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290 Conversation at Shade House in a country club 2 – Part 1

 A mail arrived from China. It was an official invitation signed by Seukang Li for the international book exhibition that he was hosting in Shanghai. He sent the invitation for two. In addition to the invitation letter, Seukang Li sent an email to Gun-Ho separately. The email was written in Chinese and Gun-Ho, who had studied in China, had no problem reading it.

[To: My friend, Gun-Ho Goo

I met Jien Wang yesterday. He seemed to have a great time in Korea. He said it was because of you. And, he told me that he talked to you about the international book exhibition that I am hosting in Shanghai.

I am not sure about Korea, but here in China, Newspaper Guangdian Zongju manages publication in the Beijing area, and Guangbo Yingshi Ju which is the bureau of cultural affairs and media where I work manages publication in the Shanghai area.

Since I am the one who is in charge of this bureau in Shanghai, I am hoping to have as many publishing companies participate in the book exhibition, but I am not sure how many publishing companies will actually join us. I was told that you have a publishing company-

GH Media. If GH Media's president and the owner could come to join our book exhibition, I would greatly appreciate it.

I feel like I always ask you for a favor without being of much help to you and I am sorry about it. If you could make it to my book exhibition, I would owe you big time.

From: Seukang Li from Shanghai]

After reading the email from Seukang Li, Gun-Ho made a phone call to President Jeong-Sook Shin in GH Media.

"Yes, sir. This is Jeong-Sook Shin."

"President Shin, I've received the first and the second book of the cartoon series that you sent to me earlier."

"We have the third and fourth books that are ready, and we sent those to you already. They will arrive at your office by tomorrow."

"Are they selling well?"

"We are already printing out the third editions of the first and second books of world history cartoon series. These books are an already-proved bestseller by Amazon.com. I knew it will be successful, but they are actually selling more than I expected."

"That's good to hear."

"The workers here were worried about it when we put them on the bookstores for the first time. Now they are very satisfied with the sales performance."

"Really? That's really nice. Umm, have you heard of an international book exhibition held in Shanghai, China?"

"Yes, I have. I know some of the publishing companies which are selling Korean books that already applied to participate in the book exhibition."

"Can't we participate in it?"

"No, sir. We are selling Japanese or American books after translating it into the Korean language. So, we don't really have our own books to promote there."

"What if we go there and import Chinese books?"

"Our market is Korea, and Chinese books are not so popular in Korea."

"I've received two invitations for that book exhibition. Would you like to go there with me?"

"Well, I don't know. I think we will probably just waste time and money by traveling to China."

"To be honest with you, the person who is hosting the book exhibition in Shanghai is my friend. He is Chinese, of course."

"Oh, really?"

"He is the director of the bureau of cultural affairs, radio broadcasting, film, television, media, and arts of Shanghai. And that bureau is hosting the international book exhibition. He sent me the invitation with an email saying I have to be there."

"Well, you should go there then, sir."

"I won't be very helpful to him if I go there by myself. I don't know much about the book publishing business. He sent me two invitations, so I was wondering if you would go there with you, President Shin."

"Well... Okay. I will go with you, sir. But the travel expenses..."

"Don't worry about the expenses for the trip. I can have GH Mobile pay for our travel expenses or I can personally bear the entire cost."

Gun-Ho had been receiving his monthly salaries from three separate companies, and he hadn't really spent much so far. Those salaries were just being accumulated in his personal bank account.

"I am in then. As a matter of fact, everyone in the publishing business wishes to participate in an international book exhibition."

"We don't have to make a contract for a Chinese book if we don't meet any good one. I just want to be there for my friend."

"Understood, sir."

"I will let you know once the trip itinerary is confirmed."

"Okay, sir."

After getting off the phone with GH Media's President Shin, Gun-Ho replied to Seukang Li's email.

[I guess you might feel a heavy burden on your shoulders for the book exhibition. Since I have a publishing company, I will participate in the exhibition with the publishing company's president. I am gladly taking this opportunity to see my dear friend.

Wishing our forever friendship, Gun-Ho Goo from Korea]

Gun-Ho was stretching himself in his office after sending out the email reply to Seukang Li when Director Dong-Chan Lee entered the office. He was with two young men.

"Sir, these are the new hires of Dyeon Korea."

"Oh, really? Please have a seat."

Director Kim and the new employees sat on a chair.

Director Kim handed over their resumes to Gun-Ho.

Both of the new employees graduated from Seoul National University and they had some experience abroad either as an exchange student or for a voluntary work. They were about 30 years old, which made them at least five years younger than Gun-Ho.

Gun-Ho looked at Director Kim and said,

"What are their job positions?"

"One person will do import and export work, and the other will do sales."

"For the accounting and general affairs positions, you said you wanted to take a few employees from the current GH Mobile's employees, right?"

"That's right, sir. We will need people with work experience for the accounting and general affairs positions, so I'm planning to take a team leader or assistant manager in those departments in GH Mobile. And we will hire two more employees for each department."

"Hmm."

Gun-Ho then looked at the new hires and said,

"Welcome aboard. You will feel a bit uncomfortable at the beginning of your work since the Dyeon Korea's building is not yet completed."

"That's okay, sir."

The two men responded simultaneously.

"Are you two from this area?"

"Yes, our parents are in Asan City."

Gun-Ho said,

"I am so happy to have decent new employees in Dyeon Korea. You will learn a lot from Director Kim here. If you work hard, you will have an opportunity to promote within the company as well. Since you start working with us even before the company's building is completed, you are one of our very first employees. I look forward to working with you two."

Gun-Ho had a handshake with each of the new employees and tapped their backs.

The new hires gave a deep bow to Gun-Ho before leaving the office.

While having a cup of tea in his office, Gun-Ho thought about the two young men who just joined Dyeon Korea. They looked young and innocent. He then touched his own face.

"I just turned 36 years old. If those two young men saw me on the street, would they consider me like an older brother? Or an uncle? Do I look already that old?"

Gun-Ho looked at himself in the mirror.

"I am indeed getting old. I came this far without a break and without realizing that I am aging. Mori Aikko is only 21 years old. Is she with me because she really likes me? Or because of my money?"

As Gun-Ho suddenly became self-conscious about his aged appearance, he decided to get a skin care, and he headed to downtown in Cheonan City.