These girls were part of the entourage in the private room where I wasn't allowed. Curses.
The media scrum, or spot the Dalai Lama game.
Office workers overlooking the site get a free view.
Yes, he has got a big one.
What surprised me was how everyone thanked me whenever I stopped and took their picture. They saw a camera, they smiled. They were at a celebration of life and it showed in their demeanour. From old Gurkha soldiers to young women, they smiled and joked whenever I spoke with them. (Except perhaps for the line of women waiting impatiently for the toilets ...) Delightful people.
I thought I envied people who have faith and the comfort it gives to the unsolved mystery of life. Well, not Life so much as the curse of awareness to how finite life is. The buddhists have an answer to that, as they believe in re-incarnation, and there is some strange anecdotal 'evidence' towards this.
It's a comforting thought to think whoever 'you' are will be re-born, often into a form as a consequence to how you've lived the life you've just lived, until you eventually reach a state of nirvana. It's claimed that the Dalai Lama is an enlightened being who has postponed nirvana in order to serve humanity. Well, I don't know about that, but I have a lot of time for the Buddhist traditions and life philosophy, though I feel no calling. Deities, chanting and worship don't work for me, with too much suspicion of organised religion stemming from my awful Catholic upbringing. The Buddhist community here are building their first monastery in Aldershot, and I wish them well. There's no bloody point in life unless you decide that, in fact, there is.