It was Wednesday. Gun-Ho headed to Incheon International Airport to take the flight for China after briefly stopping by his office at GH Building in Sinsa Town. On the way to the airport in his car, Gun-Ho sent a text message to Young-Eun.
[I'm going on a trip to Antang City, Guizhou Province, China right now. I need to attend a contract signing ceremony to establish a joint venture company there tomorrow which is Thursday. I will be back on Friday, and I will see you then. Please take good care of yourself while I'm gone.]
Young-Eun replied right away.
[Have a safe trip.]
Gun-Ho stopped by a supermarket and bought basic pantry items which were the key ingredients to cook Korean food, such as dried seaweed, pickled Pollack roe, red pepper paste, etc. Gun-Ho knew from his personal experience that the best gifts for Jae-Sik Moon right now, who was staying in a foreign country, are genuine Korean foods. When Gun-Ho had started his life in China several years ago as he acquired a Korean restaurant in a hotel in Hangzhou City, he desperately missed Korean foods.
When he arrived at the airport in Guiyang City, Jae-Sik Moon was waiting for him.
"Huh? President Moon, how come you are here to pick me up? Picking me up from an airport is a tedious job for a president."
"President Goo, it's really good to see you. I feel so happy these days whenever I see any Korean, I mean literally any Korean."
"I totally understand that, especially for you because it's hard to find Korean people in the area where you are staying."
"Maybe it is so. It's really nice to talk in Korean."
"So, all I have to do tomorrow is to sign the contract?"
"It's kind of funny to sign the contract after having already established the joint venture company. Our Chinese partner seems to want to have the signed contract for a record. Since they are receiving investment funds from Korea, they probably need a doc.u.ment to prove the purpose of those funds, which was to build the terminal."
"Of course. What they concern the most is the terminal construction, not the intercity bus service business."
"So, you have your own office now, huh?"
"Yeah, my office is in the old terminal building. They redid the wallpaper and installed lighting. The thing is the lighting in my office looks like something that you can easily see in a bar."
Jae-Sik Moon chuckled.
"It's going to be a temporary office though since it will be demolished once the new terminal is completed."
"It surely will be, but I will have to stay there at least for the next two years since it takes that much time to completely build the terminal."
"So, are we heading to the terminal now?"
"Once we arrive at the terminal, the vice president Mr. Chun Chang will be there. He is there all the time. You just need to show yourself to him briefly to let him know that you are here now."
"After a brief meeting with him, he's going to report it to their head office and the transportation department, huh?"
"I suppose so. The contract signing ceremony is scheduled at 10 am tomorrow morning, so we just need to be there by then. They gave me a copy of the contract that you will sign tomorrow. Ms. Eun-Hwa Jo is translating it into the Korean language right now. She will finish it by the time when we get there. You can review it tonight."
Gun-Ho looked outside the window. Enormous open fields came into his view. Many of them were vacant, and no one seemed to be using them. When Jae-Sik Moon noticed that Gun-Ho was looking at the open fields outside the window, he said, "I am so jealous of this country about their seemingly endless lands. Look at that. They are vastly large."
Gun-Ho turned his head to look at Jae-Sik and smiled.
"That was exactly what I thought four years ago when I first came to China. I envied the Chinese people for having this vast land, and I wish we had this large land in Korea. By the way, you already made a room reservation in a hotel for me, right?"
"Yeah. You will be staying in Shangri-La Hotel downtown."
"I thought that I would be staying at the same hotel where you are staying right now."
"Shangri-La is a four-star hotel while the hotel where I stay is a three-star hotel. This setting is good for you, President Goo. It shows to our Chinese partner that you are a very important person. This kind of arrangement works with Chinese people."
"This vehicle is Audi, right? It's not yours, is it?"
"No, I haven't received my car yet. This is the chairman's car."
"You are still staying in a hotel, right?"
"After the actual contract is signed, I will move to a new place right away. They said that any place would be okay as long as it's less than 120 "
"It's 36 pyung large then. Are they going to lease it for you or buy it?"
"They said they will purchase it."
"Well, get a good condo, okay? A condo that's not far from the company and also located in a very good area. You have to be mindful of your safety after all and also your family's who will join you soon."
"I've actually seen a very good condo the other day. I haven't looked at the inside of it yet though."
"Even though it's a small city in the west area, its downtown's population is high. Therefore, a condo in a safe and popular area must be expensive. Even a 30 pyung large condo must be worth more than 150 million won."
"That makes sense. Even though the land price is low, we have to consider the construction cost of the condo."
"The next time when I have to send the investment funds, the amount will be 3 million dollars because they will need to start building the terminal with the fund. With 3 million dollars, you will need to buy a few express buses and finish the civil engineering work at the construction site for the terminal."
"Hmm, you must be highly knowledgeable about construction as well. You were there when GH Mobile's factory and Dyeon Korea's factory were being built, right?"
"I just have an overall picture in my head; that's it. I don't know any details about construction. It's not like I majored in construction in college or something. You and I have never been in the construction field, but we had lived in a 17 pyung large old townhome and spent most of our time reading comic books, right?"
They hadn't arrived at Antang City yet. It took three hours to get there from Guiyang City. Gun-Ho was looking outside the window. There was a farmer standing with a water buffalo.
"Look at the water buffalo."
"I heard that water buffalos don't taste good. Korean beef is the best."
"Of course. I love Korean beef. I already miss Korea grilled beef sirloin with a glass of soju."
"Haha. Let's have it when we can."
After spending some time without saying a word, Gun-Ho broke the silence.
"So, they haven't done anything yet about the terminal construction, have they?"
"No, nothing yet. The land is still vacant as before. Oh, I heard that they were doing soil tests on the construction site."
"Soil tests? Yeah, they have to do it."
"Is it necessary?"
"Of course. So they can figure out how deep they could drill."
"Hmm, is that so?"
"Through the soil tests, they will test for density and quality of the soil for building construction. For a large building like a terminal, they will have to drill piles deeply, so they could have a strong foundation that could allow the stresses coming from the structure. They will also need to design the building to withstand earthquakes. So, soil tests are a very important first step to be able to build a strong terminal. That way, the government will give them a permit to start building the terminal."
"I guess that this is a good opportunity for you to become familiar with building construction. The knowledge will come in handy someday in your life. We don't work in the construction or civil engineering field, but if we know about the relevant procedure and stuff, it will be very helpful in some way later."
"I think I will have to start writing a daily log for the terminal construction."