Driving through rolling green corn fields, ahead we see a horse and cart. Then Richie squeals “We’re here! We’re here! We’re in Intercourse!”
We slow up and drive reeeeeally slowly past our first Amish horse and buggy to have a big gawk. What do we see? A teenager, complete with bum-fluff on his chin and straw hat listening to an iPod!
We both crack up and almost start crying. How funny it is that we hear how people live, we make assumptions and pass judgement if they don’t live up to those assumptions. Human nature, eh? Horses for courses!
A little further up the road we see a park filled with Amish people. So like typical tourists we stop to see what was going on. There were about 100-200 teenagers playing volleyball, sitting around chatting together. We park the car beside 10 or so empty horse and carts and when we get out of the car, a piercing siren starts blaring.
There are three locals (non-Amish) walking their dogs, and our conversation with them goes something like this:
Richie – “Excuse me, what’s that?”.
Them – “What’s what?”
Richie – “That noise!”
Them – “Oh, that’s the Fire Siren. Don’t you have those in Virginia?” We have Virginia number plates on our hire car)
Richie – “No we don’t. But we’re from Australia.”
Them – “Oh right! So how do you guys know when there’s a fire?”
Richie – “Um… there’s smoke?”
Again, everyone was in stiches…
With that, Richie then decides he is desperate to chat to some of the Amish teenagers, so he says goodbye to the other locals and walks down. I’m cringing and begging him to leave the nice people alone by saying, “Geez it feels like I’m travelling with my Dad! Can we please leave these guys alone?!?”. He smirks, “No! I want to go say g’day! Oh yeah, and I totally wish your Dad was here right now!”
Richie – “How ya going?” (Imagine his thick Queenslander accent)
Amish Girls – “Oh we’re going with him.” (They point to a man in a van)
Richie giggling – “No, how are you?”
Amish Girls embaressed – “Oh, good thank you.”
Richie – “Did you win your volleyball game?” and the conversation just went off the rails from there.
RANDOM! But funny…
Here’s what I like about Amish people and others who choose to live simply: Their faith encourages them to take everything out of their life which distracts them from God. Now you could argue that they go to the extreme and perhaps there is no balance with this. But, I think there is some merit in it. There is an absolute peacefulness and sense of serenity as you drive around their farms and homes. It is a complete opposite feeling to walking the streets of New York city, or even our lives at home in Sydney. So this makes me consider, what can I eliminate from my life which distracts me from God?
Here’s some other cool stuff I liked about Intercourse… We arrived at our hotel room and the Bible was open on the desk to Psalm 46 (not neatly and conveniently tucked away in the bedside drawer), there are billboards with Christian messages on them (again, totally ying & yang from NY!), waitresses openly to talk about their faith with you (wait till you see the disposable placemats!)
I have to say, if you haven’t been in Intercourse, I definitely think you should go visit.