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63 The Result of The Real Estate Investment 3

 Gun-Ho, Professor Wang, and Director Li had ginseng chicken soups with Baiju, a Chinese liquor. Gun-Ho wanted to have a beer because he didn't have high alcohol tolerance. However, Director Li already ordered Baijiu and Gun-Ho decided to drink it with them.

Once the Japanese international students left the restaurant after their dinner, it became quiet.

"Did you go to the same high school?"

"No, I went to a high school in Hangzhou, and he went to a high school in Shanghai."

"Then how did you become friends?"

"We went to college together at Peking University. We were very close at that time and we used to have lamb skewers in the Wudaokou area all the time, didn't we?"

Director Li laughed.

"After having enough lamb skewers, I left to study more in the U.S. and this guy stayed in China and got a government job. This guy's father used to work as a Hyunjang (corresponding to a county governor in Korea) and his grandfather was in the Eighth Route Army."

"You, Jien Wang. You are a brilliant man who was born to be intelligent. This guy's father is a famous scholar."

"Hey, why don't you be friends with G-jjong. You are of the same age as well. We are contemporaries who are breathing the same air all these years."

"Oh, I wouldn't dare to be friends with a professor and a director!"

Director Li responded to what Gun-Ho had said,

"There are plenty of stupid people in the government. Business people are way smarter than them, and they have insight into the future of our society. I've seen a lot of hard-headed and stubborn people in the Korean government as well when I visited Korea. Of course, there are still exceptional government people in Korea."

"You two, be friends!"

Professor Wang insisted.

"Okay, friend! You are an amazing person, G-jjong. You are running a restaurant in a foreign country. I admire you. Let me pour Baijiu in your glass, here."

Director Li seemed to be getting drunk.

"Do you have any idea what my dad suggested to me when I told him that I wanted to work in the government after graduating from college?"

"Your father was still working in the government at the time right?"

"He told me to work in a factory, so I could deeply understand Chinese people and their real life. So I worked in a factory in Suzhou City for two years. It was a hot-rolled carbon steel manufacturer. This is the scars I gained from my factory life there."

Director Li rolled up his sleeves to show his burn scars on his arm; there were several.

"Hey, my Korean friend, you haven't worked in a factory before, right?"

"You have no idea. I had worked in plastic factories in Hwaseong, Pocheon, and Yangju in Korea. Look at my arms. I have a lot of burn scars as well."

Gun-Ho showed his bare arms after rolling up his sleeves.

Professor Wang and Director Li seemed to be stunned by looking at the scars in Gun-Ho's arms.

"Well, we are friends without a doubt. We need more drink. Let's have one more bottle."

The three men drank again like they were eating some very tasty food. Mae-Hyang brought more snacks to them and laughed.

"The liquor must be very delicious."

They took turns in pouring Baijiu in each other's glass. Professor Wang said to Gun-Ho after gulping his glass of Baijiu,

"You, my Korean friend. Do you know who Director Li is?"

"You are drunk, man! He is a person, right? He is right here, man."

"He might look like an elementary school teacher in the countryside, but he was the leader of the Communist Youth League of China. In addition, when he worked in the carbon steel manufacturing factory in Suzhou City, he stood out as an excellent debater supported by his knowledge and belief in socialism. He was at the time the leader of the labor union."

"Those were the good old times."

"Let's have one more drink. I'm treating you today. G-jjong treated me last time."

Professor Wang said.

That day, Gun-Ho never expected that these two men-Professor Wang and Director Seukang Li-would be a great help when he was about to have a large-scale business in China in the future.

Gun-Ho finally graduated from Zhejiang University.

"Yay! I finally graduated from a four-year college!" A person couldn't be well respected in Korea, without a four-year college diploma. He couldn't get a decent job, and it was also really hard to marry. Gun-Ho had always wondered what qualities did a person that graduated from a college in a foreign country had and how rich their family had to be to support them. Now, he graduated from a college in a foreign country himself. He had mixed feelings.

No one came to Gun-Ho's graduation ceremony because he didn't tell anybody, even the restaurant staff. Professor Wang was the only one who came and congratulated him.

"Hey, my friend. Congratulations! Why don't you stay at Zhejiang University to study more and get an MBA degree? You are a businessman. I think you should get an MBA degree."

"Nah. I'm so exhausted. I will think about it later."

Gun-Ho didn't come to China to get academic degrees. He had to make money in China.

He now had free time in his daily life since he didn't have to go to school anymore.

"Let's get the HSK level-6."

Gun-Ho already passed HSK level-5, so he just needed to push a little further in his studies to reach the level-6.

"I think I now can hear and understand Chinese better. I believe the best way to learn a foreign language is to live in that country to be exposed to that language every day."

Gun-Ho bought a preparatory book for the HSK test level-6 and studied hard.

Gun-Ho eventually received the HSK level-6 certificate. It was a happy day for him. He was as happy as the day he graduated from Zhejiang University.

"Yay! I finally got the level-6. I think I can get a decent job in Korea with this certificate. I have a Zhejiang University diploma and a proven Chinese language skill supported by the HSK certificate with the highest level-6. I believe I can get a job in a mid-size company that has a branch office in China."

Gun-Ho was thinking of selling his Hwaganghwawon condos and buying a condo in Incheon, Korea, and getting a job there.

"Nah, I guess I am too old to start a new career. I am now in my mid-30s. I have to get married. Should I keep the restaurant? Even though it doesn't generate enough revenue? Even if I get married in Korea and come back to China, I can't support my family with the income from this restaurant. I will have a child too."

Gun-Ho now had a new problem to solve.

The cold winter was almost gone and plum trees were about to have flowers. Gun-Ho received an official notification from Mando Hotel.

"What is this? Is this an official notification from the hotel?"

As he read through the notification, Gun-Ho's face hardened.

<Dear tenants>

We would like to inform you that the management of this hotel decided to close the building for six months from June to December in order to repair the exterior wall and pipes of the hotel. Alarming cracks were found on the building exterior, and the pipes are decaying, which could cause severe health problems. This is for the safety of you and the guests of our building. The city already warned us twice about the same issues so we won't be able to delay the repair any longer.

Therefore, we will start with the repairs in June since the lease contract will expire in June. Once the repairs are completed, the current tenants will have the priority to move in first.

We apologize for any inconvenience and thank you for your cooperation.

- Mando Hotel

Gun-Ho was baffled.

"Are they saying that I need to close my business for six months during their repair work?"

Gun-Ho showed the notification to his staff including Dingming.

"What about us? What are we going to do?"

"You can take a six-month vacation or you can work somewhere else."

"G-jjong, what are you going to do?"

"I don't know... I am still in shock. This is so sudden."

"We will follow whatever decision you make."

"Well, we still have three months left before the hotel closes. Let's think about it."