Welcome to the USA. Today we arrive to savour a traditional home-style Amish feast, then settle in to the Marriott Lancaster at Penn Square.
A very early start to the day today commenced with the alarm sounding off at 5:15am. Firstly, we have to cross over the Ontario River and into the United States of America. What bedlam there was in the line to get into the restaurant for breakfast at 6:20am. It worked out that if we had arrived 10 minutes late we would have still found a table for 4 without having to be treated like cattle being marched to the local abbatoir.
There were 5 coaches already in the line at immigration when we arrived at 7:30am, so a long wait was put in place, some sleeping, others playing technology games, some writing blogs. I was a little offended to hear our driver and tour director inform the customs official that we had 29 Australians, 1 American and 1 Canadian on board – no mention of a New Zealander. (How dare they include New Zealander as an Australian because New Zealand is geographically ‘near’ to Australia, lol. I bet the Canadian Tour Director would protest if we included her as an American if down-under). 90 minutes later we were on our way on American soil heading towards Lancaster in Pennsylvania and the Amish territory.
These people, although religious, are grounded well in the manual ability to accomplish many of the trades and lifestyles associated with habits of 100 years ago. In some ways, the commune way of living is a worthwhile system for collective survival, but to make it mandatory that a specific religious flavour be the centre of that community prevents individual needs and philosophies to be developed. However, many western advanced processes are now being used within the Amish business and education systems, in order to survive the materialistic nature of man’s habitation and demands.
After checking into our hotel in Lancaster, we travelled out to the town called, wait for it, Intercourse. No Joke – they have all sorts of town names over here. It’s where Amish demonstration villages are located for tourists. The purpose for tonights visit is to experience an Amish meal done the way they do; full and hardy family style.
Tomorrow, we will visit the village again to here the story of why and what the Amish have to offer.