Chan-Ho continued to talk about his work at the bar in Hannam Town.
"Ms. Jang's bar is different from other bars. It is decent and their customers are gentle and act property. Nothing much to do there. I had worked for other bars before and I often had to be involved in a physical altercation there, and that doesn't happen in Ms. Jang's bar."
"Sir. I want to clarify this. Even though I've been involved in a physical altercation several times, I have never been charged with a crime. GH Mobile's general affairs director checked my criminal record after he saw my tattoo. He was so glad when he found no criminal record on me."
"Oh, you have a tattoo?"
"Yes, I have a small tattoo on my arm. Many American soldiers have tattoos too. Theirs are usually huge."
"Really? Don't add any more tattoos on your body."
"Okay, sir. We are almost at Pyeongtaek Interchange. I will now take the Gyeonbu Line."
The next day, Gun-Ho went to work at his building in Sinsa Town.
Gun-Ho was receiving a report from President Jeong-Sook Shin. She said she just finalized the contract for the next art exhibition with the French master of color aestheticsMs. Marion Kinsky.
"The terms and provisions are similar to the contract for our previous art exhibition of Chinese young artists' artworks."
"You will need to work on the articles to give to the press."
"Haha. It's done already. If any office's lease contract in this building expires soon, please let me know."
"Oh, have you made up your mind to move into this building?"
"If GH Media handles only publishing work, we can stay in our current location. But I think our company will expand to handle various work. We'd better move to this location. I already talked to Director Kang to negotiate the security deposit with him, but he was firm with the price. Director Kang said he wouldn't be able to lower the security deposit for us. He said that GH Media will have to pay the same amount of the security deposit that the current tenant is paying for whatever office that would be available for us to take."
"He said that? Hahaha."
"Once we finish the next art exhibition of Ms. Marion Kinsky, it won't be a problem for us to pay the security deposit for an office with the size of 30 pyung in this building."
"I have a question."
"I'm listening, sir."
"I've seen an entertainment company called BM Entertainment take Korean singers to Shanghai for a large performance."
"Oh, I remember that. They had a huge performance event at the sports complex in Shanghai. At that time, they distributed the event pamphlet at the international book exhibition."
"I understand that that sort of event is handled by a big entertainment company in taking Korean singers and entertainers to China for a performance. What if we want to bring Chinese entertainers to Korea for their performance? Do you think our company can handle it?"
"We will need someone who has a rich knowledge and experience in performance art. I'm sure you can hire those types of people in no time with your money, especially people who studied performance art. It's not a problem. However, it's hard to make the event successful with Chinese entertainers in Korea."
"Well, I'm just asking. I'm not sure if I would try it yet."
"A play or traditional music performance might work though. There was an operaTurandot performed by Chinese actors in Korea. That was successful. Also, a Chinese music band called CrossOver came to Korea and did their performance successfully as well."
"Hmm, really? I thought I knew a lot of things connected to China, but it seems you know much more than me."
"That's because I am in that cultural field. Hahaha."
After President Shin left the office, Gun-Ho went up to the rooftop. He wanted to get some fresh air.
There were a few workers in a business suit on the rooftop. They were smoking.
Gun-Ho looked inside the book caf. Three lady customers were having coffee. Gun-Ho entered the book caf.
"Hi, please have a seat."
Gun-Ho sat at a table.
"What can I get you?"
The lady who tried to take Gun-Ho's order recognized him and she seemed to be surprised. She was Jae-Sik Moon's wife.
"I will have an Americano. Thank you."
The lady brought a cup of coffee to Gun-Ho. Her hand was shaking.
"Do you receive lots of customers here?"
The lady maintained her head low.
"Is Jae-Sik coming here sometimes?"
"He came once."
"You know that I am a friend of Jae-Sik's, right? We are very close and very good friends."
The lady didn't say anything.
Gun-Ho didn't want to make Jae-Sik's wife feel uncomfortable. He grabbed his coffee and stood up from his seat.
"The coffee is very good. I will have it outside."
Gun-Ho took his coffee and walked out of the book caf.
Gun-Ho wanted to help Jae-Sik and his wife. They seemed to still have financial difficulties. But he couldn't think of any good position that he could place them into his companies.
"Jae-Sik is a writer and he has been writing in his entire life and nothing else. If I could place him in GH Mobile or Dyeon Korea, he will get paid with a high salary. But, with his current skills and work experience, there is no good position for him there."
Jae-Sik had a different life from Min-Hyeok Kim or Jong-Suk Park. His skills were not very useful in the manufacturing industry where skills in producing products or controlling the quality were required. Jae-Sik wouldn't perform well with sales activities either. Gun-Ho couldn't trust Jae-Sik in managing workers either.
"Well, Jae-Sik reminds me of the old days in high school."
Gun-Ho reminisced about his high school days while drinking his Americano.
'It was Won-Chul's birthday. He invited everyone from our class to his condo. His mom threw a pizza party for him. But he left out only three people out of the entire class: Jae-Sik, Min-Hyeok and me. Won-Chul didn't invite us just because we were the poor kids living in a poor area.'
'There was one kid. He was on the way to Won-Chul's home for his birthday party. When he saw Jae-Sik on the way, he threw a rock to him and said, 'you Mr. Bas.e.m.e.nt, get lost!' Jae-Sik cried hard that day. I heard Jae-Sik is living in a small rental townhouse in Mapo District. Is it impossible for him to live a better life than those mean kids who threw a rock to him, in this life?'
Gun-Ho sat on a bench in the rooftop garden and looked up at the sky.
'Jae-Sik is a decent man. He just likes to read books. He doesn't cause any harm to anybody. I guess life is not fair.'
When Gun-Ho came back to his office, he made a call to Jae-Sik Moon.
"Jae-Sik? It's me."
"Hey! President Goo."
"Are you busy with editing work these days?"
"Yeah, I'm working on several books now. The work is busy. I want to thank you again for letting my wife work at the book caf."
"I actually just came back from the book caf. Your wife seemed to have a lot of work to do there. Doesn't she say the work is hard?"
"No, she didn't say anything. She just said she felt sorry for you, President Goo. Well, one thing is that we live a bit far from work. I guess commuting is the only thing she feels hard. But, that's not a big deal. A lot of people commute long distances."
"Do you have a driver's license?"
"A driver's license? Yes, of course."
"Is it Class 1 or Class 2?"
"Mine is Class 1. I once drove a taxi when I didn't have enough editing work."
"You drove a taxi before? I didn't know that."
"It was hard work and it was embarrassing for me too. When I drove a taxi, I was worried that I might run across one of the high school friends. I didn't want to hear them say Mr. Bas.e.m.e.nt is now driving a taxi. I know there is no low or high class in occupation but I still didn't want my classmates from high school to see me driving a taxi. As soon as I found more work in the editing field, I quit it."
"I didn't know."
"I'm happy with my current work. I make 3 million won per month working as a chief editor and my wife is making 2 million won. I think I can pay for my debt."
"You need to buy a home"
"I don't even dream about owning a home. I'm just so grateful that I don't have to live in a bas.e.m.e.nt anymore."