Bea goes to India 2006

A place to house periodic comments from Bea while she backpacks her way through India and Nepal.

Monday, February 27, 2006

the golden temple

last night Dave and I got back from the mini-adventure within our adventure... we took a series of trains from here to Amritsar to see the Golden Temple, the holiest site for the Sikh faith... it was 48 hours on trains [4 in total, from 11 - 13 hours each] two layovers in Delhi [one 8 hrs long in the day, the second 4 hours in the early morning] and 10 hours in Amritsar...

the other team members had a day of work, a hike and bbq, and a day of relaxation -- they thought we were a bit extreme to spend so much time traveling for so little time at a site... especially since neither of us are Sikh...

but I would do it again.

life is stunningly short and a chance like this might not come my way again.

the Golden temple has been around for a long time, it received it's guilding less than 100 years ago -- it now houses the latest incarnation of the guru for the Sikh religion [embodied in a book rather than a person]. the temple complex is freely entered, by guest and child and believer alike. we arrived [after breakfast and a bit of washing-up at a nice hotel] about 9 am -- the english tour was to be at 10:30 -- we decided to go in early and then go back through with explanation.... we looped the pond, went through the temple with the crowds, did a quick jaunt through the museum -- with a bit of gore like graphic paintings of war and photographs of martyred believers... when we went back to the information desk at 10:30, they said "no tour for 2", and walked us through a booklet about the complex...

we could have stayed in the area for free, been fed for free [I didn't know that I could keep it down, David is not fond of Indian food! so we passed on the experience], thoroughly enjoyed people-watching, were the recipient of "PLEASE let me take my picture with you" and some young people wanting to practice their English... and soon after 1pm we decided we had done everything we came for... so chose a restaurant to have our last "proper meal" before the return home.

I had a lasagne that was truly unique -- random mix of noodle styles, vegetables like the tiny corn you would expect in chinese food, mainly spiced with chili seasoning, and LOTS of white sauce on top [about 1/2 the vertical height of the casserole dish it was served in] -- it made me laugh.

then it was back on the train.


today we biked out and I worked on the kitchen again. Raj was teasing me that it's now become Bea's Kitchen -- they'll ask me permission before they use it! so many of us have worked on it, but I do have a special affinity for it being competed, and I really like Chetan, the worker who is assigned to the project -- he complimented me today on my concrete finishing technique -- I guess a lot of practice helps!!! [we were putting in the angle iron which will hold up the corregated tin roof -- drilled holes in the newly prepared walls and floor, filled with wood, then drove a screw through the angle iron into the wood... then plaster the gap between the angle iron and the wall with cement]

the person who came to the internet cafe with me is done, so I'll sign off for now...

here's to just a few more days of biking -- I'm starting to have the stamina for it, but my knees are whining -- we'll work this week and part of next, then it's off to the desert for camel treking.

physically I'm feeling better -- have completed an extended course of antibiotics, so think whatever bacterial goo I'd caught has left the organism -- still tentative with what I eat, but no longer feeling like someone kicked me in the gut and not tied to thinking about where the next restroom or bush might be needed -- so I'm taking this reality quite happily!!!

grins, b