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Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Nov 26, shanghao rated it really liked it Recommends it for: Travel and trade enthusiasts. Shelves: technique , non-fiction , fun , business. Part travel log, part old-school economic practice, this light book made me feel as if I was with the author on a reality TV programme involving an Amazing Race style adventure mixed with Dragon's Den and The Apprentice tasks. I liked it that some of the locations he picked were locales that I'd probably not visit or otherwise wouldn't know a thing of, and he included the trading bit without dumping too much technicalities or the more mundane red tape stuff.
True, by the end of it, as a reader I Part travel log, part old-school economic practice, this light book made me feel as if I was with the author on a reality TV programme involving an Amazing Race style adventure mixed with Dragon's Den and The Apprentice tasks.
True, by the end of it, as a reader I can't say that I'm able to embark on a trading adventure, but I did get a glimpse of how trading works, even at a superficial level, and he made it seem fun. Mr Woodman and Mr Sayeed. Photos included in the book such as this one made the read even more enjoyable. His exploits in trading coffee in particular reminded me of my own recent experience buying the indigenous produce of villagers in a remote area of Flores.
I'd bought coffee beans directly from village farmers as souvenirs and because they tasted great and now that I think of it, those beans aren't as cheap as I thought they were and in fact even at the first trading point I was already on the short end of the bargain although in this case I was happy to oblige since the experience in that village was amazing.
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One thing's for sure, I'll always think of the insane profits coffee retailers are making and will think twice when I'm ordering a cup at Starbucks. More importantly, the flashes of candour and humour thrown in helped to make the adventure capitalist a relatable and maybe even likable personality despite the fact that he's more mercenary than your friendly drinking or in my case, gourmet buddy.
In fact, I liked the fact that he's upfront about his profit-seeking goals and in some of his journey logs his decisions did reveal that he's not all that unfeeling nor invulnerable to mistakes and 'trickay'. I suppose he'd be a great sport as a trade partner and travel companion. This travel diary of sorts are well-balanced in trials and rewards, and in the end you get a satisfying conclusion where he made his profit and everything's tied up nicely with a pretty ribbon.
Oh, and he's Irish too, so perhaps luck had something to do with it. Not to take credit away from his achievements, I just couldn't resist on that one. This is a perfect book to carry when one is travelling, one that introduces some culture into the countries featured, while also reaffirming some universal human nature that we know but often overlook. No mind-blowing discoveries or breathtaking literature and plot, just the simple pleasures offered when one immerses oneself in humanity, in nature, in adventure and in life.
Dec 30, Reid rated it it was amazing Shelves: the-street , business-philosophy. If only "Mad Dogs and Englishmen" go out in the noon-day sun, then what is one to make of Conor Woodman, an "economist, writer and television presenter" as Wikipedia would have it? Having no exposure to his career except this book, I must say that I was impressed by his initiative. He basically quit his depressing job and decided that he could double his money the old-fashioned way -- by trading face-to-face, the way merchants have done since before the Silk Road.
This leads him to try selling If only "Mad Dogs and Englishmen" go out in the noon-day sun, then what is one to make of Conor Woodman, an "economist, writer and television presenter" as Wikipedia would have it? This leads him to try selling all manner of commodities, from live horses and camels to teak furniture, tequila and coffee.
He describes a hilarious episode about the pitfalls of finding marzipan in one's coffee. He describes the situations where he got ripped off, situations where he plunged in without knowing anything about the market, and situations where he gains the upper hand -- all the while sharing valuable advice about such ephemeral subjects as "the importance of having a brand.