If you want to meet Bali’s Governor I Made Mangku Pastika, you’ll have to first convince I Putu Suardhika you’re worthy of his time. The 51-year-old governor’s spokesman shared his high-level day with Ashtra Effendy.

I wake up at 5.30am thinking what about what’s in the news today.  If the newspapers have arrived I will read them straight away. As the governor’s spokesman, I have to know what the news is all the time.

My wife, who I dated since high school, will bring me juice and sit with me while I’m reading the papers, turning to the political sections first to see if there’s anything about the governor and the government. I like to have tomato and papaya juice, and that will be my breakfast, as I don’t usually have anything else. 

At 6 I go to bathroom and get ready for work. My wife will have my uniform ready. It takes me 30 minutes to get ready. My house is close to the office. Before 7 I’m already there. I continue reading several newspapers and look for news that I need to pay attention to.

At 7.30 office hours begin. I open my journal and see what my tasks are for the day and what I haven’t finished from the day before. I write down my tasks for the next day. My job is to be next to the governor in big meetings or as his representative for meetings if he can’t be present. I also manage his schedule every day.

After writing down what I have to do for the day, I will call my staff to help me write press releases about the governor’s new regulations or programmes. I might sign some documents, such as permission to meet the governor. All communications from the governor’s office come only from my department.

If I have meetings they start at 9.30 but I don’t have them every day. Today there’s one with another department about the arrival of the vice president in Sanur.

I have lunch at Renon, close by the office. It’s usually seafood or traditional Balinese food. I love soup. Fish soup is what I like to have for lunch. For desert I have rujak cingur (fruit salad). At first I didn’t like rujak but now I have it every day.

I’m back at the office at 1pm. I’ll have a meeting at 2pm or accompany the governor for a meeting outside. As his spokesman, I go with him everywhere, and we have to have a good knowledge of the topic of the meetings and the people we meet. 

Office hours finish at 3.30pm. I won’t go home right away. From my two years’ experience with the governor, after office hours he will call me to discuss things. But on the off-chance that he doesn’t, I’ll stick around anyway, and read the newspapers and check my schedule for the next day. I’ll go home at 5pm.

When I get home I look for my children, my two daughters and son. The daughters are working and the son is at university. My wife also works at the governor’s office, in the finance department. My driver will collect her from the office after he drops me home. I’ll rest for a while and watch TV.

If the governor doesn’t have any evening invitations, such as for dinners or ceremonies, I stay at home with my wife, the children and the TV. I like to watch the news, and don’t really like Indonesian soap operas. My wife likes them, though, and sometimes we have an argument about what we want to watch on TV. But it’s good because I can also flirt with her then.

We have dinner at 8pm. I like seafood, and my wife’s cooking of it is my favourite. She’s a good cook and good at everything.

At 9pm I will watch a movie on TV. I also like to watch cartoons. Tom and Jerry is my favourite. The movie will be finished at 11.30 but I’ll wait till 12 before going to bed. My grandfather told me that if you want to be safe from someone you can’t see, or spirits, sleep after 12am. I believe it.

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