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The Dalai Lama is one of the most revered figures on the planet — he's up there with the pope and Don Shula. You'd think most people wouldn't mind making a few alterations to their daily routine in order to accommodate his presence in their vicinity.
Then you don't know Miami Beach yuppies.
Last Monday, the Tibetan holy man was invited to a fundraiser in his honor at the posh Blue and Green Diamond condo towers in Miami Beach. The location of the reception, thrown by fellow exile Princess Thi-Nga of Vietnam, was kept secret from the media for security reasons. Only donors to Florida International University's religious studies were invited.
One Green Diamond tower resident was irked to no end. Why? Owing to security protocol, the twin condos' swimming pool was closed for seven hours. Third-floor residents were forced to use a first-floor valet. UPS deliveries were barred for a business day. And the clubhouse — you know, the place where you pad around barefooted while eating a grilled cheese after dipping in the pool — was closed for a hair-raising 30 hours. "We weren't told about these procedures until 72 hours before," intones the woman, who was cognizant enough to ask that her name not be used. "My concern is, if we make these accommodations for the Dalai Lama, who's next? It's a slippery slope."
What really pissed off the yuppie tipster, we began to suspect, was the princess didn't invite her. Of course, she'd never admit that. "If the Chinese government wants to kill him so badly," the woman posited, "is that really something we should burden the building with?"