20 SEC READING: The place we desire

A friend came to wait on our table – at a café in San Diego, California.

I had met Cláudia in Brazil four years previously, and tell my friends about her life in the USA: she only sleeps for three hours, since she works in this café till late, and is a babysitter throughout the day.

"I don’t know how she can stand it," one of them says.

"There’s a Buddhist story about a turtle," replies an Argentinian woman at our table.

"The turtle was crossing a swamp, covered in mud, when it passed a temple. There it saw the shell of another turtle – all adorned with gold and precious stones.

"I don’t envy you, ancient friend," thought the turtle. "You’re covered in jewels, but I’m doing what I want."