So What Do I Actually Do? (2 of 3)

By Paulo Coelho
For The Bali Times

Here goes the second part of a series of three, after many readers complained about the total absence of information about my life…

Tuesday: 1] Breakfast at 10 with coffee and milk, orange juice, bread with oil – always the same, even when I am in hotels, which is the biggest part of the year. Three Echinacea pills, a herb that is said to fortify the organism against the flu and has proved faithful to its reputation (even if there is no scientific basis for this).

2] Internet: read readers’ emails. Read work emails (my office filters the most relevant), read clippings, visit a site in Brazil and one in the United States for the news of the day. I see that it is all more or less the same business as always: permission (always given) to quote some extract of mine in books, invitations to conferences (always refused). Today I have an interview with a Finnish newspaper that is going to publish these columns. I spend an hour in front of the computer.

3] Walk non-stop for an hour – no matter where I am, I rarely miss doing this. Today I invite my assistant to join me; she has just come back from holidays in Brazil and is going to get married in October. We talk about the holidays.

4] Back to the computer. Update the blog, read an interview with the stupid actor David Thewlis, who says that his role in Veronika Decides to Die (which opens later this year) was “just another two weeks of work.” This irritates me. I read the rest of the interview and see that he complains about everything he has done in his life. My irritation goes away.

5] Archery. Bath. Computer again. I ask them to check again that there is no problem with Sunday’s flight to Brazil. In principle there is none.

6] I forgot to write down where I had dinner. I watch Welcome to Sarajevo. I read the Herald Tribune from front to back. I pick up My Year Inside Radical Islam, but don’t get beyond a few pages.

Wednesday: 1] The same as 1, 2 and 3 above, except that this time my walking companion is called Maarit, a reader whom I met in the social community Myspace. She is studying to be a nun. We talk a lot about the situation of the Catholic Church, and promise that we will keep in touch.

2] Mônica arrives. We talk from 3 in the afternoon until 2 o’clock the next morning, discussing the program for launching the new book, what I should say in Frankfurt and where her birthday party will be held (she will be 40 in November). I suggest that she throws the party in her house in Barcelona, but she says that they have put up some scaffolding, so the view of the city is spoiled. I answer that at night all city views are alike – a bunch of lights flashing on and off. Even so, she is not convinced. She says that I must hold more interviews. We spend all this time locked inside the apartment, since Mônica simply hates to walk. Chris prepared dinner and has been asleep for some time already.

3] At 2:15 in the morning I say that I am tired, I want to sleep, but she seems as lively as if she had just woken up. And she is the one who today went through the torture chambers they call “airports”!

4] I manage to convince her to go to bed at 2:30 in the morning. We still have a whole lot of pending business to see to. No Herald Tribune today, no My Year Inside Radical Islam either.

(Ends next week)

© Translated by James Mulholland

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Paulo Coelho

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