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62 The Result of The Real Estate Investment 2

 The man asked first.

"Are you, by any chance, going to Zhejiang University?"

By looking at him closely, Gun-Ho was able to recognize him right away. He was the new professor at the university, who had a Ph.D. from Yale, and his name was Jien Wang.

"Oh, you are the new professor."

"Are you living in this apartment?"

"Yes, I am. I'm living in building number 6. Are you living here too?"

"Yes, mine is building number 2."

"It's really good to see you here. It's amazing that you could recognize me since there were tons of students in the university."

"You actually stood out among the students. So I remember you."

"Is that because I am an older student?"

"That's one of the reasons. Also, you have a unique name. Your name didn't seem to be a Chinese name, so I asked around and figured out that you are an international student."

"Is it your bathing suit? Inside the bag, you are holding?"

"Oh, this? No, it's not a bathing suit. It's actually a coke and a sprite. I just came here to watch people swimming."

"Oh, really? Since we met here, would you like to have a beer? There is a restaurant in front of our community's main entrance. I'm craving for a beer after swimming."

"Haha, why not?"

The restaurant was neat and spacious; it went well with Gun-Ho's luxurious apartment. All the staff there was wearing a uniform. Gun-Ho placed an order.

"A deep-fried shrimp, a fried eggplant, and some fried pork, ..."

"That's too much. Let's stop there."

"That's okay. I'm treating you as a student to his professor."

"I think we are about the same age. By the way, you speak Chinese very well. How long have you been here in China?"

"It has been almost two years."

"Can a student afford to have expensive dishes like those you ordered? Considering that you are living in the Hobanhwawon apartment, your parents must be rich."

"They are not rich."

"The rent of this apartment is expensive. I couldn't afford to live here by myself with my salary from Zhejiang University. Fortunately, my wife is a professor at Zhejiang University as well. That's how we can afford to live here."

"I make a living for myself and pay for my rent here."

"Huh? You are a student... So, you have a job?"

"I am running a Korean restaurant in Mando Hotel. It's on Haebang road."

Gun-Ho gave him his business card which said 'CEO of Mando Food Co., Ltd.'.

"Wow! You are a CEO of Mando Food Co., Ltd.!"

"In fact, I have been working my socks off in running the restaurant and studying in the university. I hope you could take this into account and be generous when you determine my grade. Haha."

"Wow, you are amazing. You run your business while you study in the university."

The beer and the food that Gun-Ho ordered earlier came out.

"Whoa, having a beer after swimming tastes really good!"

"I was feeling rough in my throat; I guess I needed a beer. It does actually taste great. The Chinese Tsingtao beer is the best."

They took turns in pouring beer in each other's glass, and they became a bit drunk.

"When did you come back to China from the U.S.?"

"It has been a year. I started teaching at Zhejiang University last semester. Actually, this is my home town."

"Don't you get paid better at Yale University?"

"The more money you make in the U.S., the more costly your living expenses will be. I was a professor at Yale University, but it's not easy for foreign professors to be re-appointed after their contract expires. By the time of my reappointment decision, a professor from Zhejiang University who was senior to me contacted me and convinced me to come and teach at Zhejiang University. Moreover, my wife missed her home town as well. So, here we are in my home town. I think I made the right decision coming back here. I feel much better and relaxed."

"I did actually like your lecture. It's inspiring."

"Really. I am just all about theory, and I don't know much about the practical side of it. So, I do love to hang out with someone like you-G-jjong-who has been in the business for a while."

"My business card says I am the CEO of a company, but I am just running a small restaurant. I am not an expert in business as you expected."

"No, I think you are great. You are running your own business and also studying at a university simultaneously. I do admire you. Let's be friends. We are about the same age anyway. How old are you? What's your Chinese zodiac sign?"

The professor Jien Wang gave Gun-Ho his business card.

Gun-Ho learned that Chinese people always asked a person's Chinese zodiac sign whenever they ask someone's age. When Gun-Ho told him his Chinese zodiac sign, the professor jumped to his feet and clinked his glass to Gun-Ho's.

"Oh, we are of the same age, friend!"

"Oh, really? Nice to meet you, friend!"

That day, they drank until they almost passed out. Gun-Ho had to carry Professor Wang on his back and took him to his home.

Gun-Ho never missed Professor Wang's class since he became good friends with him. Professor Wang's lecture was always concise, precise, and easy to understand.

"Okay, look at this graph. Do you see the point where the total costs line crosses the total sales line? That is the Break Even Point ("BEP")."

Gun-Ho nodded his head while writing notes. He could quickly understand the lecture because it was directly related to what he was doing at work running his business.

"What do you have to do in order to generate profits in a business? You will have to reduce the fixed costs and lower the variable costs. We will have a quiz after this lecture on the BEP analysis."

"A quiz?"

The students started buzzing about the unexpected quiz.

Gun-Ho was walking out of the lecture room after his quiz when Professor Wang approached him and said,

"Hey, my friend. I am sorry about the last time."

"Don't mention it!"

"I am expecting a friend of mine from Shanghai this evening, and we will come to your Mando hotel Korean restaurant. Why don't you join us?"

"Sure, why not? I will be at the restaurant anyway. I will see you and your friend then."

When Gun-Ho came back to his restaurant after the class, a group of Japanese international students came for dinner. Gun-Ho helped the hall staff in serving them. He was arranging chairs when Dingming came to him and said,

"G-jjong, someone is here for you. He said he is your friend."

Gun-Ho turned his head to the restaurant entrance. Professor Wang and a man in a jacket were standing at the entrance. The man was slim.

"Oh, you came. Come and have a seat!"

"G-jjong. This is my friend from Shanghai."

"Very nice meeting you."

Gun-Ho handed over his business card to the man. The man looked at the business card while lifting up his glasses. He was wearing a black plastic rim glasses and looked like an elementary school teacher in the countryside.

"Here, have a seat."

Gun-Ho pulled out a chair for him. Professor Wang's friend from Shanghai took out his business card from his pants' pocket while sitting on the chair. Gun-Ho carefully looked at his business card.

"Vice Director of Shanghai City Construction Bureau!"

Gun-Ho was wondering what level a vice director would be in the government position rank. He felt strange and amazed at the same time to meet a person that had a high rank like him because he couldn't even pass the level-9 government job exam himself after multiple attempts.

"He looked like about the same age as me. How could he make it all the way to the top? A vice director position, huh?"

Gun-Ho brought the menu book to Professor Wang and his friend.

"I don't know much about Korean food."

Professor Wang said, and the vice director from Shanghai ordered a ginseng chicken soup for himself.

"Have you had a Korean ginseng chicken soup before?"

"I went on a business trip to Korea last year. I had a ginseng chicken soup somewhere around Gwanghwamun Gate."

Gun-Ho looked at his business card again. His name was Seukang Li.

"G-jjong is a friend of mine and we are of the same age. So are you, Director Li."

Seukang Li laughed. Professor Wang called Seukang Li as Director Li even though his position was vice director. He seemed to feel more comfortable using the word director.