2

 Today, Gun-Ho was leaving for China.

"I guess I've done what I had to do before leaving Korea. Let's go to China and dream big."

Gun-Ho made a call to Jong-Suk before he turned on international data roaming on his cell phone.

"Jong-Suk? I guess I won't be able to see you for a while."

"Don't worry about it. Once you get settled in China, I will come and visit you there during my vacation."

"If you happen to see Chairman Lee at the fishing site, tell him that I am in China."

"I know we have talked with him several times, but I don't think a rich man like him wouldn't be interested in people like us. But, well, yeah I will let him know."

Gun-Ho went through the phone numbers stored in his cell phone while sitting in the waiting area of the airport.

"Sh*t! I don't have anyone else to make a call before I leave the country. Am I not a social person? I have no one to call except my parents and Jong-Suk. I do have a very small social network. When I get married, I won't have anybody to come to my wedding except my parents and Jong-Suk."

Gun-Ho felt pathetic about himself. He had spare time before the boarding time and he decided to walk around the airport.

"Lounge? It looks cozy. Should I stay here?"

A staff lady with a name tag on her chest blocked him.

"This is a VIP room."

"VIP? How to become a VIP here?"

"You have to have a first class flight ticket."

"Poor people are discriminated even here! F*ck!"

It was time to board. There was a long line in front of the gate.

"There were so many f*cking people leaving to Shanghai."

A man in uniform yelled in front of the crowd.

"People with a first or business class flight ticket, please come forward."

Several people left the long line and went to the front and made a new line.

"You can enter first."

Those people with a first or business class flight ticket entered the gate, leaving the long line behind. The people in the line stared at them with a blank face.

Gun-Ho boarded the plane. There were many vacant seats in the front area so Gun-Ho came to the front to sit there.

"This is a first class area."

A pretty flight attendant blocked him. Gun-Ho looked behind him. The area for the economic class was filled with people, while the first class area was almost empty. The first class seat seemed to have larger space for legs. Even the flight attendants serving in the first class area were prettier.

"I have to have money. I will always take a first-class seat whenever I have to travel abroad from now on! I will make sure of it!"

Gun-Ho came back to the economic class area and squeezed himself in his assigned seat. The lady next to Gun-Ho talked to a man who seemed to be her husband.

"I heard a whisky is served in the first class."

Mr. Byeon was waiting for Gun-Ho at the Shanghai airport to pick him up.

"You have a lot of luggage."

"Not really. I just bought a few books to learn the Chinese language."

Gun-Ho purchased books to prepare Chinese Character Certificate exam for level 1 and 2 in addition to a book for Chinese conversation. He wanted to study more Chinese characters during his stay in China.

"That is a good idea. You can't take the interpreter everywhere. You will sometimes have to go to a market and pharmacy without an interpreter."

Gun-Ho went to Hangzhou City and made the payment of the remaining restaurant sales price. Mr. Byeon asked Gun-Ho to pay him for a few things he would leave in the restaurant; such as a picture frame in the hall, a vacuum, and etc. Gun-Ho gave him 2,000 Yuan for them.

"Since I just arrived here and I am not very familiar with the restaurant business in China, could you stay here for a few days?"

"Sure. I was going to help you with running the restaurant for three days. Let's meet with the staffs first. I already told them that you would take over the restaurant from today. This is Dingming. She is our cashier. She also purchases fresh produce and other supplies. Remember I told you about Mando Food Co., Ltd. that 10% of it is owned by a Chinese person? Dingming owns that 10% of Mando Food. She is a younger sister of the Mando hotel manager."

"Oh, I see. Very nice meeting you."

"I look forward to working with you."

Dingming greeted Gun-Ho in Korean while stammering. She was tall and slim.

"You speak Korean very well."

Dingming started talking in Chinese and Gun-Ho had no idea what she said so he just smiled. Gun-Ho asked Mr. Byeon, "Does she do the tax return as well?"

"That's right. The tax return requires the president's signature before it can be submitted. You can ask Mae-Hyang Kim to translate the tax return. You will catch up quickly after reading the paper maybe about twice."

Gun-Ho, then, met two serving staff ladies. They looked like in their early 20s and seemed to have just moved to the city from the countryside. Mr. Byeon then took Gun-Ho to the kitchen to introduce him to the kitchen staffs. There were four of them. One of them was off that day, so Gun-Ho met three of the kitchen ladies.

"This is the kitchen manager, Manager Kim."

"Manager Kim?"

"She is the interpreter Mae-Hyang Kim's mother."

"Oh, really? I am so glad to meet you. You should speak Korean fluently."

"Just a little. Haha."

Manager Kim said while laughing. She had some accent.

Gun-Ho met with the other two ladies in the kitchen as well. They kept saying 'G-jjong' while smiling at Gun-Ho.

"What does 'G-jjong' mean? They kept saying that word to me."

"'G-jjong' means President Goo."

"Haha. So I am 'G-jjong.' That sounds weird. 'G' sounds like a rat in Korean."

"Haha, you think so?"

Mr. Byeon laughed along.

"Well, since you are here now, why don't you go to Industrial and Commercial Bank of China around here and open a bank account? You need to find an apartment as well. You can take the same apartment as mine if you like or you can find somewhere else."

"Okay. I will stay in this hotel like last time until I find one."

"Why don't you look for an apartment tomorrow morning with Mae-Hyang Kim? For today, since you already paid off the sales price and met with staffs, you probably want to replace the name of the tenant with your name at the hotel management office."

Gun-Ho went to the hotel management office with Mr. Byeon and put his name with the restaurant. The management staff said something in Chinese.

"What is he saying?"

"He said you need to bring a copy of the business license with your name on it, issued by the tax office. Also, he is asking a copy of your passport."

Gun-Ho verified the fresh produce delivered to the restaurant the following morning. Dingming in the counter showed Gun-Ho the purchase receipts of the ingredients. Gun-Ho couldn't read Chinese on the receipts, but he could read the numbers there.

"Ms. Mae-Hyang Kim, what does this mean?"

"Hwapiao means a receipt. The receipt is for three boxes of chives and ten cartons of eggs."

"Hmm..."

Gun-Ho could guess how much fresh produce was coming in and how much food would be cooked. His experience of a restaurant business in Noryangjin was very helpful even though it was a short period of time. Dingming showed Gun-Ho how to use Chinese POS. Gun-Ho took note as he followed her around.

The kitchen ladies started cooking. The hall staffs and counter staff had spare time for now. Mr. Byeon came late to the restaurant.

"I'm sorry that I'm late today."

"You seem to have a drink last night."

"Yes. I had a drink with Korean people here since I am leaving soon after selling this restaurant."

"Are there a lot of Koreans here?"

"Not that many, but there will be, so the restaurant could prosper."