I went to Intercourse this weekend. It’s somewhere that I’ve always wanted to go. I mean, how could you not want to go there? Are you snickering yet?
On Saturday morning I flew to Philadelphia to meet up with my friend Veronica. You might remember Veronica from a previous blog, where we met up in NYC, and I took her Pinkberry virginity. Ha. Pun intented! Anyways, Veronica is a special friend to me. Not only is she Australian, and we have a crazy lot in common, but in a way I was the reason that she became an au pair. I mean, I don’t want to sound big-headed or anything here. I wasn’t the sole reason she became an au pair, but around the same time I arrived in the USA and started blogging about my au pair experience, she came across my blog on the Cultural Care Australian Facebook page, and it gave her that last push that she needed to commit to the program, and ultimately be matched with a great family just outside of Philly. Which is where I went to visit her this weekend just gone.
What I wanted to do in Philly was simple, and not actually in Philly. I wanted to go to Intercourse. Actually, I wanted to go and ‘visit’ the Amish people. I don’t know where my interest with the Amish originated, but I’ve always been interested in their way of life, and to visit Pennsylvania Dutch Country was something I wanted to do during my year in the US. With only 2 days being spent in PA, it meant that I didn’t get to see downtown Philly, but I mean, a city’s a city’s a city, and so I was happy to sacrifice that.
I flew into Philly just before 10am on Saturday (after my flight was a little delayed getting out of Boston) and picked up a rental car. I got super lucky and managed to get a car for 2 days for $42 total. Pretty good. I drove out to Veronica’s house (where she hugged the heck out of me when I arrived) and shortly after we got on the road to Dutch Country.
If you don’t know much about the Amish, you can read about them here. They’re a religious group that believe in living plainly. They don’t have electricity, don’t have public insurance or social security. They hold church in their house, and have their own schools.
We headed out to Lancaster County. We finally got into “Amish country” and it’s really pretty. There are lots of fields, farms, barns and silos. We saw our first buggy, and I actually squealed in excitement. Ronnie laughed at me.
We went to Plain and Fancy farm, where they have Aaron & Jessica’s Buggy Rides. What an experience. We waited in a little area near the horses for our turn to ride a buggy. We took the hour-long ride, and rode with a couple from Maryland. The girl was the biggest “city girl” I ever met, and was already gagging as we pulled out of the parking lot as the horsetook a big dump, haha!
We rode through the countryside, visited a farm, where we got to visit with a pony and the cows. Funny story in the cow shed – we were walking through the shed, and all of a sudden this cow starts pooing. And I’m talking big liquid cow poo. And because of gagging lady being in front of me, I squeal, turn, and run in the other direction – not away from the cow, but away from the woman that I guess may be throwing her guts up in the new few seconds. Luckily, that didn’t happen!
Amish aren’t allowed to ride bikes, because they can take them too far from home. Instead they ride scooters, which Ronnie and I had a ball riding. I think that the little Amish boy was afraid that Ronnie was going to steal it, haha!
On the second part of our ride, we had to cross a highway. All well and good, you think, until you realise that the driver of our buggy is nearly 70 years old, and doesn’t have the best hearing in the world. We’re at an intersection, and the horse goes and nearly gets hit by a car. So then Ben, the driver, starts to back up. Yes, I learnt that you can back up a horse and buggy. Except that there was car behind us. That started beeping. And so I’m screaming at this little old Amish man to stop backing up, and he can’t hear me, and the silly women who got too close to the Amish buggy in their car are freaking out… hahaha. In the end it was all fine. We got through the intersection. Alive.
Ben, the Amish driver, had told us that our blood pressure would be down at the end of the ride. He lied. We could not have been more happy to put our feet on solid ground! But it was a lot of fun!
Now Ben, our driver, was a nice man. I will give him that. He told us that his favourite part about his job was getting to meet people from all over the world. He also told us that his favorite thing about his wife was that after 47 years of marriage she still weighs the same as the day he married her, after 6 children. LoL. He also had no bottom teeth, and when he spoke he frothed at the corner of his mouth. Gross.
Afterwards, we went and saw a little interactive movie/documentary about Amish life, and looked through a model Amish house. Surprisingly the house wasn’t too different from a regular house, but the lack of technology was evident. The Amish still have ovens and refrigerators, they just run off a big gas tank intested of electricity.
We ate dinner in the Plain & Fancy restaurant (YUM YUM) and shared an amazing dessert, which we scoffed down so fast that we didn’t even get a picture of it.
We bought some funny souvenirs (“I ❤ Intercourse” magnets anyone?? Hehe) and lots and lots of postcards! And then, of course, we went and found the “Intercourse” signs. Yes, we are actually 14 year old boys.
If you’re able to get there, or are in the area, I definitely reccommend a visit. You’ll have a great time, a lot of laughs, and you might even learn something (like why Amish married men all have beards)…