We are at the Golden Temple in Amritsar. It is phenominal and you should look on google images to see what it looks like. I’m sure we’ll write more about it, but here are some quick thoughts.
We’ve tried not to drink the water in India because it’s the easiest way to get sick. We’ve done a great job and purified our water when necessary. But tonight I got stuck at the holy water drinking spot at the Golden Temple and had a Sikh strongly encourage me to drink the water. The water is from a pool where everyone bathes and I’m 100% sure it’s not filtered. At the holiest room in the holiest place for Sikhs, I couldn’t turn him down. I’m confident I’ll be OK, because the Sikhs are so incredible I don’t think they’ll let me down now.
We are one of the few westerners here. We get stopped every 5 minutes by kids and old people wanting to get a picture with us or shake our hand or practice their english. Shawnee is particularly popular, and has hugged several very old women. For some reason, she communicates very well with these old women who don’t speak a lick of english, mainly through hugging, putting her hand on her heart, and telling them they have pretty clothes.
One guy told me that he comes to the temple just to talk to foreigners to practice his english because he’s going to Australia to study abroad.
All this hugging, photo-taking and having people call out “Hel-low” makes me feel like a politician working the rope line. We haven’t taken a position on the Freddie Mac/Fannie Mae bailout yet, despite numerous questions about it from the Amritsar press.