I am really lucky! I went to Hamburg in July not to miss the chance to meet the Dalai Lama once in my lifetime and he is back already, right at my front door!

The setting of his lecture is rather unusual. The whole thing will take place in a open air museum of local history, kind of an amusement park between carousels and medieval cottages! About 20 miles from Frankfurt. Restrictions on photography seem not as strict as elsewhere, so I hope to entertain you with some really unusual pictures.

The Dalai Lama is immensely popular in Germany. According to a recent survey by the leading SPIEGEL news magazine he is regarded a "role model" by a whopping 44% of German people whereas "our" pope Benedict reaches only 42%. Buddhism is considered "the most peaceable religion" by 43%, christianity by 41%.

Chancellor Angela Merkel will meet his Holiness at her office on Saturday. Peking is so pissed off, they ordered the German ambassador. Surprise. No further details revealed.

I like what His Holiness told in Hamburg about his encounters with the American president: "I like George W. Bush. Really! Very simple man."

My own relationship to the Dalai Lama is hopelessly naive. I am helplessly in love with him, just as with almost any being that enjoys tinkering with mechanics, loves science and allows itself to be hot-tempered. He is already sort of my spiritual granddad and he brings candy on each visit.

So tomorrow I will just stand with the crowd, grinning and probably thinking something completely stupid like: "When I grow up, I want to be like him."


Nice weekend all,


Mensch