Even a magistrate, who was very keen on telling us that he was an educated
man, asked us: "How many times do you shave your private parts".
Now I really do not know what the average is so if any of you can advise
me in this I will be very grateful.
Before you get the impression that Pakistan is full of idiots we met
some wonderful people in Lahore who became good friends. So again saying
goodbye and going to another country was very hard to do. You make friends
for life but will you ever see them again?
In India, Amritsar, Dafne was slapped two times on her bud by passing
men and other times realised that even teenage boys tried to touch her
on her bud or breasts by moving in close on purpose. One time we chased
a bud-slapper, that fled out of the rikshaw and ran into an alley, where
we got him, finding out that everybody in the street had joined us in
our pursuit. The boy begged for mercy, even was willing to pay. We left
the prosecution to the mob, feeling a bit sorry for the boy, but knowing
that he would think twice next time.
If you want to see a two way lane road with 7 cars riding next to each
other, India is one of the places for you (but Cairo-Egypt or Lima-Peru
top the list still).
Using your horn is a must, we are glad to have mounted a louder one
before we started this tour.
Although we learned to laugh when everybody starts hooting in front
of a red light it sometimes will drive you completely nuts.
We celebrated Diwali, the festival of lights, in Amritsar. Amritsar
is to the Sikhs what Mekka is to the Moslim people. We enjoyed the peacefull
setting at the Golden Temple so much that we stayed for three days in
Amritsar. Diwali is celebrated with fireworks and we also bought some
crackers and rockets to ad some noise to the atmosphere.
Still cannot rhyme the memory having seen on some news editions on tv
that there were machine guns mounted on the walls of this place of peace
back in 1984.
Check this out:
A sick Sikh had six Sikh brothers, six Sikh sisters and a healthy Sikh
The road from Amritsar to New Delhi is pretty good but we classified
it as flat dog road because of all the dead dogs we saw.
We stayed in New Delhi for some days and made a day trip to Agra to
see the Taj Mahal.
From Delhi we travelled up north into the cool air of the mountains
to a place called Mussoorie, where we visited a Tibetan refugee village
and stayed there fore some days. We were really getting involved with
these people and the 2000 children who stay and study there.
Since 1959 Tibet is occupied by the Chinese, who, with their communist
regime have no room for the Tibetan culture and religion (buddhist). Tibetan
schools were banned and thus Tibetan children are not educated in their
own language, alphabet, history, culture and religion and treated as dirt-class
peoples. (To imagine that the Russians would occupy the USA and make the
American children speak and write russian etc. is what it really is like).
Tibet is losing it's identity with the Tibetans being a minority in their
own country, was it not that the Dalai Lama fled to India and the Tibetans
that followed him set up a few Tibetan schools.
Tibetan parents save up money of the little they can earn (since they
lost all their businesses to the Chinese authorities as well), their biggest
dream being that their children can flee to India.
Some of these children (6 to 12 years of age) walked for 30 days through
deep snow over 10 high passes, constantly risking to be captured by Chinese
border patrols, their eyes blinded by the sun, hands and feet frozen of
cold, but their hearts warm and their minds set on one thing: to be free.
We discussed the possibility of setting up a children's circus (Circus
Tibet) and the idea was enthousiasticly welcomend by the secretary-general
of the Tibetan Foundation.
So after our trip (18-20 months from now) we will be likely to go back
to Mussoorie to set up the circus. We will come back on this issue in
about a year from now.
The twisty road from Mussoorie to Nepal is only 600 km in distance but
it took us 3 full days. The scenery is absolutely breathtaking but so
is the driving habit of India's truck drivers. We will probably spend
Christmas in Nepal but we are not sure.
Hope you all are in good health and we are looking foreward to see you
again, somewhere, someday.
Cheerio Ciao Ciao for now
Rob and Dafne de Jong
Ride-on World tour