Firing the Cleaning Guy
A lot has happened here in the last two weeks. First of all, I asked our landlord to dismiss the cleaning guy. He had stolen at least 30 € from me little by little. That may not sound a lot, but is actually 20% of my monthly salary! The man was not stupid. He used to take only 500 Rs (10 €) at a time. In the beginning I thought I must have spent the money somewhere. Once I became suspicious, I created a trap. The morning he came I explicitly left 600 Rs in my wallet and left him alone in the room. When I came back a couple of minutes later there were only 100 Rs left. As there was only me, the girls and the cleaning guy in the apartment, it was obvious. Hence, I told the landlord that if the guy ever showed up again, I would personally throw him off the balcony. I later heard, that he was fired from every house in the whole street.
Shipping Christmas Presents
The second shock was how expensive it is to send a parcel to Europe. I actually paid 35 € for it. This is why I spent more than half of my monthly salary on Christmas presents this year. I just hope the parcel arrives in one piece and they do not take anything out when they open it. Yes, that is correctly. Every parcel sent out will be opened and checked for content. Therefore, one has to declare the entire content. The note is then attached somehow to the parcel. In this case there is no such thing as secrecy in India.
Being a Pop Star at an Indian Wedding
Apart from these rather annoying experiences, we also travelled around. I am getting used to being somewhere else every weekend. There are just so many interesting places in a weekend’s distance from Chandigarh. Two weeks ago, we were invited to an Indian wedding in Amritsar. The wedding was a huge event. Well huge for me. For India it was a smaller wedding. That really depends whether you call 300 guests a smaller wedding. At the wedding venue we, the only foreigners, were somehow the main attraction. Believe it or not, were on “Wedding TV” more often than the bridal couple. Several kids even wanted our autographs. It was weird. But somehow felt like being a pop star.
Amazing Indian Wedding
The wedding itself was an amazing experience. I am very grateful to have been invited. The celebration we were invited to, went on for many hours. I almost fell asleep when we finally reached the point of the actual wedding ceremony. That was around 4am in the morning. However, we were only invited to the main celebration. There have been several celebrations the days before already. It was a traditional Hindu wedding. As such it was pure vegetarian and non-alcoholic celebration. Initially, I could not believe that. However, trust me – the food was extremely delicious! I just could not stop eating.
The Golden Temple of Amritsar
Before the wedding we used the time to visit Amritsar. The city itself is not the prettiest, but there is one sight that attracts tourists from around the world. The Golden Temple of the Sikh. Sikhism is a religion of its own, which is particularly widespread in northern India. The temple is a huge and very clean complex with a pond in the middle. The Sikh take a bath in this pond. I was not sure about that, because after all I did not want to offend anyone. In the center of the pond is the Golden Temple. It is a breathtaking view! Especially in the dark, when the temple is illuminated. I have heard, it is possible to stay the night in the temple complex and even get some food. We have not tried that, because our hotel close to the wedding venue was booked.