While gazing at the fishing float on the water, Chairman Lee said, “Don’t underestimate construction wastes because they seem useless. There is someone who made big money out of it.”
“It’s a company called InsunENT. The owner is a high school graduate and a very successful man. He grew his company to a KOSDAQ registered firm with construction waste disposal business only; isn’t it amazing?”
“It became a KOSDAQ registered company with a construction waste disposal service? Wow. That waste can be indeed lucrative.”
“Rebuilding a condo or building a new town produces a lot of construction waste. Then, the construction waste management company gets busy.”
“The stocks of InsunENT will go up as well.”
“The prices of stocks fluctuate; so, I don’t know. However, InsunENT is a new KOSDAQ registered company and it is not reached by stock market manipulators yet; so, their stock price will go up, I guess.”
Gun-Ho listened to Chairman Lee with a lot of interest when Chairman Lee talked about stocks. The topic intrigued him because of his experience of losing all of his money saved up in Hwaseong at that time, in addition to his sunshine loan in stocks.
“Do you invest in stocks too?”
Chairman Lee responded to Gun-Ho’s question with a smile.
“No, I don’t because you can’t figure out the other player’s cards. Moreover, if you make money in stocks, the pleasure lasts for three days while the sadness of losing money in stocks lasts for over seven days according to some psychologists. That’s why I don’t do stocks. Oh, I’ve got a bite!”
Chairman Lee lifted his fishing net; there was one flapping carp.
After the fishing, Gun-Ho had a good time with Jong-Suk. They were sitting on the grass beside the lake while having a roasted chicken with soju. He wasn’t jealous of anybody, even for a king at this moment.
“I’d better get going. I have a long way to drive.”
“Will there be heavy traffic since it is Sunday?”
“Usually, traffic is heavy on Saturdays; Sunday should be okay.”
“Safe trip, bro.”
“Okay. I’ve been feeling down lately because of new work in accounting and worries within my family. I feel better now after having a good time with you here. Thank you. I will see you soon.”
Gun-Ho felt much better while driving home. He was listening to IU song when his car engine stopped. He was driving on the expressway just passing by Anseong and almost getting to the North-Cheonan IC.
“Did the drive belt break? I’ve never had this problem with this car before. The engine just stopped. Sh*t!”
After Gun-Ho called his auto insurance company, he moved his car to the side of the road and had waited for over thirty minutes until someone from the insurance company arrived. They opened the car hood.
“It seems to be a long time since you had your car checked.”
“Yes, I’ve been busy…”
“Oh, hmmm. The timing gear failed. The car needs to be towed.”
“What? It has to be towed?”
Gun-Ho was stunned. He only had 200,000 won in hand. His next payday was far away.
A tow truck arrived, and it dragged Gun-Ho’s old Avante to the Seonghwan Town to an auto repair shop there. An auto mechanic came out and started checking on Gun-Ho’s car here and there.
“Hmm. The timing gear failed. You should have changed it already.”
“Timing gear? How much do you think it will cost me?”
“Well, I need to look further to be sure but I would say around 300,000 to 400,000 won.”
Gun-Ho became devastated.
“How long do you think will it take to repair?”
“You can leave the car here today and pick it up tomorrow evening. Give me your business card, then I will call you once the repair is complete.”
Gun-Ho gave a deep sigh.
“It is really a good thing that this didn’t cause any accident. You don’t have to worry about the repair. I will completely replace it.”
Gun-Ho gave the mechanic his business card and then staggered out of the auto repair shop. He waited for a bus to Dujeong Town at the bus station. The bus didn’t come—it was dark, and it started raining. Gun-Ho became soaking wet and looked like a drowned rat.
“Sh*t! Why hasn’t the bus come yet?”
Unlike Seoul, a bus didn’t run often in provinces. After waiting for thirty minutes, Gun-Ho decided to just grab a taxi.
Fortunately, Dujeong Town in Cheonan from Seonghwan Town, where his room was located was not very distant. Gun-Ho didn’t have to pay a lot for taxi fare as he initially expected. When he entered his tiny room in the OneRoomTel, he found a mail.
“What is this?”
It was a notice of seizure from the City Hall for his car. It said since Gun-Ho didn’t pay his auto tax, the city would seize his car. Gun-Ho collapsed into his chair.
“It’s not just the cost that I’m worried about. How am I going to work tomorrow? I have no idea about bus routes in this area… Will it be easy to find a taxi? How much should I expect to pay for the taxi fare to Dunpo to my work?”
Gun-Ho pulled out his own hair.
“Tomorrow, we are getting B2B payment from Mulpasaneop. I have to bring the report of deposits and withdrawals to the president.”
Gun-Ho was about to go crazy. He washed his feet, then brushed his teeth, and laid down on his bed; but, he couldn’t sleep. He went out in his flip-flops to buy a soju and Saewookkang (a Korea shrimp-flavored snack).
“I am so hopeless. It seems like the world is against me! For car repairing, let’s spend some of the petty cash from work for now. I can fill it in once I get paid next month.”
When Gun-Ho thought about this, he received a call from his sister. A phone call from a family member at late night was usually about bad news rather than good news. Gun-Ho felt nervous when he answered the phone.
“Gun-Ho? Dad’s surgery date is scheduled. It’s the day after tomorrow.”
“Is it? So it cost, huh?”
“Big problem. The surgery costs about 2,000,000 won. However, his medical insurance doesn’t cover the surgery, and it makes the total medical cost more than 6,000,000 won. What are we gonna do?”
“Why doesn’t his insurance cover the surgery?”
“Mom hadn’t paid for the insurance for a while before she started working in the nursing home; the outstanding balance for the insurance is 2,400,000 won now. Unless we pay that amount, they said they wouldn’t apply the medical insurance to his surgery. What did you do? You should have added them as dependents to your insurance provided at work!”
“How would I know that! I don’t know, okay? I already gave 1,000,000 won to mom. You and mom figure out the rest!”
“Do something. Steal some money from somewhere! If dad doesn’t get the surgery, we will have to pay more for his funeral.”
“What did you do, sister?! You had saved some money before you got married. What did you do with that money?!”
“What about you? What did you do?!”
“F*ck! How come our parents are so poor! I even had to give up on the exam to become a level-9 government employee because of money!”
“They did their best. We both know that mom and dad had done everything they could!”
“All parents do what they could do. Sh*t. Why did they get married in the first place! I don’t even expect to inherit any wealth from them, then they at least shouldn’t ask their children to pay for their medical bill! This is unbelievable!”
“You shouldn’t say that way. You will have to pay for what you said.”
“Pay for what?”
“You, are you drunk? You as*hole!”
They raised their voices while they are fiercely arguing. The OneRoomTel owner ran to Gun-Ho’s room to warn him.
“Go outside to talk on the phone. I am getting a lot of complaints from other residents here because you are too loud!”
After getting off the phone with his sister, Gun-Ho drank all night. He kept drinking all night long while his face was all covered with tears and nasal discharge.
“Okay, that’s right, let’s do it!”
Gun-Ho came up with something which even he was surprised with. He bit his lip. He looked determined. He bit his lip so hard that his lip was bleeding out.
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