m a r k a n d e y a

The Most Beautifullest Thing in the World

Posted by Brian on June 14, 2004

Our business venture has officially turned into a total disaster for my girlfriend and I. Every real estate agent we’ve talked to about it is telling us it will be very, very difficult for us to sell our place. The problem isn’t just the location of our building, which does suck, but also that there is an overall slump in the real estate market in Hongdae. We’re told there are units in much better locations with comparable rent that have been empty for months. Meanwhile, several other game cafes have been trying to sell their places for months now with no luck either.

The consequences of this unfortunate turn of events are huge… and expensive. We payed for our entire entrior ourselves assuming that we would be able to sell the place off should we be forced to quit. My girlfriend and I dumped about 40 million won into the interior work, so unless we can find someone willing to move in and take the place over, we’re looking at loosing all of that cash. All of it…

And that’s why I’m forced into doing something I vowed I would never do again: teach English here in Korea. Working my ass off for a year will allow us to cut that loss in half, making it much more bearable.

The idea of teaching doesn’t worry me too much… my concern is going back to working split-shifts. I’m not the young stud I used to be… I need a good night’s sleep to function properly, and going back to sleeping 5 hours a night and the mandatory afternoon nap is not appealing to me whatsoever. On top of that, my weekends will be spent here at our cafe running things.

Besides the money, the benefit of going back to work is that it will be a good opportunity to make some more contacts and hopefully drum up some business.

So it’s been a tough few days… we’ve talked, we’ve cried, but we see the writing on the wall. It’s time to give up on our dream and, unless we’re very lucky, it’s quite likely we’ll be eating that 40 mill loss.

But despite all of our best-laid plans crashing down around us, my girlfriend stay upbeat. I was sitting down at our cafe reading Eric Alterman’s What Liberal Media and I looked across the room to see my girlfriend chatting with her niece. She had this joyful smile on her face (at which point Keith Murray’s album title came to mind), as if she didn’t have a single trouble in the world. And I just sat there, watching her every move… every smile… every laugh… thinking just how incredible she is. This entire fucked up scheme was my idea.. I led her down this path. Does she hold a grudge? No. Does she blame me? No. Can she still smile and laugh despite looking at losing 20 million won? Yes, she can.

Eun-jeong, if you read this, thank you. You’ve helped me make dreams come true, and you’ve helped make nightmares go away. I owe you so, so much. Too much, in fact, because I doubt I can ever come close to paying you back for what you’ve done for me. You really are the best, baby. I love you.


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