Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Madness of Mumbai (formerly Bombay)

First domestic flight in India.  Got the the airport in Udaipur to find out flight was delayed a couple of hours and it was really early in the morning and boy it was cold.  When the flight did finally get airborne I was sitting in front of a French dude who was using his throat to pull up some not so friendly stuff in there (sorry ladies) - all the way to Mumbai and to top it off he was kneeing me in the back with his giant legs at the same time.  Pretty near lost my temper.  Turns out his hotel room was right across the hall from mine in Juhu Beach Mumbai.  Thankfully the walls were thick ......but not that thick.  More on that later............................

Mumbai -  29,000 people per square kilometer.  That pretty much sums it up.  The beach - the Arabian Sea- rather dirty and stinky and because of that avoided walking on it and instead turned the overnight stay in Mumbai into a shopping extravaganza. Hired a driver to take us around.  We had one shop we wanted to see that sells nice cotton tunics for women and men and kids (some of my readers may own one when I arrive home lol).  While in the change room of said shop I befriended this lovely Indian woman (in her mid sixties would be my guess). She was doing some shopping and I politely offered her some unsolicited advice.  As she was paying she asked us if we would like other shops like this one and we said yes.  She said everyone has to do 4 nice things for others a day (great advice) and she would direct our driver to another shop.  So we hopped in our car - she in hers and off we followed til our driver lost hers in the 29,000 people per square km city ( hard not to get lost).  When all of a sudden we see her on the street sternly directing traffic in her beautiful green Saree - pointing her finger giving serious shit to a bus driver.  The out of no where she hops in the passenger side of our car and begins to order around our driver.  She took us to another awesome store (more gifts for the readers) and gave us her card inviting us for dinner next time we are in town.  That day she was buying her new outfit to celebrate her 44th wedding anniversary.  She was sparky and had amazing energy and we told her that.  The people that you meet.....when you are walking down the street......

Mumbai is a city that is rather confusing.  It is a dusty overpopulated metropolis desperately attempting to break into the 20th century and with that there are huge shopping like malls popping up every 10 blocks or so.  Most of the natives are wearing western clothing and this is the city where I have felt the least amount of attention directed our way.  It has been refreshing.

So getting back to the thick walls.  I was awoken at 3 am on the overnight in Mumbai to some ruckus outside my door.  Someone warned me in coming to India that I may see a woman being mistreated physically by her husband and warned me not to get involved.  So what do you do when you see a woman seriously physically assaulting her husband outside the bedroom door?  She said he hit her first and there may be a ring of truth in that but that was about one of the oddest things I have ever seen.  And yes they had clearly got their drink on.......

I didn't even take the camera out of the bag here in Mumbai.  Too little time and honestly not a lot of photo opps.  So rather than leave you with nothing, here is cute photo of one of the country's holiest animals standing so noble on a hill top in Udaipur.

Off to the sunny South!

More in the next day or so!


1 comment:

  1. You continue to leave me feeling as if I am on my own trip to India courtesy of your wonderfuly vivid descriptions. Thank you again!
    P.S. I love the bovine beast - they are my very favourite hooved animals! You have such a photographic gift, Tammy!