Yesterday we traveled from Delhi to Amristar… it was a wonderful day!
The trip was long, so we traveled by train (about a 6 1/2 hour ride). We thought it might have been a boring ride, but we were wrong. Right in front of us was a large group of girls that must have been on a “chick trip.” Moms, daughers, and friends (our guide said they needed to get away from their husbands for a weekend). It was so interesting for us watching the girls! They were very loud, playing music and games, laughing, and of course taking selfies. Although they spoke mostly Hindi, Kiran translated some of it for us. One of the moms apparently kept saying “At least these people are getting their money worth because we’re entertainment enough!” Such a cool people watching experience, and lesson learned:
We are not as different as we think.
The girls were acting just like a group of American girls on a girls’ weekend (comnplete with selfies).
Arriving in Amritsar, I instantly noticed a difference from Delhi. I mean, it’s a “small” town of only 2.5 million people (compared to the 11 million in Delhi!). Traffic is still as insane as ever, but I like the atmosphere here much better. I also noticed signficantly less poverty than in Delhi. We are only spending one more night in Amritsar, then we are on to Hyderabad in the morning.
Favorite part about Amritsar so far: We saw an elephant walking down the street!
Last night was an experience I will never forget. We went to the Pakistan/India border for a ceremony that is performed nightly. The ceremony is meant to be peaceful… military members from each side perform a flag ceremony and shake hands at the border (the only road crossing between the two countries). For show, however, it is turned into a kind of performance, each side trying to “show their might.” HUGE crowds of Indian and Pakistan people gather to watch and cheer for their side (I definitely got the feeling of being at some sports event). It was such an amazing cultural experience. My favorite part? Before the ceremony begins, the Indian women all come down into the street and dance to Bollywood music. Jori, Dr. Russell, and I went down and danced with the Indian women (or at least attempted to dance). I can officially say I have danced at the Pakistani border! Very cool.
Food for thought before I end:
When I sit and complain about the heat here and then look over to see a man dressed in long pants and sleeves pushing a huge cart of bricks or whatever up a hill, I realize I really don’t have ANY room to complain. I definitely didn’t realize how lucky I am until coming here.
Animals seen on the road so far: Elephants, camels, goats, cows, pigs, horses, dogs, cat………