It was 11:30 am.
When Gun-Ho went back to the meeting room, the table was already set, ready for the contract signing ceremony; the table was decorated with the national flags of two countriesthe Korean flag and the Chinese red flag with five stars. There was also a banner hanging on the wall.
Gun-Ho read the wording written on the banner,
"Zhong Han Hezi Quanzi Yishi, meaning Sino-Korean joint venture signing ceremony."
At that moment, the department of transportation's director arrived at the meeting room. He was wearing sunglasses, and the way he walked into the meeting room looked arrogant.
"Oh, Mr. President Goo!"
"Oh, Mr. Director of the transportation department, long time no see."
"I've heard that you finally decided to sign the contract. You made the right decision. You have my respect for your discernment about business."
President Runsheng Yan of the transportation company in Antang City and Gun-Ho sat at the table. Each person had his country's mini flag in front of them. The rest of the people in the meeting room stood behind the table and under the banner making a line, including the director of the transportation department, the joint venture's vice president and the construction director, Jae-Sik Moon, Eun-Hwa Jo, and Mr. Choi from Social Science Academy. The transportation company's staff from its marketing department was busy taking photos while Gun-Ho and President Runsheng Yan signed the contract and had a handshake subsequently.
President Runsheng Yan invited everyone to the signing ceremony for lunch in a highly luxurious restaurant. Gun-Ho was treated as an honored guest, and he sat at the seat that was reserved for an important figure of the group. The transportation department's director sat next to Gun-Ho. Gun-Ho didn't have high alcohol tolerance, especially when he had to drink in a day while most Chinese people seem to be able to drink as much as they could even in a day. Everyone seemed to enjoy drinking together that day. The construction manager was drinking strong Chinese liquorBaijuas if it was like drinking water. Jae-Sik also seemed to join them drinking a lot of liquor. Mr. Choi from Social Science Academy and Ms. Eun-Hwa Jo had drinks along with them.
While the director of the transportation department and President Runsheng Yan, who was running the transportation company in Antang City, were present, Gun-Ho asked the crowd, "When do you think I can expect to have the result of the bus line negotiation with Guiyang City?"
"Guiyang City's transportation department agreed on the basic conditions, but we are still negotiating the number of buses that both cities would run. We want three buses while they want only two. We haven't reached an agreement on it just yet. So, we came up with an idea that maybe we can run 2 buses and 1 Zhong Ba (mid-size bus). We are still reviewing the possibility with Guiyang City about it."
"Yes, we are thinking about the size that can accommodate 35 passengers."
"Do you reserve any extra bus as well? You know, in case that one of the buses breaks down and is not able to run for a while. Or, it could get involved in a car accident. You should be ready for the cases where one of the buses is not available for service."
"Of course, we will need to reserve an extra bus. But, we don't reserve one for every bus line, but we reserve one or more for the bus service company entirely."
"Are you working on procuring more bus lines with other cities as well?"
"We are. We already initiated negotiations with Yibin City, Luzhou City, and Zunyi City."
"You haven't provided any intercity bus service between Antang City and those three cities?"
"We have, and we are currently running buses to those cities. We are negotiating with them to increase the number of buses due to the increase in demand. You don't need to worry about the sales business. A joint venture company with a foreign company as its partner has a good image among Chinese people, and they will definitely use their service knowing that the joint venture company would use luxurious new buses."
"I see. Well, once the bus line deal with Guiyang City is finalized within one week, I will make the third transfer of investment funds within ten days, which would be 3 million dollars."
"You became our brother company since we work together sharing profits. Antang City's transportation company and Korea's GH Logistics are now Xiongdi (brothers). Let's celebrate this meaningful day with a drink."
After drinking three glasses of liquor in a row with President Runsheng Yan, Gun-Ho felt an acute headache.
After the lunch meeting was over, Gun-Ho was heading to his hotel with Jae-Sik Moon. On the way, Gun-Ho still felt dizzy because of the liquor that he had drunk.
"President Moon, I'm having a headache. Why don't we take a walk for a while? I think I want to sober up before going back to the hotel. I don't understand why those Chinese people drank that much during the day."
"Let's then go for a stroll at the Ming and Qing Ancient Street. We can still see the old houses and structures built during the Ming dynasty and the Qing dynasty there."
"Really? It must be one of the famous tourist spots. I'd love to see them."
Gun-Ho and Jae-Sik Moon took a taxi and headed to the Ming and Qing Ancient Street. There were tons of shops on the street, and they were still using the constructions built during the Ming and Qing dynasties. Most of them were selling tourism products and antiques.
"I see a lot of silk fabric for sale here. Who would buy them these days?"
"Those fabrics would be used in making Qipao, I guess."
"Do you see the commercial signChaover there? It must be a tea house. Let's go there and have some tea. I want to try the black teaQian Hongthat I had earlier in the office."
"Sure, let's get in."
Gun-Ho ordered Qian Hong and drank the tea as if it was cold water.
"I feel refreshed. I think I'm sobering up now. I felt like dying from dizziness earlier."
"I'm not good at drinking during the day either. Chinese people seem to have a high alcohol tolerance, maybe because they eat oily foods routinely."
"Haha, maybe it is so. After I have some more tea here, I will just go back to the hotel and take a rest. We have a press conference tomorrow."
Gun-Ho purchased a carved figure of a boy attendant, which was made of jade, at an antique store in the Ming Qing Street. When he saw a fossil of sea anemones for sale, he negotiated the price. The starting price was 500 Yuan, and Gun-Ho ended up paying 150 Yuan after haggling with the merchant.
Jae-Sik commented on the boy figure that Gun-Ho had purchased.
"This boy attendant figure is the size of my wrist. It's so cute. Well, since it is made of jade, it is indeed a jade boy attendant figure."
"Your wife is seven months pregnant, isn't she?"
"It's actually more than that. She will come here a month later. I already visited the hospital for foreigners here. They do have a nice and big facility. That hospital is a collaboration work with a company in Hong Kong. It's really nice."
"Oh, you visited the hospital?"
"Yeah, I did."
"She had an ultrasound, right?"
"You are asking about the gender of my child? I will have a daughter."
"Hmm, in that case, I can't give this boy attendant figure to you. I will take it to my wife. My wife is four months pregnant now. We will have a son."
The two laughed out loud while looking at each other. They had a firm handshake too as if the two of them made a club for new dads.
"By the early next year, we both will be fathers. I will have my first child at 37 years old, and you will have yours at 38."
"I think we are the last people who just became a father among our friends from high school. We both married late and have a baby late. Look at Won-Chul Jo. He had received enough financial support from his wealthy parents as he was growing up. As a result, he got a nice job in a large company right after college, and he got married five years earlier than us, right? So did Suk-Ho Lee and Byeong-Chul Hwang."
"Well, we couldn't get married sooner because we had to stabilize our financial situation first, which took time."
"The most important thing is that we'll live happily ever after for a long time. Let's make a happy life."
"Sure. Let's live well!"
The two men laughed and held their hands together and shook them.