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57 The Branch Manager of Industrial and Commercial Bank of China 3

 In China, a new condo was sold without finishing the interior so the owner could finish it with their choice of wallpaper, flooring, countertop, etc.

Gun-Ho chose luxurious materials for the interiors of his two condos.

Gun-Ho went to the Hwaganghwawon frequently to see the interior construction of his condos. He felt embarrassed to ride a bike to the community, and taking a taxi every time he visited there was not realistic. So he rented a car, an Audi. He chose the Audi because it was the brand that was most frequently seen in that area.

"Even though this is a used car, this Audi is good. There were only 60,000 kilometers on it. I rented this car under the business name, Mando Food that runs the Korean restaurant so I can get a tax benefit which is good."

Gun-Ho went to Hwaganghwawon in his Audi. The security guard didn't block him. As Thanksgiving Day would soon be here, Gun-Ho gave 100 Yuan (12,000 won) to the security guard to thank him for his hard work. The security guard seemed to be astonished.

"Are you the Korean who had a business here?"

"That's me. Haha."

The impact of that 100 Yuan was significant. From the moment he gave 100 Yuan to the security guard, the guard always gave Gun-Ho a military salute whenever he saw Gun-Ho.

"You look marvelous. Did you serve the People's Liberation Army?"

"That's right. I was recently discharged from it."

Gun-Ho was living in a condo community with a swimming pool, and his apartment had three bedrooms. He was riding an Audi and running a Korean restaurant in a hotel building. In the Korean community in that area that Gun-Ho was living in, Gun-Ho was known to be a rich young man.

"You pricks, it's not possible to have this kind of extravagant life by running a Korean restaurant. I can only do this because I will have two condos that will be generating additional income."

The interior was finally completed for Gun-Ho's two Hwaganghwawon condos. As soon as he put these condos on the market for rent, they were gone, maybe because they were brand new. The rent was priced for 5,000 Yuan each.

So, Gun-Ho was getting an additional income of 10,000 Yuan from these rental properties. At that time, the usual starting salary for a college graduate in China was less than 3,000 Yuan, so 10,000 Yuan was a substantial income in China.

"One was rented to a hospital director of an international hospital. He is from Hong Kong. The other one was taken by a German who is the president of a pharmaceutical company. I don't think I have to worry about getting rent from them."

Gun-Ho made a phone call to the branch manager of Industrial and Commercial Bank of China.

"The condos were completed and they are already rented out. I'm calling to thank you for everything."

"Don't mention it. If you need an additional loan please feel free to come to me. We are friends, right? Haha."

Gun-Ho did his math.

Even though he was making 10,000 Yuan from two condos, he had to pay for the Audi rent and loan interest. After subtracting these expenses, nothing much was left in his hand. However, he felt good.

"Let's wait until the price of condos increase. Let's wait for three years. Money makes money. I had been in Hwaseong, Pocheon, and Yangju to work in a factory, and I had realized that whenever a condo's price went up by 10 million won in those provincial areas, a condo's price in Seoul would go up by 100 million won!"

Once he bought the condos, he turned his attention to his study of the Chinese language. He studied strenuously.

"I couldn't concentrate on my studies when I was in Korea because there were too many things going on in my head at that time. However, I can focus on studying just fine here."

Once he took a lesson from his private tutor-Eun-Hwa Jo-in the morning, he always reviewed what he learned that day at home in the evening. Since the 120㎡(36 pyung) large space of his apartment was all his, he practiced speaking Chinese out loud freely at home. Several months passed by.

The kitchen ladies were talking about Gun-Ho's Chinese language fluency.

"G-jjong, you speak Chinese very well now. I think you can now understand everything we're saying."

"Now, I have to be careful with what I say when G-jjong is around. He reads a Chinese newspaper too."

Gun-Ho now talked with Dingming at the counter without a problem and without an interpreter. One day, Eun-Hwa-Gun-Ho's private tutor-suggested for him to take the Chinese Proficiency Test called HSK.

"Am I qualified to take HSK? I didn't even study Chinese in college."

"There was a Korean lady I taught for four months when I was in Shanghai. After four months of studying, she obtained the HSK-level 5. On the other hand, there was a man who studied Chinese for three years, and he couldn't even pass the HSK-level 2 test. So this is all up to you. I believe with your proficiency, you can pass the HSK level-5 test."

"If I understand correctly, the highest level of HSK is level 6. And you are asking me to take the level 5 test. I've heard that level-5 is hard to pass even for people who majored in the Chinese language in college."

"G-jjong, you have lived in China. You can do better than them."

"Do I have to go back to Korean to take the HSK test?" Gun-Ho talked to himself, and when Eun-Hwa heard of what he said, she responded, "You can take it in China. I believe the HSK test is held in Shanghai. I will find it out for you."

Gun-Ho purchased a preparatory book for the HSK test and started studying it.

"I think I can handle the reading section since I had studied Chinese characters when I was in Korea and I even obtained the level-3 certificate for it. I also continued studying for the level-1 and level-2 certificate even after I came to China. The problem is the listening comprehension section. Maybe I should just take the test so I could gain valuable experience?"

Gun-Ho thought that he was just wasting money and time if he traveled to Shanghai to take the test.

"How long have I been learning the Chinese language from Eun-Hwa? Whoa, it has been six months already. I guess I know better than other Koreans who only studied it in Korea. I've been directly exposed to the language on a daily basis. I had to talk with merchants and other Chinese people on the street and in a market. Okay, let's try it. I want to know my proficiency level in the Chinese language. Let's take the HSK exam."

Gun-Ho registered for the test.

Once he registered for the test, he felt more urge to study.

"I have only one week left before the test. Let's put all of my energy into studying."

Gun-Ho was not dumb.

He went to a high school in the metropolitan area, and his family couldn't afford to support his study with a private tutor. So he was admitted to a college in a province. After dropping out of college, he went to a cyber college and graduated from there. The reason why he went to a cyber college was that he wanted to transfer to another college and take a 4-year course later, maybe a college in Seoul or Incheon where his parents lived in. However, he had to make a living at that time. That was why he clung to the level-9 government job exam.

Gun-Ho studied for the HSK test in his spacious apartment, and he lifted his head and looked outside the window.

"I like the fact that I can focus on this HSK exam. When I was studying in Noyrangjin for the government job exam, I had to work the whole day, and study in the evening. I was too exhausted to concentrate on my studies in the evening after work."

Gun-Ho took out a cigarette and started smoking.

"Well, I guess I have done all kinds of part-time jobs when I was in Noryangjin studying for the exam. I worked at a convenience store, did a chicken delivery, and carried ice in a seafood market. I even worked in a duct construction field. How could I study at that time? I just wasted my life there."

Gun-Ho thought about his current life.

"I have two fancy condos. I am running a Korean restaurant in a hotel. I am riding an Audi to commute. I am living in a large and luxurious apartment that measured 36 pyung. I am studying the Chinese language, nothing else. In addition, I have a private tutor. With the help of all of this support, why wouldn't I concentrate on studying?"

Gun-Ho turned on the TV and watched a Chinese soap opera. He couldn't fully understand it, but he could understand some simple conversation. It was fun.

"After two or three years, I think I can understand over 90% of the Chinese language"

Gun-Ho fell asleep while watching the soap opera. A happy smile appeared on his face.