On one of the days, the Dalai Lama announced that the crowd was free to leave, unless they wanted to come closer to the stage as he blessed some food in a tsog ceremony. Instead of traditional Tibetan bread, they used cases of snack foods from Costco, which were stacked on a table in front of the stage. They said it was a “concession to modern times.” My sister’s husband, who needed to know when his staff could go home, asked in all sincerity, “how long does it take to bless the Cheez-Its?”
The pile also included Oreos and peanut-butter crackers called Toastchee. My sister’s husband got some of the leftovers and gave me two packs. He gave the rest of the crackers to his kids’ swim team. They did especially well that day.