Namaste, y’all. . .

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We skipped the flag lowering ceremony at the Wagha border — a much-hyped event in which Pakistani and Indian soldiers try to out-shout, out-march, and out-mustache each other to the crowds’ delight on both sides of the border. It was just too hot and, after what we’d just experienced in Lahore, seemed too staged.

So, after walking across the long tarmac of no-man’s land, paying out nearly 1,000 rupees (around $24) in baksheesh to a series of porters, customs guards, and anyone else who asked us for money, we arrived in India to a small crowd of money changers, taxi drivers, and beverage sellers tempting us with the first ice-cold beers we’d seen since Paris. But we stayed our course and made a line for Amritsar and the Golden Temple.

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