Once in Amritsar, I felt like the universe was telling me it was time to leave India. Four punches to the face in less than 24 hours, not counting the miserable train ride…
The trains in India are insane. Imagine having a human head dip in and out of your view of the book you are reading 1 foot from your face! Another guy was reading over my shoulder. An elderly woman was at my feet sitting on the floor…for 5 hours! Only in India!!!
Here are the 4 events that almost cut short the rest of my India excursion:
- I had a lapse and left my wallet in my cargo pants pocket after paying for a rickshaw ride, easy prey for pick-pocketers. Sure enough, someone stole my wallet before I realized how idiotic it was to have it in my pocket (CA Driver’s License, Bank Card, Credit Card, and 4,500 rupees GONE!). Almost fittingly, I was at a memorial site where hundreds of Indians were peacefully protesting and some white jackass General from British Army decided to open fire and kill hundreds of innocent people (Jallianwala Bagh April 13, 1919).
- On my way to Amritsar’s Golden Temple the next morning (6am), some random stray street dog bit me in the ass!
- Later that night, while watching the bizarre, comical but pointless “Border Closing” between Pakistan and India, my camera went south on me again.
- My iPod froze (I was later able to fix it).
The Golden Temple was spiritual amazing. Thousands of Indians from all over were
there via pilgrimage. I spent a few hours there mainly respectfully observing others practice their faith at this sacred site.
Pilgrims bathe and perform ablution in the sacred waters of the tank which is known for its healing properties. Visitors gather inside the gurdwara to worship, listen to hymns, and hear the holy scripture of the Guru Granth Sahib read.
I also made my way to the border closing ceremony (held every night near Wagah, India) between Pakistan and India. Thousands of patriotic people attend this bizarre event. The marching of the soldiers resembled a Monty Python spoof on Nazi soldiers.
Personally, I could not figure out why so many people attend this event that culminates with the border gate closing. I guess with a 1.3 billion population, a few thousand people every night is not a significant crowd. I was elated that they set up a private section for foreigners, otherwise it would have been complete chaos!
Amritsar is a must stop in India but I was happy to jump ship and find my way to the mountains as quick as possible. Yes, I was on the ropes, but not ready to give up. Here are a few snaps from Amritsar, India: