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72 Hit a Jackpot with Four Major Rivers Project 1 – PART 1

 Min-Ho Kang came into Suk-Ho's bar. He was with a woman who was wearing glasses.

"Hey, Min-Ho. Do you remember Gun-Ho Goo?"

Min-Ho looked at Gun-Ho.

"Oh, Gun-Ho. It has been a while."

Min-Ho extended his hand to Gun-Ho for a handshake, but he didn't ask Gun-Ho what he was doing for a living.

Min-Ho was one of the popular kids in high school while Gun-Ho was an invisible boy who was always sitting at the back of the classroom. Gun-Ho in high school was a mediocre student in a poor family.

Whenever the students in the class chipped in to buy a snack or a meal, Gun-Ho would always go outside the classroom quietly because he didn't have money to contribute. He always felt small because of money.

"This is Eun-Mi Song. She is a magazine journalist."

Min-Ho introduced the woman he came with to Suk-Ho.

"Are you coming from the protest against the Four Major Rivers Project again?"

"F*ckers! They are trying so hard to spend an astronomical amount of money to damage our environment. I am so worried about this country."

Suk-Ho brought some beers with snacks made of cabbage and squid which Suk-Ho was so proud of.

After everyone drank their beers at least once, Min-Ho looked at Gun-Ho and said,

"Gun-Ho Goo! Are you still living in that townhouse in Juan Town in Incheon?"

"Yeah, my parents are still there, but I live somewhere else."

"Our family already left Incheon and moved to Dangsan Town. So, what do you do for a living?"

Suk-Ho who was sitting next to Gun-Ho answered for him.

"Gun-Ho had a Korean restaurant business in China. He came back to Korea not long ago, and he is now learning about auction."

"Auction? That costs money. Do you have money for it?"

Min-Ho asked with a scornful look on his face.

"I don't have money but I thought it would be useful to know..."

Suk-Ho responded for Gun-Ho again while handing paper napkins to Min-Ho, Gun-Ho, and the lady whom Min-Ho was with.

"Auction is not just for people who have money for a direct investment. You can also get a job related to it if you know enough about it, right?"

"There are tons of con-artists in the auction field. They attract their victims with real estate development plan."

Min-Ho said while wiping the beer foam off his mouth with a napkin.

The journalist lady showed her interest when she heard the word-real estate development plan.

"I covered the topic last year. It is true that there are many people just like Seondal* in the field.

"That's right. There are some as*holes spreading rumors that the land's price around the four major rivers would go up considerably. They have no idea what kind of disaster we could create and pass on to the next generation with that project. F*ck! Journalist Eun-Mi Song! Let's drink!"

"Oh, by the way, did you go to college? What did you study?"

"Yeah, I went to a college in China-Zhejiang University."

"China? Many unqualified kids who failed to be admitted to universities in Korea go to college in China. There was an incident with Korean international students in China not long ago. They rode motorcycles so loudly that Chinese local people complained."

Gun-Ho smiled bitterly.

"Some do and some don't. There are way more Korean students who don't do that kind of things in China. There are very few students who ride a motorcycle there."

"Really? What do you think of the Four Major Rivers Project?"

"Well, I'm not sure. I don't know much about it."

The journalist lady started talking this time.

"We all have to pay attention to it. We have to prevent it from happening. It's not just damaging our environment; it will be a disaster."

The journalist gulped her beer. She took out a cigarette and started smoking.

Suk-Ho left the table when customers came into the bar, to serve them. There were now three people at Gun-Ho's table.

Once they became a bit drunk, Min-Ho and Eun-Mi started singing a song quietly while clenching their fists. It sounded like some sort of a protest song.

"You don't know this song? Let's sing it together!"

Min-Ho asked Gun-Ho to sing along, but Gun-Ho just smiled without singing. Gun-Ho didn't know the song. Gun-Ho didn't spend time in a college campus and had no idea about a protest song.

When Gun-Ho came back to his office-tel, he thought about the Four Major Rivers Project.

"The answer is up to whether Myung-Bak Lee would be elected or not. A wise man or an expert like Chairman Lee should know about it, but I can't figure it out. I am so stuck in my own thoughts."

Gun-Ho closed his eyes.

"If Myung-Bak Lee ("MB") is elected, he will certainly start the Four Major Rivers Project. Real estate speculators are buying land in Yeoju City, Icheon City, and even in Chungju City. They seemed to bet on MB's election."

Gun-Ho walked to the window and looked down the street. The street was busy with cars.

"I don't know whether the project will help control the flood, secure water resources for farming and industrial use, or if it will damage the environment. I am not an expert in the field. My involvement here is whether I could use this controversial event as my opportunity to make money."

Gun-Ho decided to make a short trip to Yeoju City and Icheon City to just look around.

"Okay, let's go!"

Gun-Ho rented a Sonata and drove the Han Riverside road toward Misari from Yeongdeungpo District.

"Han River is quiet. It doesn't say anything. It's the people who make a fuss about the Four Major Rivers Project."

Han River served as a water source for 10,000,000 citizens in Seoul and 12,500,000 citizens in Gyeonggi Province. It was flowing quietly and peacefully.

"This river flowed yesterday, and it will continuously be flowing tomorrow."

Gun-Ho arrived at Yangsu Town after passing by Misari and going through Paldang Bridge.

"The scenery is amazing. Korea's nature is truly beautiful."

Gun-Ho drove down to Yeoju City along the river. There were many realtors' offices along the road with a banner saying 'Land.' There was another banner saying 'We welcome Four Major Rivers Project,' and another banner saying 'Absolutely No to Four Major Rivers Project.'

"I see a lot of luxurious cars parked in front of the realtors' offices. There are certainly people here who are loaded with funds that wanted to buy land here."

Gun-Ho parked his car in front of a realtor's office. As soon as he parked the car, two men wearing a hat ran toward Gun-Ho.

"Did you come to see a land? Come to our office."

"No, come to our office."

The two men grabbed each of Gun-Ho's arms. Gun-Ho laughed and went to the office closest to him. In the realtor's office, a man in his 50s was explaining something to three women who were sitting on a chair. He was using a large map hanging on the wall; he was pointing at something on the map with a stick.

"Are you here to see a land?"

"Yes, I would just like to know the current price."

"Why don't you join us and sit next to the lady over there? I will explain to you."

One of the ladies moved to the side to give a space for Gun-Ho to sit.

"Have a seat. Manager Kim, please bring a cup of tea for this gentleman."

Gun-Ho was sort of pushed to the seat and started listening to the man.

"This is the flow of the southern part of Han River. A weir will be built right here. This part is a greenbelt land and a military zone so no one can touch it. However, this part right here just came out on the market."

The man said in a low voice,

"If you buy this land now, the price will go up twice once MB is elected as our president. In that respect, you people sitting here right now are very lucky. You don't need to think twice, just grab it. This is indeed the opportunity of a lifetime."


Seondal - A famous swindler in Korea.