Gun-Ho laid down on the bed in his hotel room at Shangri-La Hotel without changing his clothes. He fell asleep briefly. When his phone started ringing, he woke up to the sound. Gun-Ho thought that he took a nap for several minutes. The call was from Jae-Sik Moon.
"It's me. It's time to go to karaoke, remember? Mr. President Runsheng Yan invited us to go to karaoke with him. I'm in the lobby right now. Come down."
"Oh, it's already evening?"
"You must be taking a nap, huh? Take your time in getting ready. I will be here."
Gun-Ho took out a bottle of water from the mini-refrigerator and drank it. And then he walked to the bathroom and brushed his teeth and washed his face.
"Okay, now I feel refreshed."
Gun-Ho went down to the lobby where Jae-Sik Moon was waiting for him, and the two men headed to the karaoke.
On the way to the karaoke in the car, Jae-Sik Moon said to Gun-Ho, "The karaoke place that we are heading to right now is being operated by Antang City's bureau of OO."
"Are you saying that a municipal government is operating a karaoke in China, huh?"
"I heard that even the Public Security Bureau runs karaoke in certain areas, in an effort to cover their scant budget. It was common practice in the past, but now not many karaokes are left that are run by the government."
The karaoke where President Runsheng Yan invited us to was located on the fifth floor of a building. When Gun-Ho entered it, he was amazed by its sparkling decoration and the size. The place was decorated mostly with glass.
"Wow, it's huge. How large would this place be? It must be at least several hundred pyung large."
Jae-Sik was looking around with widened eyes as well. He said, "Karaokes in Korea are so small that maybe they are the size of this place's bathroom."
The karaoke manager quickly approached Gun-Ho and Jae-Sik and said, "You are Koreans, right?"
"Yes, we are."
"And you are the guests of Antang City's transportation company, aren't you?"
The manager seemed to recognize right away that Gun-Ho and Jae-Sik Moon were not from the area because of their different hairstyles and business suits, which were different from Chinese people's. Gun-Ho and Jae-Sik Moon followed the manager to the room where President Runsheng Yan of Antang City's transportation company and the joint venture's vice presidentMr. Chun Changwere waiting for them. Surprisingly, the director of the transportation department was there too.
For the lunch earlier, the lady office manager came to take care of the payment process. Gun-Ho couldn't find her in the karaoke room this time, but the sales manager joined them instead. It seemed that they wanted to keep this karaoke gathering between only men. That seemed to be why the sales manager was there filling up the position of the usual participantMs. Office Manager. Mr. Choi from Social Science Academy was also sitting on the sofa in the room.
Once Gun-Ho and Jae-Sik sat on the sofa, canned beer and snacks such as fruits were set on the table. As President Runsheng Yan lifted his canned beer first, everyone in the room lifted their beer and shouted "Cheers." The director of the transportation company seemed to be talking with President Runsheng Yan about business, but Gun-Ho couldn't understand their conversation since they were not speaking standard Chinese but some dialects. Gun-Ho asked the interpreterMr. Choiwho was sitting next to him, "Mr. Choi, can you understand what they are saying?"
"I understand half of them only."
Jae-Sik Moon seemed to have no idea whether they were talking in the official standard Chinese language or dialects. Gun-Ho asked Mr. Choi again, "Mr. Choi, can you ask this to the sales manager sitting next to you for me? I'd like to know the name of the most expensive condo in Antang City that is being built right now."
Even though Gun-Ho could speak Chinese fluently, and he could very well ask the question to the sales manager himself, he chose to ask the question through the interpreter. When Mr. Choi asked the question to the sales manager, the sales manager responded, "It's Huaxi Huayuan!"
Gun-Ho smiled and talked to the sales manager directly in Chinese this time, "Are you from here?"
"Yes, sir. I was born and raised here."
"How much is a condo in Huaxi Huayuan per pyung?"
"I believe that it costs more than 10,000 Yuan per ."
Gun-Ho quickly did his math.
'30 pyung is around 100 . If the unit price per is 10,000 Yuan, a 30 pyung large condo would cost 1 million Yuan which is around 170 million Korean won. It's very pricey for a condo located in a small city like Antang City. A condo in a provincial city in Korea would cost about the same. They seemed to price the condo there very high considering the average income of the residents in the area.'
Gun-Ho exaggerated his facial expression a bit, intending to show his surprise and said, "It's very expensive for a condo in a provincial city."
Mr. Choi chipped in before the sales manager responded, "That condo is being built in a park area actually. The landscape there is amazing. I had passed by the area the other day, and the new Bieshu (single house) there were so beautiful. I feel like if I could live in that area, I don't think I would envy anyone who is living in a big city like Shanghai or Beijing."
Gun-Ho nudged Jae-Sik and said, "Write down the name of the areaHuaxi Huayuan. Let's stop by the area tomorrow on the way to the airport in Guiyang City."
Gun-Ho always paid attention to the flow of money wherever he was, and the occasion that was specifically set to have sheer fun was not an exception. Putting a piece of fruit in his mouth, Gun-Ho thought, 'A highly luxurious residential area exists in every single city where the wealthy are living in. They don't want to build their extravagant houses in an isolated area because of the safety issue and also because it could cause some conflicts with the local people. Having a luxurious area in this city means that there is a high demand for it. If they are selling the condos right now, it's worth looking into the possibility of purchasing one.
I can't buy real property in this area, but Jae-Sik Moon can because he has the business license issued by the tax office here. I can buy a condo through him, just like I bought the farmland in Seonghwan Town, Cheonan City using his name before. I still have cash in my bank account with the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China. It's the money that I received when I withdrew from the Jinxi Industrial Park business. Maybe I should buy a condo here using that money under Jae-Sik's name.
I can pay Jae-Sik Moon for using his name in a real estate transaction again. Jae-Sik wouldn't mind it since he can make money. He needs money, and it's an opportunity for him to make easy money. As a matter of fact, he now possesses a condo close to East Incheon Station because he let me use his name in a previous real estate transaction. That condo was compensation from me for it. He now no longer has to live in a bas.e.m.e.nt where he spent almost his entire life. China is still a land of opportunities.
I should be careful not to make the same mistake that Suk-Ho Lee made. He purchased commercial properties without doing his homework, and now he is having a hard time getting out of it. Korean people, who are interested in making an investment or doing business in China, must know this. In China, you can't take out a loan from a bank with the land that is not Zhuan Liang. It has to be Zhuan Liang land. Suk-Ho made a mistake when he didn't study this system in China before he made his investment. The seller of the commercial stores, who Suk-Ho bought his stores from, probably had that land as Zhuan Liang where the commercial store building is on. However, when that seller built a commercial building on that land and divided the building into several stores and sold them individually, each store might not be Zhuan Liang any more for the buyers.
However, residential homes are different. Houses are special real estate properties in the sense that they provide living space to people. They are the basic necessities of people who compose society. They are inheritable as well.'