Gun-Ho went back to reality. Visiting the famous philosophy hall in Gangnam seemed like a dream.
“Master Park could be a first-class con artist. How can a man know another man’s fate? ”
His phone was ringing; it was Jong-Suk.
“Hey, bro! Where did you go last Saturday?”
“I went to a famous philosophy hall in Gangnam.”
“A philosophy hall? That’s superstition.”
“Well, I agree but…”
“What did they tell you?”
“They said I would be very very rich like a billionaire.”
“Puhaha. How can a factory worker like us become rich? With a monthly salary of less than 2,000,000 won. Even if we save doggedly 1,000,000 out of it for ten years, we will have 120,000,000 won in hand. And if you marry, you will have a kid, and raising a kid cost money.”
Gun-Ho, let out a groan.
“If you don’t get married, and keep saving half of your salary for 30 years until you reach 60, you will have 360,000,000 in hand. Do you have any idea how much it cost to buy a condo in Gangnam nowadays? It’s about 1,000,000,000 won. Become rich my ass.”
“Hew… I hear you.” Gun-Ho sighed.
“Don’t waste your time in talking to those people. They are all con artists. I read somewhere that knowing a person’s fate is within God’s domain, not another human’s.”
“I went there because Won-Chul’s mom often goes there too… They are very popular.”
“Oh, I was actually calling you to talk about Won-Chul. He is getting married.”
“I already received a phone call from him.”
“You did? Let’s meet up in front of the City Hall around 12:30. We can go to the wedding together.”
“Okay, let’s do that.”
“You need to get married as well, bro.”
“Me, I gave up. We are 3-GivingUp, 5-GivingUp people, aren’t we?”
“You are still doing the self-dissing thing. I gotta go. I have an interview today.”
“I don’t know, something Tech. It is probably a majjikkoba factory (small factory).”
“Ok. Good luck.”
After he got off the phone with Jong-Suk, Gun-Ho looked at the calendar on the wall. Won-Chul’s wedding was on the day before his payday, of all things.
“Shit, I have to pay the loan’s interest and his wedding… How much should I give for his wedding? Usually, 50,000 won will do; I probably have to give more than that, don’t I? He is from a wealthy family, and he is making good money working for a big company; I should probably give 100,000 won at least. What am I gonna do?”
Gun-Ho just started his new job, and his payday was still too far away. Gun-Ho agonized with a frown on his face.
“I, Gun-Ho Goo, have to feel distressed because of a small amount of money, 100,000 won. F*ck the world! Sh*t!”
Gun-Ho hit the floor with his fist.
“Anyway, what should I wear to Won-Chul’s wedding?”
Gun-Ho took out a soju from the refrigerator without thinking and started drinking with dried seaweed snacks on the table.
“Everyone is getting married except me. I have no hope for it. Ehhyo…”
Gun-Ho seemed like he was pouring soju into his throat rather than drinking it normally.
The director asked Gun-Ho to come to his office.
“Mr. Goo, how is your work going here?”
“I am not really sure. I am just doing my best.”
“You don’t have to wash drums anymore. The lady who used to do the job will come back today. So you can move to the crushing site. She will arrive around 10 AM, so you can hand over to her if there is anything.”
“Alright. I will do that.”
In the crushing site, Gun-Ho would handle crushing machines; but washing site and crushing site, they were the same. The work would probably be easier even though the site produced a loud noise. The good thing was that he didn’t have to see Mr. Kim anymore; he was a pain in the as*.
The washing lady came. Gun-Ho heard that she had to quit the job because of her child; since her child started school, she could come back to work. The lady had a big round face just like a round tray; her eyes looked like date seeds. She had a broad smile on her face when she came. Mr. Kim made a fuss about her return since he used to work with her.
“Oh my goodness. You look even younger.”
“Mr. Kim, you are the one who looks younger. Who is this young man? An intern?”
“No, he is our new employee. He will hand over to you today and move to the crushing site.”
“Oh really? Haha. He is good looking.”
Gun-Ho looked at the lady. She was not good looking, but she sure looked strong; her arms were thicker than Gun-Ho’s.
“You need to stack the chemical-A drums up by the forklift. For chemical-B drums, you can stack them up behind the container. Each of their lids has labels attached. Also, you need to wash well the mouths of chemical-B drums; otherwise, we will receive claims once we deliver the unclean drums.”
“Haha, you don’t have to explain all that to me. I am familiar with it. There are a few drums here; I will move them there. They are obstructing the way of the forklift.”
She rolled up her sleeves and dragged two drums to the stacking place. Gun-Ho usually moved drums one by one; the lady dragged two and stacked those drums 5 level up.
“Wow. She is full of energy!”
Gun-Ho was impressed by her skills and energy.
“I am not even good at a factory job.”
Gun-Ho briefly handed over to her and went to the crushing site. The team leader in the crushing site was tall and in his 50s.
“Hi, I am Gun-Ho Goo. I am assigned to the crushing site today.”
Gun-Ho was expecting a handshake since it was his first time meeting the team leader, but it didn’t happen.
“Hey, do not stand there. You just touched the power cord!”
Gun-Ho realized that he touched the outlet where several power plugs were connected.
“Oops! I am so sorry.”
“Come this way. The forklift is on its way in!”
The forklift loaded with an enormous amount of plastic waste just came in.
There was a foreign worker in the crushing site; he smiled when he saw Gun-Ho. Gun-Ho had seen lots of cute foreigners before, but this guy was dark and looked nasty. That foreigner was wearing a noise-canceling headphone and a mask.
“Did you bring a headphone?”
The team leader asked Gun-Ho.
“Umm, I didn’t receive any instruction about that.”
“You didn’t bring one.”
The team leader looked around, and then picked up a headphone from a broken metal desk and tossed it to Gun-Ho.
The headphone looked really dirty; Gun-Ho was standing there looking down at the headphone. As Gun-Ho seemed to hesitate to wear it, the team leader looked at Gun-Ho; Gun-Ho might look pathetic.
“For today, you could just bring some drum waste to that foreign worker.”
As the team leader turned on a switch, Gun-Ho started hearing a loud noise. The foreign worker poured white chemicals into a small container; Gun-Ho smelled a nasty and strong odor. Gun-Ho almost threw up because of the smell.
After work, Gun-Ho came back to his room. He felt like he could still smell the chemicals from his clothes. He felt pain in his lower back and left wrist; that was probably because Gun-Ho carried a lot of plastic container waste today. Gun-Ho rummaged through the contents of his desk drawer to find pain relief patches.
“These patches are old. I am not sure if they are still effective.”
Gun-Ho applied the patches to his left wrist and lower back. He was too tired to cook dinner; he started preparing lomein. After having lomein, he laid down on the bed; he could smell foot odor from his bed. He played with his smartphone while laying down on his bed, and then he started wondering how Jong-Suk did at the interview. He called Jong-Suk.