Brazil here we come!

June 24, 2012

Brazil is opening up. They are finally opening up the world’s green lung giving free land away. All you need to do is submit a working paper to the Brazilian Palm Oil Federal Government.

Darkness 2012


“I think it’s naive to believe people will just give you something for nothing – that for your information has never ever happened once in 5,000 years of human history. The facts of life are plain and simple – people really need to feel comfortable with you first. As the host, your role is to create a delightful surreal paradise where these people can let their hair down and step right out of their skin and relax. To accomplish this feat, I think at some point in the life cycle of every businessmen. He needs to set aside some time to study and research the finer things in life. There is nothing elitist about this, these are simply the tools of the trade. Just as a Mossad agent knows every aspect of  a .22 – its strengths and limits along with its nuances. A businessman should learn to play the role of the host with panache, verve and a certain savoir faire – as let us face it, there will always be limits to trying to accomplish great things if all you do is take them to Safra for a round of golf and put them up in Furama Hotel. That is simply no bloody good at that level. Wonder no more why the Brazilians told the guilds, “we will call you please don’t call us.” Now that is just code for: you have no fucking style lah – sometimes when one has to influence those who are guarded and skeptical, it pays dividends to be able to set the ambience like a good stage manager, so that one can create the right mood for opportunities and possibilities. Here the little things in life count and they speak the length of a sentence about the man – his education, experience, worldview along with the values he holds dear to his heart – at this level everyone is really eyeballing you for clues as to who this man really is? Can we work with him? Is he a psychopath? And this they will do by observing the way you speak and carry yourself – in this sense business entertainment is nothing short of war. So I am really not so different from that character in fantasy island, you know the guy who is always with that midget that keeps crying out, “the plane, the plane.” If the person I am entertaining likes to hunt, I will get Orpuk to chase in some hogs into my plantation and arrange for the finest handmade shotguns to be laid out during breakfast. If he likes the open seas, then, the theme will be nautical – but I think at some point – you really need to learn those thousand and one useless things that only the well heeled know and claimed or pretend to appreciate. Even if you happen to be a peasant as in my case. I think it pays to cultivate a certain je ne ces quo in the way you deal with your guest – the ability to hold a witty, yet intellectually stimulating conversation, where when you break away, the other side wants nothing but to continue the conversation – the knowledge that you are the world and the world is of you – how to splice a Monte Cristo cigar without spoiling the draw; knowing whether Altamura should come before or after a Chardonnay and where a stiff Reisling should give way to a mellow Cognac – standing up when a lady walks into a room, being the last to take your seat, as only the man of the world knows, women notice such things. Knowing the difference between a Mercedez Benz and a Jaguar and which is best suited for sending a woman’s heart fluttering like a butterfly when its driven hard like a bank robber on the run on twisty Brazillian roads – the subtle difference between Oysters flown in from Maime and St Tropez along with why tuna from Zamboanga should never be spoilt with lashings of Wasabi to perhaps cultivating an expression of sympatico when this man steps on board a private yacth full of gorgeous ladies and he smiles as if to express, “the evening is young.”

You see to you and me this may all seem over the top – but this is how it is at that level of the business world. It’s like one of those boutique hotels in Monte Carlo where they lay out bread sized linen on a silver tray to wipe your ass. So please don’t confuse yourself this is the sandpaper toilet rolls of the YMCA league. This is a different league – so these people are really like top drawer folks. And if the goal is to get through the door and stay in the room – then I think you have to play the game by their rules.

I think If a man does not study these aspects of the finer things in life. Or worst still he allows his ego to win the day by coming up with something stupid like, either they take as I am or they don’t take me at all. Then you may just have to get used to the standard reply, let us call you, please don’t call us. Then I think, it will be very difficult for this man to wing it successfully in the International world of business.

You see the Brazillians aren’t country bumpkins. They are very classy people. There are not just going to give land to a two bit farmer who doesn’t even know the difference between Sentosa cove from the Four seasons or even his soup spoon from his dessert spoon – that’s just impossible. It’s never going to happen I am afraid. Many people call me an opportunist, when I tell them that I even keep a special black book where I jot in all kinds of stuff about how to behave like a gentlemen – they think it’s all trivial pursuits like a vain man collecting cuff links. But isn’t, like I said, business is war with me. So I take these things seriously. That’s why instead of being called an opportunist. I much prefer to call myself a realist. Remember my friend when you go over there and turn the wheel of life is, the key word is sympatico.”

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