5 Dec 2018

Amritsar Diary, Day 3

Amritsar Day 3.
I woke up late, around 9:30, there was a queue for the shower, just hostel things, while I waited for my turn to shower, a couple of Australian guys were laughing in a corner on how they got scammed while buying a powerbank, one of them had a powerbank with it's cover on one side removed. The power bank har clay putty filled in, and a couple of small batteries in it to make a sale. The guy bought for 250 Rs for a claim of 32000 MaH. 250 Rs is too good a price for a story to tell.
After my shower and breakfast, I walked 3 kilometers to Maharaja Ranjit Singh's museum, which was supposed to be at his summer palace. The palace was under renovation, and I was told that the museum has been moved to panorama, I walked towards the direction I was told ( going with the advice of maps not being suitable for Amritsar) and I got lost in a park, I think I took a wrong turn somewhere, after asking a couple of cops and not getting a sufficient answer, I gave up and came back to Hall Road, where I had a Kulcha for lunch and booked a open roof bus to Wagah border.

Mile Marker for Lahore, Pakistan at Wagah Border. 

I was closest to an international border today, a few metres from a fence on whose otherside I could see farms, nothing different from farms on this side of the fence, the ceremony was a noisy affair with a lot of Bollywood music and an a excited BSF jawan taking the role of emcee, and directing the crowd shout at the top of the voice towards the otherside. A few people were invited to dance, and a few to run around a 20 metre stretch with the tricolor in their hand.
Fun fact, India erected a 360 Feet tall post to Hoist a giant Indian flag, in retaliation Pakistan hoisted a 400 feet tall post to hoist a Pakistani flag, two of the tallest flag posts now are only a few 100 metres from each other.
Using my zoom lens, I could see bits and pieces of what was going on the other side, the crowd shouting similar chants, people buying chips, and icecreams from vendors, and waving tiny plastic flags. The scenery was eerily similar to the Indian side.
At the end of the ceremony, I walked back to my bus, the open roof bus feels like a bad idea when coming back, with heavy traffic and cold winds, and dust from the under construction roads making things difficult.

As soon as the bus reached hall road, I had a hot cup of tea, and a couple or kulchas for dinner, and ran to the hostel to pick my backpack, I rushed to the vageuly described private bus stand, losing my way, and then giving up and taking an auto and reaching the bus stand right in the nick of time after multiple calls from the conductor.
As I end this, I am on my way to Delhi, via GT Road which extends till my house in Calcutta.


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