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Home > Story of a Big Player from Gangnam

53 Alibaba President Marwin’s Condo 2

 Mae-Hyang seemed to know a lot about the driver's license exam system in China.

"How can I take a driver's license exam here? I don't know the Chinese language."

"You can bring an interpreter with you when you take the exam. I've done it before when I worked in my previous company."


"But renting a car is pricey."

"How much is it?"

"The price varies depending on the types of car you rent, but you can say it would be over 3,000 Yuan."

"Hmm... If I add the rental car payment to the apartment rent, that would be too much for me to pay every month."

"Why don't you commute by bus for now and think about renting a car later once you see how the restaurant business goes. President Byeon commuted by bike and he didn't drive a car. But, the Hobanhwawon apartment is too far and expensive. Do you really want to live there?"

"I'm not sure, but I want to receive Marwin's energy from there since he used to live in that apartment."

"Haha. Suit yourself then."

It was after 9 PM-time to close the restaurant.

The kitchen ladies were changing their clothes to get ready for home, and the two lady hall staffs started cleaning the hall. Mae-Hyang was arranging trash.

Dingming gave Gun-Ho a sales report. Today's sales were 3,100 Yun including credit card payments. Dingming said she would keep today's earnings and use it when she purchase fresh produce tomorrow, and she would give the earnings to Gun-Ho from tomorrow. She then added, "That's how I have done it with President Byeon as well."

Gun-Ho thought that made sense, so he said okay. He, then, went downstairs to his room.

Gun-Ho turned on the TV in his room. Since he didn't understand Chinese, the TV sound was a noise to him.

"It is good that I can have Korean food every day since my restaurant is a Korean restaurant. However, it's very inconvenient handling things without knowing the language."

Gun-Ho opened the Chinese conversation learning book that he brought from Korea.

"Ni Hao (Hello)."

"Cheu Pan Lo Ma? (Did you eat?)"

"Cheu Pan Lo Ma sounds like 'Shi Pal No Ma' (you, f*cker) in Korean."

He couldn't concentrate on studying. All he could think of was 3,100 Yuan that he made today.

"The earnings today was 3,100 Yuan. Assuming that I maintain the same level of sales as today, I can make 93,000 Yuan per month. The ingredients cost 30% of the sales which is almost 30,000 Yuan. The labor cost for eight staffs is 15,000 Yuan and maintenance fee is 5,000. If I subtract all these expenses, the profit will be 43,000 Yuan. I have to put aside 25,000 Yuan for the next period of rent, then the amount that falls into my hand is 18,000 Yuan. How much is this in Korean won? It's 2,160,000 won."

Gun-Ho calculated it with an electronic calculator several times.

"Wait a minute. I don't open the restaurant for a full 30 days per month; I have to close it for a few days. If say the restaurant will be open for 25 days each month, the earnings will be less than my earlier calculation. I have to consider the retirement payment for staffs and taxes as well. Then I could take only about 10,000 Yuan per month. It's 1,200,000 won."

He realized that if he had a family to support in Korea, he wouldn't be able to send money to Korea with 1,200,000 won income.

"It wouldn't even be enough for one person's living expense. Whew. If I was married, my wife would have left me already. Running my own business is hard everywhere, in Korea and in China. The restaurant looks good since it is situated in the hotel building, but actually, it is not good."

Gun-Ho kept thinking while rolling around on the bed.

"There is no chance of winning with this restaurant. I guess this is how people failed after having a business in China. If I can't save for the rent for the next period, I won't be able to keep the restaurant. I will have to pack my stuff and leave with nothing in my hand."

Gun-Ho clenched his teeth.

"Let's bet on real estate. I still have over 400 million won even after having invested in this Korean restaurant!"

Gun-Ho decided to visit the realtor's office again tomorrow and take a look at the apartment which Marwin had used to live.

"The land of this area is flat which makes it easy to ride a bike, unlike Korea. Let's just use a bike for commuting until I obtain a driver's license."

Gun-Ho calculated again.

"With a monthly income of 10,000 Yuan, I can pay 2,500 for the Hobanhwawon apartment rent. That would leave me 7,500 Yuan. I don't think I can save any money, but I can survive. I can have meals in my restaurant. What if I rent a car after I get my driver's license? Then I won't be able to cover my living expenses. Hmm. My head hurts. Let's decide later whether I want to rent a car or not."

Gun-Ho studied Chinese language a bit before he fell asleep.

Gun-Ho changed his usual morning greeting to "Ni Hao." When he came to work in the morning he always said: "Ni Hao" to each staff at the restaurant. He stuck his head into the kitchen door to say "Ni Hao" to the kitchen ladies. The ladies laughed and responded, "G-jjong, Ni Hao."

Mr. Byeon came to the restaurant with his luggage; he was going back to Korea.

"I am leaving today. It's good to see you, Mr. Gun-Ho Goo, get used to the restaurant business in China. If you have any questions, just call me to Korea. I wish you prosperity in your business."

"Where do I get an Alien Resident Certificate?"

"You need to go to Public Security Office to apply for it. You will have a physical exam. They will check if you have any serious disease, especially a communicable disease."

"Then I will receive something like an ID card?"

"When I applied for it, I did receive an ID card, but these days I was told that they just put a sticker on your passport."

"What sticker?"

"It should be a sticker showing you have permission to stay in China for a certain period of time."

Gun-Ho was going to ask if he could acquire a real estate if he brought his passport with the sticker to a realtor's office, and then he decided not to.

"Thank you for everything, Mr. Byeon. I hope you every success with your business in Korea. I will visit your restaurant when I go to Korea. Please say hello to your nephew in Noryangjin."

Mr. Byeon looked around the restaurant before he headed out. He seemed to have mixed feelings. From the back, he looked lonely.

"He probably hadn't been able to support his family in Korea by sending any money."

Gun-Ho also felt mixed feelings.

Gun-Ho went to the realtor's office again with Mae-Hyang.

"Is there any apartment in this community smaller than 120㎡? I think it's a bit too big for me."

"There isn't. The smallest one is 120㎡. The one which Marwin used to live was 150㎡. Well, of course, he used the apartment for multipurpose: a residence and an office."

President Marwin had given a presentation to investors in this apartment. He gave an impassioned speech to attract investors in order to receive 500,000 Yuan (about 60,000,000 won at that time) and establish an e-commerce company. The picture of him giving the presentation can still be found on the Internet.

President Marwin was a great entrepreneur and he didn't cling to the government job exam. The government job exam was extremely competitive in China, just like in Korea due to high population.

"I will take the 120㎡ apartment."

Mae-Hyang who was sitting next to Gun-Ho was stunned.

"What? The 120㎡ apartment is so big that you can even play soccer. I was told that you are not married. Do you have a family and you didn't tell us?"

"No, I think I will have a guest from Korea from time to time. Haha."

"The unit 305 is 120㎡. Would you like to take a look?"

The realtor talked, Mae-Hyang interpreted, and Gun-Ho nodded.

Once Gun-Ho agreed to see the apartment, the realtor made a call to someone.

"The old lady is at home now. We can go see the apartment."