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52 Alibaba President Marwin’s Condo 1

 Mr. Byeon sat on a chair while drinking the water he took from the water purifier.

"Have you verified fresh produce delivered this morning?"

"Yes, I just looked through it. Maybe I should go out to find an apartment now with Ms. Mae-Hyang Kim. What do you think?"

"That sounds good... But why don't you go to the tax office first? You need to get the business license with your name on it. For the tax office, you'd better go with Dingming. Since she is a local, and she has very good Kkwansi."

"Kkwansi?"

"Hmm... It's like a network."

It seemed Dingming did have good relationships with a lot of people. When they arrived at the tax office, Gun-Ho had to stop frequently for Dingming to say hello and to have a short chat with people there.

After Gun-Ho was done with the tax office, he let Dingming go back to the restaurant. He then went to Industrial and Commercial Bank of China with Mae-Hyang to open a bank account. The bank didn't require Alien Resident Certificate for a foreigner to open a bank account but having a one-year business visa stamp on his passport was enough.

After he opened the bank account, Mae-Hyang said while walking out of the bank,

"G-jjong now received the business license and has a bank account here in China. You are now a denizen in China. All you have to do from now on is to make money."

"Ms. Mae-Hyang Kim, since you have worked at the Korean restaurant in Mando hotel, what do you think of it? Are they doing well?"

"I don't know. The staffs in a position like me, we just do our job there. I guess Dingming can answer your question."

"Which area or apartment do you recommend?"

"President Byeon is living in Kangluhsinchoo, Wonalu."

"Let's try there."

They took a taxi heading to the apartment complex where Mr. Byeon was living in. It was close to Mando Hotel.

"When President Byeon made a lease contract for his apartment, I was with him. The two-bedroom apartment is 1,500 Yuan and the three-bedroom apartment is 1,800 Yuan."

"How large is the two-bedroom apartment in pyung?"

"I'm not sure about Korean pyung, but it's 82㎡."

The apartment that Mr. Byeon was living in was a low-rise building, and the distance between the apartment buildings on the same complex was distant enough to have privacy and daylight. However, the building was shabby. Gun-Ho could see some people drying their clothes in their veranda using a pole. He also saw ducks hanging in a veranda in bare skin. Their head and feet were still attached. Some apartments hung ten raw duck meats out to dry. This scene terrified Gun-Ho.

"Let's try somewhere else. How about the apartment over there; it looks neat."

"We need to take a bus to get there. It's too far to walk."

"Let's take a taxi then."

Once they got on a taxi, Mae-Hyang and the taxi driver talked in Chinese."

"What did he say?"

"He said the apartment is in Wonssanlu, and it is expensive."

"Well, let me take a look."

The apartment complex in Wonssanlu had large apartments only and Gun-Ho didn't see a laundry pole or a hanging duck meat in their verandas. It was a gated community with a security guard; the guard was a young man looking like a soldier. The access to the apartment community was controlled by the security guard.

"A young man seemingly in his 30s works as a security guard in China."

"The young men discharged from People's Liberation Army can easily get a security guard job."

"Hmm, really? The guards in uniform seemed to work out a lot."

"Is it different from Korea?"

"In Korea, an old man over 60 years old usually works as an apartment security guard."

"How can an old man at that age catch a robber? Haha."

"There is a banner over there and something is written in red. What does it say?"

"It says a three-bedroom apartment of 120㎡is 2,500 Yuan per month."

"Hmm, 2,500 Yuan is 300,000 won in Korea. With 300,000 won, I could only get a tiny room in a OneRoomTel in Noryangjin. Here, I can have a three-bedroom apartment."

"Do you know who used to live in that apartment?"

"A person?"

"President Marwin. The famous Alibaba President Marwin used to live there."

"Alibaba is a multinational technology conglomerate. Why would its president, Marwin live in an apartment like that?"

"He had lived there a long time ago; he actually started Alibaba when he lived there. He didn't have money at that time, so he received investment from several different people to start his business. He is one of the richest men in China and in the world too."

"That's right. I think I read about him online. So he started his business while he was living in this apartment!?"

"Everyone in Hangzhou knows about it. Marwin's current assets exceed 250 billion Yuan."

"250 billion Yuan... is more than 30,000 billion won!"

"He is the richest man in Asia. G-jjong, why don't you start your business living in this apartment just like Marwin did? Haha."

"What does it say on the apartment entrance?"

"It says Hobanhwawon."

"Hobanhwawon where Marwin used to live... Let's take a look!"

A security guard at the apartment gate blocked them. He looked arrogant. When Mae-Hyang said something to him, he let them in.

"What did you tell him?"

"I told him that a Korean man came to see the apartment, and he opened the gate right away for us."

The apartment was a low-rise building with 6 floors which was good. However, it looked old. The distance between apartment buildings was spacious and the roads inside the community were large as well. It had a swimming pool in the community which drew Gun-Ho's attention.

"Wow. They have a swimming pool just like a movie."

"It gets really hot during summer in China. It could get up to 40 degree Celsius."

"40 degrees? Wow. Marwin is not living here right now, right?"

"Haha. Of course. Why would he live here? He lives probably in Beijing or Shanghai."

"Let's ask how much the rent is here."

"Let's go to Bangjisan and ask them."

"Bangjisan?"

"It's a realtor's office."

The 120㎡apartment (about 36 pyung) is 2,500 Yuan per month according to the realtor they talked with, just like the banner advertisement Gun-Ho saw earlier. The realtor added that there were single houses in the community as well, and it is 5,000 Yuan.

"The community must be huge. They have single houses as well."

The realtor glanced at Gun-Ho several times when the realtor was told that Gun-Ho was a Korean, and insisted that he should take a single house for rent.

"Can you ask him how much it would be if I buy one?"

Mae-Hyang said something to the realtor.

"What did he say?"

"He said that you'll need the Alien Resident Certificate to buy a real estate. He is asking what you think about the 150㎡apartment that Marwin used to live."

"Hmm, so Marwin indeed lived in this community. Ms. Mae-Hyang Kim! Would you ask him which apartment unit Marwin had lived?"

Mae-Hyang said something to the realtor again.

"He said Poonghawan, 16 Dang, 1 Danwon, unit 202 in Hobanhwawon."

"Please tell him that I will let him know tomorrow, and take his business card."

The realtor asked for Gun-Ho's business card as he handed over his. Gun-Ho gave him Mae-Hyang's phone number instead since he didn't have a business card yet and he couldn't communicate in Chinese with him anyway.

Mae-Hyang asked Gun-Ho while following him with short quick steps.

"Do you like Hobanhwawon? It's a bit far from the restaurant. Will it be okay with you?"

"I've seen a lot of people riding a bicycle. Do you think I can commute by bike?"

"It's dangerous. Too many cars on the road here. Also, it rains a lot in this area."

"What about a bus?"

"There is a luxurious double-decker bus, but so many people use it. Taxi will cost you a lot. Do you see the bus over there? That's the double-decker bus. The bus fare is about two Yuan."

"How about a rental car? Do you know how much it would be?"

"A rental car?"

"You know. A car I can rent."

"You need a driver's license. An international driver's license is not accepted here. You have to get your driver's license in China, and you have to take a test for it."