Amritsar – Culture Shock (Day 1-3)

We’re alive! Despite everyone worrying about us we have made it to Amritsar in one piece, even if the taxi driver was intent on committing suicide with us in the car…

We won’t bore you with all the details, but here are a few highlights;

Jade went native and urinated in what we later decided was a shower (hole in floor), even though there were completely normal toilets in every other cubical. (In her defence it was an easy mistake to make in Delhi Airport).

Curry served on the flight from London; Krispy Kreme and Subway served on domestic flight from Delhi to Amritsar.

We attempted bartering for a taxi, with somewhat mixed results. We managed to get 100 rupees off the price, but what we got for our money was a car with 1 wing mirror, an upside down steering wheel, and a driver that was clearly an adrenaline junkie. During the course of the journey we also learnt that the horn is a very sophisticated communication tool, to be used every other second without fail to get your point across.

Meeting Sanjay, our lovely hostel host, who immediately made us feel welcome and force fed us boiling hot Chai in tin mugs. Everyone in the hostel was very friendly and we sat around for hours chatting to people from across the globe (read ‘Australia’) before even considering settling in.

An evening visit to the Golden Temple. They serve 100,000 (free!!) meals a day and every one of them is delicious. As you walk up to dining hall you have a metal plate, bowl and spoon hastily passed to you along with the hundreds of other people flooding in to the hall. Everyone sits on the floor in rows and they come round with buckets of each food type which are rapidly dispensed to everyone.

Watching a Sikh holy ceremony, where every night they move their holy book in a golden palanquin from the Golden Temple, to its resting place a few hundred metres away. They do this as they believe it is in some ways living and as such requires rest. In the mornings (5am, we did not get up to see this) they do the whole thing in reverse.

We discovered that being white (and in Jade’s case the extra perk of being female and blonde) meant that everyone wanted to take pictures with us. On a separate occasion Jamie spent half an hour chatting to some Indian boys who were keen to practise their English, whilst Jade was sketching. It started with 5 boys and soon grew to 15, before we decided it might be time to move elsewhere.

A major highlight was a walking food tour of all the tasty treats Amritsar (the unofficial food capital of India, so we’re told) had to offer. Despite early fears of crippling dysentery we soon relaxed a bit and enjoyed a range of unpronounceable dishes; 18 in all, in 10 different restaurants – one of which had been serving food for 100 years!

Our first Tuk Tuk ride. By this point it was actually quite a calm affair, having learnt how to navigate the seemingly chaotic Indian streets. The way Sanjay put it is this, ‘everyone is trying to calculate where everyone else will be in 2 seconds, if you walk at a steady pace, no speeding up or stopping, you will be fine and no one will hit you’. Having mastered this we are now able to walk straight through busy roundabouts that have 40 other people using them at the same time on/in various motorcycles, Tuk Tuks, bikes and cars.

An introduction to Indian cooking. A nice lady that works at the hostel helped us to make what we think is called Butter Paneer (butter cheese). Whilst it does have a lot of cheese in it, the main ingredient was about 10 onions which had everyone crying and laughing in equal measure. Not only was it delicious but also a great end to our time in Amritsar.

 

We’re heading to Dharamshala (the home of the exiled Dali Lama) tomorrow with a father and son duo from Australia that we met here in Amritsar. It promises to be a bit of an adventure as we will be spending 8 hours on un-air-conditioned buses and starting at 6:00am. Night night!

 

Jade and Jamie x

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9 thoughts on “Amritsar – Culture Shock (Day 1-3)

    1. Well love it seam as if u r haveing a brill time so far and it looks amazing love just stay safe and 2 gether love mum and dad and thank you 4 our birthday cards they were lovely and yes cant wait 4 u 2 come home and have cuddles 4 a week with us be careful on your next trip

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  1. Hi love u look really well and can c u r haveing fun look like your hats hope u like where u r going next and thank u 4 our cards love cant wait till u come home and have a big cuďdle love dont 4 get stay 2 gether and stay safe love speak 2 u soon

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  2. I grinned the whole way through reading that – it felt like I was there with you! I was exhausted by the end!

    Sounds amazing – loving the matching head scarfs & the rest of your photos. Being Ginger would suit you both 😉.

    Weekly updates would be awesome – or I’ll have to pester you both via angry what’s app demands.

    Keep doing what you’re doing – loving & living!!

    Stay safe Shadey & Menzies!!xxx

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  3. Fantastic to be able to come on your trip with you both, via your blog. Look forward to updates as and when you can, so that we can all share your exciting journey. Stay safe, look after each other, and above all, have fun! Lots and lots of love. Mum and David. X

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  4. Yo yo circus gang, so pleased to see you are safe, well and clearly having a wonderful trip so far! Keep up the blogs, very entertaining. Hope the Australian family haven’t kidnapped you and made you their own… 😉 x

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  5. Really great to read your progress so far, and looking forward to following your amazing journey. Hopefully the culture shock is now, well, less shocking, and you are getting used to your new environment. It all looks very exciting, and I can’t wait for the next instalment. Take care of each other, keep safe and above all, enjoy every moment of your adventure! X

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