Chapter 7 – Foreign currency exchange
Feng Yu didn’t have the chance to clarify further as lunch is served. Feng Xingtai drank only a bottle of beer as he still has to drive. The drive back home will take about 3 to 4 hours.
Both families got along very well. If not for Feng Yu reminding his father, Feng Xingtai would have already discussed the details of the marriage with the in-laws.
Come on, Sister is only 19 years old and is still in school. Even if they were to get married, it should be after sister’s graduation from the nursing school.
Feng Yu continue to pester Li Shiqiang during lunch. However, it is not about Treasury bonds. Feng Yu must first let Li Shiqiang believe that he has the ability to make money.
“What did you say? Uncle Feng got 20,000 rubles in his bag? Are you kidding me?”
Li Shiqiang jumped when he heard Feng Xingtai have 20,000 rubles in his bag. 20,000 rubles is a lot of money. It is enough to buy a few apartment like his house in Bing city.
Didn’t Danying say that her family is just a “ten thousand dollars” household? How come they bring so much money aloong to Bing city?
“This is not a joke. Brother Li, you are working at the Post office. There must be a lot of people wanting to change RMB for rubles. But changing foreign currencies at the bank needs application. Not only it is troublesome, there is also a limit to how much currency they are able to exchange.
I heard that doing currency exchange privately can get a better rate compared to the bank.”
Li Shiqiang looked at Feng Yu: “You want me to look for people who are willing to offer higher rates for foreign currencies?”
“Of course. You mean you can’t do that? This is my father’s idea but he felt embarrass to ask you.” Feng Xingtai still did not know that he had been sold by his son.
Since it is Danying’s father’s idea, then Li Shiqiang must do. Anyway, he works in the Post office and there are many people approaching him to find out if he is able to get foreign currency. Although 20,000 rubles is a large sum of money, he is confident that he is able to change it to RMB at a higher rate within 3 to 5 days.
“Well, leave it to me. I guarantee I can help you change your 20,000 rubles to RMB at a higher rate.”
“Ok. My father will pass you the money later. Also, this is a test for you,” Feng Yu said.”
With so much trust in him, how can he disappoint his future father-in-law. He immediately promise Feng Yu that he will finsih the job in three days!
Half an hour later, Feng Xingtai went out to warm up the tractor. In this era, there is no antifreeze. If the car is not warm up, it cannot start.
Li Shiqiang offered to help. Feng Yu also followed downstairs.
“Dad, I need to discuss something with you. Can I use the money first?” Feng Yu asked cautiously.
Feng Xingtai grabbed his bag with both hands and look at Feng Yu vigilantly: “What are you saying? You are still a little brat. You know how to use such a big sum of money? Besides, what do you need this money for?”
“Dad, my teacher told me that when people in the city wants to travel, they need foreign currency. However, they are not able to exchange for a bigger amount. Do they will find people to exchange the currencies privately at higher rates.” Brother Li works in the Post office and have his ways. If we let him exchange these 20,000 rubles, the rate will definitely be better than the bank.” Feng Yu said. He is using his “making more money” technique again.
The negotiations that took place in the morning had shocked Feng Xingtai. He discovered that his son had become more capable after attending school. If it is possible to earn more money, he certainly wants to earn more.
“Post office also do foreign exchange? How much more would that be?”
“At least a few thousand. It is a few thousand RMB!” Feng Yu felt that his current tone, look is just like the way he persuades customers to invest when he started working as an investment broker in his previous life.
“A few thousand? Really so much? This ruble is good, so much more valuable than the RMB. Can Xiao Li change it for us? If his family knows about this, will they think that we are greedy and have a bad impression of your sister?” Feng Xingtai hesitates. Even though, money is important, his daughter’s happiness is much more important.
“Dad, it was Brother Li’s initiative. I mentioned that we will be going to the bank to exchange the rubles and he offered to exchange for us. He also say that the bank exchanges rates are not good. Besides, Brother Li and Sister are together now. Uncle Li is even coming over to our house for a visit in a few days’ time. Brother Li can bring the money with him when he visits.”
Feng Xingtai hesitated for a long time, took out two thick, paper wrapped, stacks of rubles and ask Feng Yu to pass to Li Shiqiang.
Feng Yu took the rubles to Li Shiqiang: “Brother Li, if you are able to finish this task, your relationship with my Sister will be approved.”
Li Shiqiang face turned red due to excitement. He kept the rubles and nodded. He is afraid that Feng Xingtai would change his mind.
The tractor is almost warmed up. Once again, Feng Xingtai took out the rope and started the engine. Li Shiqiang went upstairs to call Danying.
The Li family went downstairs to see them off. They even gave Feng Xingtai a lamb’s leg and 10 RMB to Feng Yu.
Li Fucai noticed the two paper wrapped blocks in his son’s hands after the Feng family left.
“What are you holding?” Li Fucai asked.
“This is the money Uncle Feng got from selling the bear. It is all in foreign currency, rubles. He is asking me to help him exchange privately to RMB. This way, it is better thn exchanging at the bank.”
“Your uncle Feng really trusted you. Try to change it within these few days. We will bring it along when we go visit them. Also, how much rubles are there?” Father Li is very happy to learnt that his future in-laws have so much trust in his son. This is a good thing.”
How much?” Father Li asked again.
“20,000 rubles? How big is that bear? 20,000 rubles is more than enough to buy our house. Being a farmer is more profitable than working in the city.” Father Li exclaimed.
“So what, our son is Bing city resident and he still works at the Post office.” Although Li’s mother does not despise the Feng family, she still feel superior as they are living in the city.
“It’s 20,000 rubles. According to the current exchange rate, it is about 80,000 RMB.” Li Shiqiang added.
This time, Li’s mother is unable to keep her cool and asked: “About 80,000 RMB? How many bears did they hunt? ”
“Mom and Dad, take these money home first. I will go out for a while. There are a few people asking around for private currency exchange before the new year. I will go and ask them how much they want to exchange.” Li Shiqiang said while handing over the paper warped, stacks of rubles to his mother.
Mother Li held on to the rubles tightly and pulled her husband along upstairs. She is very nervous as she had not seen such a big sum of money in her life before!
Li Shiqiang’s job at the Post office gave him great convenience. In this era, Post office takes on many roles. As such, it gave people the impression that Li Shiqiang is very capable and is able to do tasks which others are not able to do.
For instance, there is a company’s vice-president who is travelling to the Soviet Union for a business trip. He wanted to buy some souvenirs for his wife and children but the foreign currency assigned to him is too little. His wife’s nephew, who is Li Shiqiang classmate, came to look for Li Shiqiang asking for help to exchange some foreign currency.
After an afternoon of negotiating, Li Shiqiang manage to exchange 8,000 rubles at 1 rubles to 4.5 yuan RMB. He even deliver the rubles personally to the company’s vice-president house.
Three days later, Li Shiqiang finished exchanging all 20,000 rubles. A total of RMB 91,200. There are two times where the rubles are exchanged much higher than normal exchange rates.
Li Shiqiang is very excited. He had completed the task given to him, helped his girlfriend’s family earn some money and let many people thinks that he is very capable. But the one thing that bothers him. Many people starts to look for him to exchange RMB for Rubles but he does not have any more rubles.