Mumbai madness

Mumbai Travel Blog

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India isn’t like anywhere else in the world. Cows leisurely patrol the streets, monkeys steal fruit from street vendors, and then there are the people that inhabit this vast land. Something like 600 Million Indians live under the poverty line, and this became quickly evident on the hour drive through the slums from the airport into town. After spending a few hours walking round Mumbai, you quickly learn to block out any Indian who tries to talk to you and I rapidly developed a resistance to phrases such as “excuse me my friend” and “where are you from”.  It was later explained to me that Indians always ask where you come from, so they can ascertain how much money you have, and for this reason, my identity swiftly became Andrey from Belarus. Most touts here then reel off all that they know about the country you come from in order to build some kind of rapport with you, before they then begin to tell you about this hotel they know. Needless to say, not very many Indians had heard of Belarus, and I was left by large and large in peace.

On my second day in Mumbai, I was asked by the porter at my hostel, whether I wanted to take part in a Bollywood film. It soon turned out however, that life as a Bollywood star wasn’t quite as glamoress as I had pictured, as my job was to help make background noise for scenes in cafes and bars, which meant chatting inanely over and over again for about 5 hours. I did however get my one moment to in the lime light, as someone was required to sing for 30 seconds. I gladly took the role and am looking forward to hearing my rendition of yellow submarine (the temptation to sing easy lover was very hard to overcome) when the film is released in the middle of august.

I brought the curtain down on my time in Mumbai with a night out on the razzle with some of the guys I had met in my hostel. We were going to go to this club recommended to us by the agent who had got us the Bollywood roles, but there was one little snag, the club did not permit single men, and our group consisted at that time of 5 blokes and two girls. Not to worry.  We were in a bar still ridden with bullet holes from the Mumbai terrorist attack of last year, but the place was still heaving and there was no shortage of targets. Moments later, me and my two buddies Ben and James were cramming ourselves into one of the tiny aging cabs they have here, complete with a dutch girl each on our laps. The entrance fee for this place worked out to be the same as what most Indians earn in a month (about ÂŁ20), and it was quite a nice way to end my time in Mumbai by rubbing shoulders with India’s rich kids.
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photo by: vvicy1