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60 Transfer to a college in China 3

 It was summer.

The southern area of Yangtze River was humid and hot. Most people in that area exposed their skin in an effort to fight the heat. Summer vacation started in the university that Gun-Ho was attending and Gun-Ho didn't have to go to school for a while.

"Whew, I don't have to go to school for now and I can relax a bit."

The past several months had been hectic for Gun-Ho. He had to run a Korean restaurant, go to college, and study the Chinese language. It was busy and hard, but also rewarding.

"I have one more semester left before my graduation. I will then have a college diploma from Zhejiang University! I had passed the HSK level-4 before I started college. Let's try the level-6. Eun-Hwa found a job and she can't come to teach me as often as before. I should take the level-6 test before she becomes even busier."

Eun-Hwa had been living with Mae-Hyang for the past year and recently moved out once she found a job in the Jiaxing area. She started working in a joint Chinese-Korean venture that manufactured fabrics. Consequently, Eun-Hwa now came to Gun-Ho's restaurant twice a week to give him private tutoring in the Chinese language.

Gun-Ho had spare time during his summer vacation in college. He made a call to Jong-Suk.

"Jong-Suk?"

"Hey, bro! I was actually going to call you."

"Why? Anything interesting?"

"You are expecting too much from a person like me!"

"Why are you saying that? You are the MacGyver Park who can fix anything."

"Save it! I'm going to take a summer vacation soon."

"Oh, you are? Then come visit me here."

"Yeah, I talked with Suk-Ho bro from Gyeongridan Street about it. He wants to visit you in China too."

"Really? Sure! Come. Did you get the visa?"

"I applied for it already. It's a visitor visa valid for a month. I think I will receive it tomorrow or the day after tomorrow. I will let you know once I reserve a flight ticket."

"Sounds good."

"We will be arriving at the Shanghai airport; you can come to the airport to pick us up, right?"

"Of course. I will bring a car."

"You must come, okay? None of us can speak Chinese. We will get lost without you. I can't be a missing person in China."

"Don't worry about it, bro. I will be there even before you arrive."

"How much should I expect for a hotel room?"

"Don't worry about the hotel. You can stay in my place."

"Bro, in your tiny room? Can three of us stay in your tiny room altogether?"

"It's not a tiny one room, man. It's an apartment."

"Really?"

"Just get a flight ticket and come, okay? You don't have to worry about a place to stay and the food you eat. I will handle them for you."

Jong-Suk and Suk-Ho arrived in China.

"Hey bro, you seemed to gain some weight."

"You too, man. Don't you have to work so hard these days? Hey, Suk-Ho. Good to see you, man."

"All those store signs look so complex. The Korean language is the best. Sejong, the Great King did a really great job in creating our writing system."

"Huh? Is this your car, bro? It's Audi. You are a successful man now. Where is your chauffeur?"

"I'm driving."

"You drive? You can do that with your Korean driver's license?"

"I obtained my driver's license here. You want to see it?"

Gun-Ho showed Jong-Suk and Suk-Ho his Chinese driver's license.

"Wow, you do have a Chinese driver's license."

Gun-Ho drove them around Shanghai City.

"This is the main street in Shanghai, Nanjing Road. That is the Waitan, a waterfront area."

"Whoa, Shanghai is so beautiful. It's indeed an international city."

Jong-Suk and Suk-Ho were busy looking around the city.

They visited Dongfang Mingzhou and Yuyuan Garden in Pudong. They saw the Huangpu River and took a picture in Waitan.

"Aren't you hungry yet? Let's eat. We are going to have Chinese traditional food since you are in China."

Gun-Ho took them to the back side of Nanjing Road. There was a huge Chinese restaurant. It looked fancy and luxurious.

"Whoa, this is huge. It should be larger than 300 pyung. And this huge space is filled with people."

The restaurant staff in qipao brought a menu book to Gun-Ho's party.

Gun-Ho placed an order in Chinese. His Chinese was not fluent, but when Jong-Suk and Suk-Ho heard him talking in Chinese, he sounded like a native Chinese.

"Wow, bro. You sound like a native Chinese."

Suk-Ho seemed to be surprised as well.

"You, when did you learn Chinese? You sound fluent."

"Nah, I don't speak Chinese fluently at all. I am attending Zhejiang University right now. I transferred there. I will be graduating after next semester."

"Really?"

They both were stunned.

"How did you manage to run a Korean restaurant and go to college at the same time?"

"Yeah, I did manage somehow. The restaurant doesn't require my constant presence since I could hire many staff working in my restaurant. I just have to count money at the end of the day."

"How many workers do you have in your restaurant?"

"I have eight people."

"Eight? The restaurant must be sizable."

"No, not really. Labor costs here are lower than Korea so I could hire more people."

After sunset, they arrived at Hangzhou City.

"This is a big city too."

"The population for the entire city is 7,500,000 and 1,700,000 people out of it are living in the main city area."

"Really? I guess the city is bigger than Daegu City in Korea."

They arrived at Mando hotel, and Gun-Ho showed them his Korean restaurant in the building.

"Wow, it's neat and nice. So you are the president of this restaurant, huh? A factory worker made his success."

Suk-Ho laughed as he heard what Jong-Suk said.

Suk-Ho then looked around.

"Considering the size of this restaurant, the rent must be high. How much do you make per day?"

"It varies. If I receive a lot of tourists, I could make a lot; otherwise, I make 3,000 to 4,000 Yuan in an ordinary day."

"How much is it in Korean won?"

"It's about 500,000 won."

"You said the labor costs are low here. How much do you pay?"

"You can hire eight people with the same amount of money you have to pay for two lady workers in Korea."

"I see, hmm..."

Suk-Ho seemed to be envious.

"How's your bar in Gyeongridan Street? Is it going well?"

"Yeah, it's doing okay. I can make a living with it."

"Same here. It's hard to run your own business both in Korea and in China. We are just making money for our own labor."

Gun-Ho came back to his Hobanhwawon apartment with Jong-Suk and Suk-Ho.

Once Gun-Ho turned on the light, they could see the living room.

"Wow! It's spacious. It has to be at least 40 pyung large!"

Jong-Suk and Suk-Ho were impressed.

"It's actually 36 pyung."

"Why do you need an apartment this big for yourself? Bro, are you living with someone? Like a Chinese lady?"

"Haha, no bro. You, pervert!"

"Wow, you indeed succeeded in your life. I still remember you when you worked in Pocheon and Yangju with your runny nose. I remember it like it was yesterday."

"You say that again!"

"No, I'm serious. You are a successful man, bro. You are running a large and clean restaurant, living in this huge apartment looking like a castle, and you are riding an Audi. Who wouldn't say you are successful?"

Gun-Ho just laughed, but what he truly wanted to say was,

"These are all bubbles. None of them are mine. I rented the apartment and the Audi. I don't make enough money for a living with that restaurant. My hope is sitting at the Chinese real estate market. Do you understand that, kid!?"

Gun-Ho unpacked his grocery bags on the table.

There were beer, dried snacks, fruits, and dried beef, etc. The three men drank all night while talking, and they didn't realize how many hours passed by while they enjoyed each other's company.