Arrive at temple where Dalai Lama has been giving his lessons. Large Tibetan security guard with kindly face who is still no doubt more than capable of kicking my arse from here to next week stands up.
“Hello. The Dalai Lama is giving his last day of teachings today, yes?”
“Is he here at all tomorrow or the day after?”
“Yes, the day after tomorrow. Would you like to come in now?”
“Oh no, thank you. I’ll see if I can come back in the day after tomorrow.”. This is partly because security regulations stipulate that you aren’t allowed into the temple on teaching days if you have in your possession guns, phones, cameras or knives. I have all of the above in my day pack except a gun. “Do I need to register?”
“OK thanks, goodbye.”. Think to myself, what a nice man.
Go to the Dalai Lama’s security office to register my name. One man is typing a form in triplicate, very slowly. The room is full of Tibetans. Wait half an hour. The room starts to empty, with the single man pointing people towards the door. I sit down and wait. He says to me, “Can you go please”. I leave the room. He locks the door.
I ask him, “Is it possible to register to see the Dalai Lama the day after tomorrow?”
“No, teachings finished today.”
“A man at the temple told me he would be here the day after tomorrow.”
“No, we get no instructions about that.”
Stay tuned for the next installment in How Not to See the Dalai Lama. I bet Micheal Palin didn’t have to go through this.