Chapter 37: Confused Dad
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
Now that he had a place to run his store, he needed to take care of the legal documents next. For instance, he needed the two most important licenses: one from the Industry and Commerce Administration Bureau, and one from the Tax Bureau.
Chen Jin planned on going to both places the same day and getting the licenses required in the most efficient way possible.
But suddenly, he realized there was one tiny problem. His mother worked at the Tax Bureau… Which had complete jurisdiction over his jewelry business. Which meant that to get the license he needed, he would have to deal with his own mother.
It…it was a bit awkward indeed. The truth was, he was not planning on telling his parents about his jewelry business; he wanted to do it all on his own. And it was for a good reason, too. His mother was like a helicopter parent, paying extremely close attention to every little thing he did and wanting to have everything under her control; she even got anxiously concerned when he was just gone for a couple of days.
The great motherly love. But it also meant that for her, he was still a little kid. A little kid that did not grow up. Nonetheless, as parents, they would always subconsciously want to have a say in whatever their children were doing. And no doubt, they did that with good intentions, making sure their children didn’t get hurt.
But still, he was not a kid anymore, regardless! He had become a grown man with ambitions and responsibilities. He didn’t need anyone to intervene in his business; he was perfectly capable of doing things on his own without help from others.
However, he’d already rented the building. There was no escaping the fact that he had to deal with the administration his mother worked at to get his license. Besides, his parents were going to find out about it sooner or later anyway, as his store was rather large and quite a noticeable target.
“Oh well, I might as well just tell Mom now, so she can prepare herself for the news. She might even be able to use her connections and help me get the licenses.” So with that, he’d made up his mind.
At dinner time, Chen Jin told his parents about his jewelry business, and casually mentioned that he’d already rented the commercial building.
“WHAT!? Son, did you say you’re starting a jewelry store?” He Li put down her chopsticks and looked at her son in disbelief. “Wasn’t it just not too long ago that you said you wanted to go into the high-tech and robot manufacturing industry? How come you’re interested in selling jewelry now?”
“Not enough money for that yet. It’s unbelievably difficult to go into the high-tech industry, and it requires a massive amount of investment too, so I decided to spend some time in the service industry first,” Chen Jin said as he smirked at himself.
“Even that would still cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars. Do you have that kind of money?” He Li gave him a suspicious look. Working at the Tax Bureau for over ten years had helped her understand how every industry worked; the jewelry industry was one of the most competitive ones, where the standards were hard to meet and required a relatively larger investment.
“Money is no longer an issue. I have enough to support and run the store. What I do need though, is the related licenses. Mom, I need your help…”
He Li interrupted immediately. “Son, where did you get the money from? Even a small jewelry store in a remote area would cost you something like $70k, and in the city center it is at least hundreds of thousands of dollars! Tell me the truth. Where did you get the money from?”
“Part of it is mine, and I borrowed some. Ma, please stop asking.” Chen Jin started to get a little annoyed by all the questioning. His mom was always like that, asking countless questions trying to get to the bottom of it all.
“You must tell me first! How much of a loan did you get? From whom? Don’t even think about borrowing money from one of those shady underground banks. You’ll never be able to pay them back! If you did, pay them back right away, I’ll give you the money you need!” He Li asked a chain of questions in all seriousness. This was her son’s first start-up business. She had to look out for him.
“I told you, Mom. I borrowed it from a friend of mine. It was just $15, 20k. Ma, I want to be independent and stop relying on you and Dad. I’ll deal with it if anything goes wrong. Please take no part in any of this!” Chen Jin requested earnestly. Having a mother like her really gave him headaches sometimes.
“Fine…” Noticing how the conversation was going, He Li decided to stop asking. But still, she couldn’t help but add one more thing. “Son, if money ever becomes an issue, and it’s within $750k, tell me. I will give you the money.”
Chen Jin rolled his eyes. “Getting the lawful licenses in two days is the only thing I need your help with, Mom.”
“Sure, no problem. I will help you with that one.” It was easy for He Li; she’d just give her people a little heads-up and they’d do the rest. Besides, she also had some connections in the Industry and Commerce Administration Bureau; her son would no doubt get the licenses within half a day!
“Awesome! Thank you, Mom!” Chen Jin was very pleased. It wasn’t so bad to have a mom like her after all!
“Don’t be silly, son. Anything for you.” He Li smiled as she shook her head. Then, she turned around to look at her husband, Chen Gang, and said, “Old Chen, your son is really running his own business now. He’s starting a jewelry store.”
For some reason, however, Chen Gang didn’t seem to have paid any attention to what had just happened. Instead, he kept staring at the watch on his left wrist, looking rather dull and absent. He’d been like that for days. He didn’t hear a word of the conversation He Li and Chen Jin just had. He stared at his watch with his eyes fixed on the second hand; they could hear him speak in a barely audible voice from time to time: “No way…that’s impossible.”
“Hey, Old Chen! I’m talking to you!”
She elbowed him. His behavior obviously did not make her very happy.
“Oh, ohhhh.” That brought Chen Gang back his normal self. He adjusted the glasses on his nose and said in a sluggish way, “What are you guys talking about?”
He Li rolled her eyes at him and told him about their son’s jewelry store again.
“A jewelry store?” Chen Gang looked at his son doubtfully. “Wait, didn’t you say you wanted to build robots or something like artificial intelligence, that sort of thing? And now, a jewelry store?”
“Yeah, but I have to make some money first. Without money, how can I get into the high-tech industry?”
Chen Gang was startled. He nodded and agreed with his son. “Good point. Well done, son. Keep up the good work and make that money!” He thought Chen Jin’s plan was somewhat reliable, so he showed his support.
But then, he remembered something and asked his son. “Son, where did you say you got this watch from again?” He showed him the watch, looking all confused.
“Dad, didn’t I tell you already? It was a $12 watch from some street vendor.” Chen Jin rolled his eyes again. His dad had been asking him the same question over and over. He was done answering.
“But can you take me to the vendor?”
“Impossible. Street vendors move from one place to another. Where would you even begin to look in a huge city like Shanghai?” Chen Jin explained as he spread his hands.
“Alright…” Chen Gang shook his head in frustration. His eyes were on the knock-off watch again. His curiosity pushed him to make a secret decision. I guess I’ll have to do it on my own and solve this $12 mystery!