And now let’s pray for rain…

… although I’m working hard on not having to pray any more. Since I’m in China, centre of rainmaking excellence in the world, I’ve made some calls and I think I found an interesting contact, a Mr Why You Pay. You Pay knows a high ranking Army officer, a Colonel I think, in the Weather Modification Research Centre. (They actually have one.)

You Pay’s a funny man. He says, our ancestors used to pray to the spirits for rain, but China has a modern army now and the motto of every modern army is, why pray when cannon can do the job?

Sounds like my kind of army. So when can we start sourcing these rainmaking cannon? Ah, says You Pay, this is where you need lots of patience. Not easy because supplier needs to be contacted by army first. Need to find out if state secrets are involved. Next, need to obtain export licence. Also will cost a lot of money.

Ah I say, now you’re talking. So how much do I need to pay you to get all this done quickly? Oh no, says You Pay, I don’t want money. If you give me money and Beijing finds out, they put me to death for corruption. Bad deal. But I have another solution. I’ve set up a JV company in the British Virgin Islands together with my Colonel friend and we deal through JV company.

I say, so I need to pay a lot of money to your JV company instead of directly to you? What’s the difference?

But You Pay shakes his head and smiles. Ah no, you only need to pay the supplier for cannon but we don’t need money. We want something else.

Now you lost me, I say, getting an uneasy feeling. So what do you want from me instead?

He smiles again. Only one little thing he says. Exclusive licence for selling umbrellas on circuits.

Now here’s a man I can do business with.

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