Gun-Ho searched for Accountant Nak-Jong Lee's phone number on his smartphone, and when he found it, he dialed the number.
"Hello, this is Gun-Ho Goo from Dyeon Korea."
"Oh, sir, how are you?"
"We need to make some adjustments with the audit report because of the certification that we are applying to be recognized as a startup company with technology."
"Yes, sir. I was told about it. You will need to collect every single of the audit reports that have been distributed."
"Sure, we will do that."
"And you will need to destroy them all."
"Okay, no problem."
"It seems that you are calling from China because of it, aren't you? I will start making the adjustment right away. Don't worry about it. I hope things go well with the certification that you are trying to obtain and your business."
When they arrived in Antang City, Jae-Sik Moon said to Gun-Ho, "The board meeting is scheduled for tomorrow morning at 10 am. I've reserved a suite room for you at the hotel. Take a deep rest."
"And, for dinner, why don't you come to my place? My wife is preparing Korean food for dinner today."
"Really? Thank you, but I don't want to impose."
"You must have been having oily Chinese food during the trip. Come over and have Korean food with us. She is cooking Doenjang-jjigae* too."
"Well, I guess I will join you for dinner then. I want to meet your baby too. Thank you."
Around 6 pm, Jae-Sik Moon came back to the hotel to pick up Gun-Ho. Gun-Ho and Jae-Sik Moon headed to the condo communityHuaxi Huayuanwhere Jae-Sik was living. The condo building had no elevator, but it had a large staircase.
When Jae-Sik Moon opened his condo door, Gun-Ho could smell Doenjang-jjigae*.
"Soon-Young, daddy is here."
Jae-Sik walked into his condo as he called his baby girl's name. Jae-Sik's wife quickly came out of the kitchen. She was wearing an apron.
"Hi. Please come on in."
Jae-Sik Moon's wife greeted Gun-Ho while having his hands folded in front of her. She seemed to be wearing light makeup as well. She looked very different from the time when she was working at the book caf in Seoul. She gained a little bit of weight as well.
When she worked at the book caf in Seoul, the couple didn't have enough money. They were poor. They were living in a small condo paying monthly rent. They were not officially married yet at that time, but they were living together. She didn't look happy then, maybe because of her not-so-great financial situation. But now, she had a totally different situation. She was smiling broadly at Gun-Ho, and Gun-Ho could see her radiating confidence and also elegance. Money could certainly do amazing magic.
"I smell something delicious," Gun-Ho said as he was walking into their home. The first room that he could see was their living room; it was spacious with a comfortable-looking sofa set and a large TV. Their master bedroom's door was a bit open, and he could see a large bed as well. Someone seemed to be in the kitchen; Gun-Ho could hear someone cooking. When Gun-Ho turned his gaze to the kitchen, there was a helper lady placing food on a plate. She was probably working overtime that day in preparation for Gun-Ho's visit.
"How do you like it here?" Gun-Ho asked Jae-Sik's wife.
"I'm still trying to get accustomed to the new environment, but it's good so far."
"I'm glad to hear that. Haha."
"Let me meet your baby girl."
Jae-Sik's wife went into the bedroom and brought the baby to the living room. The baby's eyes widened when she saw the strangerGun-Ho.
"She is so cute. Can I hold her?"
When Jae-Sik's wife handed the baby to Gun-Ho, the baby started crying so hard. Gun-Ho returned the baby to her mother right away. The baby began laughing right after her mother held her in her arms.
"She is laughing. Haha. She mumbles too."
Jae-Sik said, "Of course she does. She already passed her 100th day."
"She is so adorable when she laughs."
Dinner was ready, and Jae-Sik showed Gun-Ho to the dining area. Jae-Sik's wife placed her daughter in the crib and came back to the kitchen. She then introduced the helper lady to Gun-Ho.
"This is the lady who is helping us at home."
Gun-Ho smiled and gave a slight nod to the lady.
Jae-Sik's wife and the helper lady prepared abundant food for the dinner. The dining table was filled with all sorts of Korean dishes. There were Doenjang-jjigae*, Kimchi, dried seaweed, seasoned vegetables, grilled fishes, pudding-like egg dish, fried tofu, Galbi-jjim, etc. Gun-Ho felt as if he was in Korea.
"Wow. Where did you get all these ingredients for Korean food?"
Jae-Sik Moon replied on behalf of his wife, "My wife went to the market by bicycle and bought them."
"You must be very good at riding a bicycle."
Jae-Sik said again for his wife, "She got her driver's license too."
The helper lady asked Jae-Sik's wife about something. Gun-Ho thought that the helper lady had an accent from Guizhou Province. It seemed that she was asking which alcohol she was supposed to bring to the table. Jae-Sik's wife replied to her in Chinese, and she sounded fluent. She had a certain Guizhou Province accent as well. The rumor about her fluent Chinese seemed to be true.
"You have been in China for only a few months. How come you speak Chinese that fluently?"
"I just can speak some basic Chinese. That's all. Hahaha"
Jae-Sik's wife laughed out loud. Gun-Ho was surprised by her laugh because he didn't know that she could laugh like that.
'She used to be very quiet and always keep her head low all the time. I didn't know she could be perky and vibrant like that. Moreover, she speaks Chinese fluently. I guess Jae-Sik is lucky to have a spouse like her.'
Jae-Sik's wife showed her concern about the chauffeur.
"Is the chauffeur waiting outside right now? Ask him to come and join us for dinner."
"Yeah, he will come up soon. He seemed to need to make a call to somebody."
At the very moment, the chauffeur entered Jae-Sik's condo. Jae-Sik's wife started making small talk with the chauffeur. She indeed sounded fluent in Chinese. Gun-Ho was amazed again.
'Wow. She has been in China for less than half a year, and she already sounds like a native Chinese speaker. She speaks better than me who went to college here. I guess that there are people who have an inborn talent for language.'
Jae-Sik's couple, Gun-Ho Goo, the chauffeur, and the helper lady all sat at the dining table and had dinner together. In China, it was not unusual to have meals with helpers and chauffeurs.
Gun-Ho asked the chauffeur, "How do you like Korean food? Do you like it?"
The chauffeur smiled and nodded his head.
Jae-Sik's wife brought a bottle of Baiju. It was in a white bottle. Only Gun-Ho and Jae-Sik Moon drank the liquor.
Gun-Ho said to Jae-Sik's wife, "I'm glad to see you acclimate yourself well to the life in China and also learn quickly the Chinese language."
Jae-Sik Moon responded on behalf of his wife, "She goes to a poetry reading these days. She also started learning to play the Chinese traditional musical instrumentErhu."
Jae-Sik's wife glared lightly at Jae-Sik and said, "Why do you say things like that? It's embarrassing!"
However, the look on her face was telling that she was proud of herself for doing a lot of activities outside home. Gun-Ho was thinking while sipping his liquor, 'She is not just quickly adapting to the new environment. She is fully enjoying life here.'
"Please, let me fill up your glass with liquor," Gun-Ho offered Jae-Sik's wife a glass of liquor.
"I usually don't drink."
Gun-Ho asked the helper lady to bring two empty glasses. When the helper lady handed two glasses to Gun-Ho, he filled them up with Baiju, and then he gave one to Jae-Sik's wife and the other one to the helper lady.
"One glass of liquor wouldn't hurt anyone. I will have to skip it with this Mr. Chauffeur since he has to drive."
Jae-Sik's wife and the helper lady took a small sip of liquor.
Doenjang-jjigae A Korean soybean paste stew.
Galbi-jjim Korean style beef short ribs dish.