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I’m up to date, your up to date, Amritsar: The Golden Temple

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I just took those photos like an hour ago. Now they are on my site and you are looking at them. Isn’t that incredible. Not a month later, not a week later, an hour. Now how is that possible? I am on someones wireless connection. How crazy is that. I have wireless internet in my room. This has to rank up there in the top ten great things that have happened to me in India. Well, it’s not bad for you too as you are getting up to the minute info.

Not only is the above a good thing, but wait there’s more. Now, between Delhi and Armitsar it’s a good 450-500 kilometers, so I ended up taking a break in a little transport hub called Ambala. After leaving the state of Delhi, I entered Haryana. Not too much to say as I was homping ass trying to make up the three hours I spent getting lost in Delhi (no signs). Now, once I crossed over into the state of Punjab, an amazing site mesmerized. No it wasn’t the Taj III (Taj II is located in Atlantic city and is a casino.) It was the Golden Arches. McDonald’s for those not in the cool set. Driving along the NH-1, someone brilliant built McDonalds every fifty kilometers or so. Holy fast food, I was a happy I got me a Mc Fishwich Meal and it was oh so good. Usually I cowboy up and just drive through stopping only for water or a soda. Not this time, it was Mickey D’s for me. Man, I got to write a letter to somebody, brilliant.

On arrival in Armitsar, I can give the city high marks. Sikh’s, the religious group have so far been the most congenial, welcoming group that I have met so far in India. Now, I personally don’t know much about the religion except for a few details, but what I have seen, they are about the only ones doing it right. I do have to give props to the guy who saved me when I pulled over into a dug out area and ended up falling to the left side of my bike while the bike was falling to the right. We ended up in this perfect position where I couldn’t touch the ground with my right leg to pull myself up, and because all my weight was already to the left, I couldn’t gain enough leverage to lift the bike back to center. I was stuck. The only thing I could do was shut the motor off while I figured out how I could get free and now drop the thing. All of a sudden, the bike lifted and I turned around and there was some guy who had run over and helped me out. Big thank you.

Other good things: People give honest hello’s. Not so much of a “hey I’m going to go say hi to that freak looking foreigner”, but an honest to goodness hello, kind of like when you visit small town USA. I was buying some mangoes (two a day) and this guy who had just bought his waited and watched to make sure I didn’t get over charged. He just did it out of goodness. The temple is Sikhisms holiest shrine, but they invite all religions to come and pray or just visit. It is not guarded by Ghat Nazis (ie. soup Nazi on Seinfeld), where guys are on a power trip. You do have to follow basic guidelines like wearing a head covering (free use ones available), shoes are left at an attendants area where you are given a token (free), and you must wash your feet in the walk through troughs placed at the enterance. Beyond that you are free to walk and mingle as much as you want. Now, talk about a great religion, but at the main temples, they also provide free food and housing to pilgrims and visitors. Even backpackers are welcome to stay there if there is room all for donations only. As you walk around the square marble walkway surrounding the tank, there are water stations at each corner where they serve you a bowl of cool, clean water. At the one end is a food station where you can get a bowl of dahl and chapatis, and when you actually visit the temple you get a little spoonful of sweets to which I am not sure if you are supposed to offer to the gods or give away, (I ate mine.) It is a straight up totally relaxing place to just chill out and do what ever you need to do. I met quite a few people that just gave a smile, said hello, or just wanted to shake hands. It felt really good to spend a few hours there. Tomorrow I will probably do a morning run and then possibly a sunset to see how it looks throughout the day. The only other thing of importance is that there is this pretty cool showdown between the Pakistan and Indian military at the border crossing 30kms out of town. I will probably do that the day after. Other than that, I have a nice clean room at the Tourist hotel, free internet, good food, nice people, beautiful places to visit, and overall a very refreshing place to hang for a few days.



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One response to “I’m up to date, your up to date, Amritsar: The Golden Temple”

  1. Acidspike says:

    The Paki – Indy show at the border is a sight. Those guys really hate each other and do all they can to show the other side up. Love the site and your travels. Keep the adventure alive.

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