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January 3, 2017

Chapter 53 in the exclusive series for Dynamic Commodities- becoming a commodities trader

Japan Airlines has a direct flight from JFK Airport in New York to Tokyo. It was the longest flight I had ever been on and it seemed to last forever. Traveling with Sid put me in the first class cabin which was an experience. Sid only flew in first class. When I went to London by myself to cover for Mark Suter on my first trip I flew business class and thought that was awesome as I had always flown in the back of the bus. First class was amazing. I could not get over the food, wine and the airlines even gave out gifts to the passengers.

The trip to Europe was a whirlwind; the one to Asia was ridiculous. In two weeks we hit Tokyo and Osaka, Hong Kong, Beijing, Singapore, Seoul, Bangkok and Sid became as Asian as he could manage. The thing I appreciated the most was that he was so interested in seeing as many of the sights as we could. In Tokyo he got me up at 4 AM, after being out till after 2 AM, to visit the fish market. Sid loved his family, but he might have loved fish more. To this day he is a championship fisherman.

In China we saw the Great Wall, Tiananmen Square and the tomb of Mao. Each city had new sights and we squeezed them in between meetings. Sid had seventeen years on me but his energy level was amazing. He could eat and drink all night and do five meetings a lunch and a dinner during the day and be ready to party late into the evening. It was exhausting but I kept up with him at all times.

I grew closer to Sid and we had some special moments. On the flight from Tokyo to Beijing, old Air China flight hit some bad weather and the turbulence was frightening. Sid was sweating and I was scared shitless. The plane was bouncing up and down and all around and we were the only two in the first class cabin. When the plane hit an air pocket and dropped several thousand feet in a few seconds, we both looked at each other like we were going to die and huddled together. On a Lufthansa flight from Singapore to Tokyo on the way back home, the flight attendant served Sid some pate in the shape of a Jewish star. He flipped out at them and called the flight crew a bunch of anti-Semites and wrote letters to the airline for months after the trip.

Every night we would up at a nightclub or hostess type place in Asia with the local agent or office staff entertaining us. The booze flowed like water and the environment was surreal. Each country had its culture and I began to realize that it would not be long before I was making these types of jaunts on my own without Sid. I was being trained or groomed to be his private one-man marketing road show.

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Post Series: Origin Of A Commodities Trader

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