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101 Conversation with a Wise Man 1 – PART 2

 It was a Sunday.

Gun-Ho headed to the Pocheon fishing site with his fishing gears. It had been a long time.

"I will take Dongbu Expressway which will have less traffic since it is Sunday."

Gun-Ho drove on the expressway and passed Sohol Town and Pocheon City.

"I like the view in this area. It's different from the one in the southern part of Gyeonggi Province."

Gun-Ho finally arrived at the fishing site he often used to come, after passing Yeongjung Town.

There were several cars that were parked.

"That's Jong-Suk's car. Oh, that Genesis is probably Chairman Lee's car, I guess."

Gun-Ho walked down to the lake while looking around.

He could see Chairman Lee in the distance; he was casting the fishing rod into the water.

"Chairman Lee, how are you?"

"Oh, President Goo!"

Chairman Lee stood up while extending his hand to Gun-Ho for a handshake.

"How have you been, sir? You look well."

"It has been a while. What made you come all the way here today? Your friend is doing lure fishing across the lake."

"I see him from here. Oh, he looks like he saw me too. He is waving at me. Haha."

"It seems like he came here early. He already caught two basses."

"Really? Is Manager Gweon here with you? I don't see him."

"There he is."

Manager Gweon was walking toward Gun-Ho and Chairman Lee. He seemed to be on his way back from the bathroom; he was arranging his belt while walking.

"Oh, Mr. Gun-Ho Goo. How have you been? I heard you opened a company?"

"Yes, I did. It's a small real estate company."

Chairman Lee didn't chip into the conversation, but he just smiled.

"Since I do lure fishing, I will join my friend over there on the other side of the lake."

"Sure. Enjoy your fishing."

Gun-Ho was about to leave the spot when he turned around and said,

"I bought some Gimbab and Jokbal* on the way here. I will come here after an hour or so with the food."

Manager Gweon said while attaching bait to the hook,

"You can't fully enjoy Jokbal without soju."

"I brought soju as well."

Chairman Lee just kept smiling.

"Bro, come here. That area is wet."

"Hey, you came early today?"

"Yeah, about an hour ago. I already caught two huge fish."

"Whoa, fish is biting today, huh? Since you already caught two within the first hour."

"This fishing site is far from your place, isn't it? When you lived around here, it was easy to come here. Now you have to make up your mind to come here."

"That's okay. It's simple driving on a nice road."

"Did you see Chairman Lee?"

"Yeah. He looks the same. I know he lives in Cheongdam Town, but he comes all the way here to fish."

"Yeah, I already asked him about that, why he would come here because there have to be other good fishing sites close to his home."

"And?"

"He said that he has a vacation home in Pocheon. Moreover, he said his fate is made of fire so he needs to come to the places near water, something like that. I have no idea what he is talking about."

"I guess he is an old man so he believes things like that."

"How's your company, bro?"

"I'm not even sure if I can call it a company because it is a tiny office with only two employees."

"Bro, Suk-Ho bro told me that you own three OneRoomTels. Besides, you purchased a condo in Gangnam at your age. You are moving up so fast. My dad already knew that you bought a condo for your parents."

"Huh? How does he know? I don't think your father has ever met my parents before. They don't know each other."

"My father knows I am close to you."

"Even so, how does he know?"

"I don't know. My father is running a restaurant, and I know he is nosy."

"Hahaha."

"Hey, bro. Isn't there any place for me to squeeze in at your company?"

"F*ck off, man."

"I am a manager in my current company, but the job is not secure. The company is so small, and I think they are having a financial problem."

"Why do you say so? Don't they pay you on time?"

"They have been paying me on time so far, but the president is often borrowing money from a bank."

"A bank doesn't lend money to anyone without eligibility. If your president could borrow money from a bank, that means his company is doing okay enough to pay the loan back in the future. How much do you get paid?"

"Not much even after I got promoted to a manager. It's less than 3 million won. It's 2.6."

"What about the bonus?"

"400%"

"Hey, then you are getting way more than 40 million won per year. Manager Kang who is working at my company is being paid less than you, man."

"I've been in the field for six years already. And people call me 'MacGyver Park,' you know that."

"There is no easy job. Let's go to the spot across the lake and have Jokbal. I brought Gimbab and Jokbal."

"Jokbal? I love you, bro. That is the sweetest word you have said today."

Jong-Suk smiled with his white healthy teeth.

"Jong-Suk, lay out the picnic mat on the grass here. I brought some newspapers too. Place them first before setting up the food."

Gun-Ho and Jong-Suk prepared the place to eat.

"Chairman Lee, please come and have a seat here."

Chairman Lee said while standing up,

"Do you have enough food for us too? We are four people now."

"Don't worry about it. I brought a lot. There is Korean pancake with spring onions and Gimbab too."

Four people had a picnic that day. It was late autumn, and Gun-Ho could feel a cool breeze on his cheeks. They started to eat their food and drink their soju while sitting on the grass beside the lake. Chairman Lee ate only one Jokbal with half a cup of soju; he said he was feeling a bit uncomfortable in the stomach.

"This Gimbab is so tasty."

Chairman Lee ate Gimbab though. The other three men devoured the Jokbal and soju.

They gulped down the soju that was in a paper cup. Chairman Lee was smiling quietly.

Reeds were swaying in the breeze. A combat plane was passing by in the blue sky.

"Since this area is close to North Korea, we could see a lot of combat planes here."

Manager Gweon said while looking up the sky. Gun-Ho followed his gaze and asked him.

"When I climbed up Gwanak Mountain, I saw many commercial planes passing by. There is no commercial plane around here, right?"

"I don't think so. The flight path for commercial planes is leading them toward Gwanak Mountain, Gimpo City or Yeongjong Island."

"Bro, when you went to China last time, which airline did you take? Is it Korean Air that goes to China?"

"No, there are several different airlines you can take for China. There are Asiana Air, China Eastern Airlines, China Southern Airlines, etc."

"I do like Asiana Air. It's clean, and their stewardesses are pretty."

Everyone laughed together when Jong-Suk said it.

"Oh, I heard Asiana Air's owner brothers are having a fight. People sitting next to me talked about it in the flight from Shanghai to Korea."

Manager Gweon looked surprised when he heard Gun-Ho talking about Asiana Air.

"Really? I have their stock. I will have to sell it right away!"

Jong-Suk chipped in while chewing the Jokbal.

"If the owner brothers fight each other, the employees cannot focus on their work. I've worked as an employee for a long time, I know that by experience."

"You're right. I will sell the stock tomorrow."

Chairman Lee clicked his tongue after listening to their conversation quietly.

Manager Gweon looked at Chairman Lee.

"Look, why would you sell your stock when the company owner brothers are fighting each other?"

"Because if the owner or upper management can't manage the company with stability, the ship goes to a mountain, doesn't it?"

Chairman Lee clicked his tongue again.

Gun-Ho and Jong Suk looked at Chairman Lee. They couldn't understand why he was doing it.

"Oh, that is it!"

Gun-Ho slapped his lap. Something flashed through Gun-Ho's mind.

"That's right. I guess President Goo figured it out."

Chairman Lee smiled quietly.

Note*

Jokbal - Korean dish made of pig's trotters with soy sauce.