Mumbai India for New Years 2008

Mumbai Travel Blog

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After a 4 hour flight from Bangkok we arrived at the Mumbai airport. This is the
least technologically advanced airport that we have been in yet but
was to be expected. It took us a while to figure out the taxi cab
situtation which is always pre-pay for the cab at the airport that way
there is no haggling over price once you reach your destination. We
took an hour long drive to our hotel in Colaba. Now the taxi is not
like in the US. Its a little bigger than a mini cooper, black and
yellow, and is usually run down. Our bags had to be strapped down as
the trunk barely shut (its that small). Our cab driver sniffled and
coughed the whole drive, I'm assuming because of the pollution in the
air and how close he always is to other cars. The driving in India is
worse than Thailand in means of traffic, how close they come to other
cars and the incesant honking. As I am typing this email all I can
hear is honking, apparently it means that someone is passing you on
the road. The traffic consists of motorcycles, tuk-tuk like cars,
taxis, regular cars, buses, trucks, pedestrians, and people pushing
wooden carts filled with stuff for the market. Can you imagine whats
its like? Hectic to say the least but so far no accidents although I
did see a guy who was walking get hit by a motocycle today but the
driver was going slow and there was no angry exchange after it
happened. Crazy I know!

Our hotel is all marble and very close to all the action which is nice
since there are a lot of beggars out at night which can get annoying,
not scary but a little annoying. We had dinner at a local place with
some tourists and other Indians. We woke up and took a tour of the
city today by air conditioned car which was really nice and our guide
was cool. We told him we are from Canada since the prime minister of
Pakistan's assassination the other day. She was very pro-democracy and
we just want to make sure that being an American doesnt offend anyone
here. It seems like everytime we mention it the conversation comes to
a dead hault and we were told in Thailand "Bush very bad!" So I am now
a Canadian from BC who knows nothing about her country :)

The tour consisted of the laundry washing where many Northern Indian
people come to wash the laundry from the hotels in a large outside
area covered in cement slabs. It looked dirty there so I am not sure
how clean the clothes and sheets get. Then onto a bunch of other
places notably a childrens park, a jainism temple (they are like
vegans but super religious) the pace where Ghandi lived while in
Mumbai, and the Victorian train station. The architecture here is
British, Persian, and Indian. Its such a mix of religions and
ethnicities all living peacefully which is nice because there are tons
of people here!

While at the Gateway of India which is a port for trade we were
blessed by a holy man and I am wearing a red dot on my forehead as I
write this, only in India I swear! We had a delicious lunch and my
polarioid camera is a hit every place I take pictures. I took a few
people's pictures and gave them the copy, but explained that its 45
rupees per picture ($1) so I cant be taking one of everyone!

Michelle has her computer here and we have the internet and got
upgraded to a nicer room since they overbooked us and we only had 2
twin beds last night so Michelle volunteered to sleep on the floor :(
Looks like I will be able to write more often on this portion of the
trip. Talk to you all soon!

P.S. The smell so far hasnt been bad I mean it has its moments but
mostly its been exhaust from the cars and that faint smell of
nagchampa incense which I love so lucky me!

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3,007 km (1,868 miles) traveled
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photo by: vvicy1