Before leaving Amritsar we made our way to the wagah border closing ceremony between Pakistan and India which has been happening since 1959. We caught a bus to the border and walked through an enormous crowd of Indians who were proudly representing their country. It was interesting to see how proud and patriotic Indians are. There were several checkpoints on the way to the seated area where the ceremony takes place. Each check point was cleared by a group of armed soldiers on horse back looking very stern and intimidating. Perhaps it was the ak47s or the perfect moustaches.
Standing in the hot sun really takes it out of you so it is important to keep hydrated. I must have hydrated a little too well because I was really busting to use the toilet. Guess what... No toilets. I watched men run across the road to relieve themselves and decided this was my only option. Now, I don't make a habit of writing about taking a whiz but this particular time was different because I was shocked to realize I was urinating on a crop of marijuana plants on the Pakistan/India border!
We were seated after some more security checkpoints. The ceremony takes place every evening before sunset at the Wagah border, which as part of the Grand Trunk Road was the only road link between these two countries before the opening of the Aman Setu in Kashmir in 1999. The ceremony starts with a blustering parade by the soldiers from both the sides, and ends up in the perfectly coordinated lowering of the two nations' flags. We all felt that the beginning of the ceremony was fresh and excitement but after the 10th angry Indian handshake it was a tad samey.
Rushing back to Amritsar we hopped on the train to Delhi. The food and chai were excellent and watching the sights out the window on our way was a treat that I hope I don't get used to. I noticed tom turning green and shivering next to me. Looks like he will be the first one to fall victim to the infamous Delhi belly. Here's hoping I don't get a podium finish.