Continuing south, in search of warmth, I was planning on staying in Amaritsar for a few nights. Beside the temple is a facility that offers free accommodation, some meals and Internet. I am still a bit confused as to what the actual purpose of this place was, but it fits the backpacker budget! They also offer the same things to Indian tourists, but we are kept separate. Again, I don’t understand all the details.
Once arriving, realizing it’s still cold here, and being asked to be in about 15 photos, I decided to get a night bus to Delhi. One full day was going to be more than enough hectic energy for me. I can officially say I would not enjoy fame. I should see if I can find myself on Instagram using #goldentemple or #whitegirl! I tackled the Golden Temple and Wagu Boarder closing ceremony. Which form what I understand is all I needed to see there.
I ended up splitting a Tuk Tuk out to the Wagu Boading closing ceremony with 3 families and had the best time with them. Fact: Tuk Tuks can hold 5 adults and 3 toddlers – when in India! Every single night, when the boarder closes from India to Pakistan, there is a celebration filled with dancing, music and the lowering of the Indian flag. Intense! I could see Pakistan! The energy and excitement was above and beyond this day though as it was Republic Day (a national holiday for India). It was so filled with people, I could hardly see the ceremony, but the energy and people watching alone was very enjoyable.
After visiting a few temples with the family as well, they asked if I would join them for dinner. The temple we visited last serves a free meal to anyone during lunch and dinner. In Canada we would compare the serving style and meal to a soup kitchen I’m sure, but here it was beautiful. Everyone and anyone could come in and be served delicious curries, rice and chapati. Sitting on the floor, served out of a large pale, it felt so welcoming and unique. I couldn’t bring myself to take pictures in case anyone took it as rude. After all, I felt uncomfortable all afternoon walking the streets knowing people were taking my photo.
Trying to teach English, and learn Hindi, it’s amazing how much you can understand by simply watching people talk. I know maybe two or three words in Hindi now, and only one of them could speak English, and yet we spent hours together. It was very refreshing to visit with the ‘local tourists’, knowing they weren’t trying to sell me something. I am not sure who had more fun and took more photos, them or me. A priceless day I will never forget!