Thursday, December 29, 2005

Thoughts on Mumbai

I love Mumbai/Bombay.

Whereas I hated Bangalore, Mumbai is oh so nice. To those that have travelled, there is a backpacker area here that is just like khao-san-road in Bangkok (not itself a great thing).

The city is warm, the people smile, the street food (especially the bhelpoori) is mind blowing... It's just so damn fun to walk around here, and the lack of rickshaws actually makes it a bit safer to walk around....

I took a walk today for a few hours and tried to find some textbooks for myself.. there is an entire area of town dedicated to on-street booksellers - most of whom sell used/pirated books. I was lost for words at one point - so many textbooks, on so many subjects....

Down another street, and I wandered into an area that seemed to specialize in stalls selling pirated CDs and electrical things (flashlights, alarm clocks, and most surprisingly, vibrators).

I managed to kill two birds with one stone, and got a henna-hair-dyed stall-owner to stand next to his stall - with a vibrator right behind his ear in the photo (I promise to upload it soon). Once I asked him if he knew what it was, all his friends realized why I had wanted the photo, and all burst into toothy grins. Pretty much every stall for 3 blocks seemed to sell these, so it seems that they are a big seller here.

The lungi will have to go away soon. Sure, it's comfy, and stops you from getting sweaty.. but I didn't see a single other person wearing one today. Merchants would call out "Coming from Kerala?" to me, trying to guess where I had bought it....

I suppose I'll buy a pair of pants or something once I get to a new city the day after tomorrow.

I've spent 2 hours in an internet cafe making voice calls to all my credit card companies. Phew, It's all sorted out.

The plan now is to see a movie at the Regal (a fantastic old cinema nearby) tonight - in English. There is a lebanonese restaurant nearby, so with any luck, i'll be able to get some fatoush too... mmm

Tomorrow, i'll head to the currency museum (which is supposed to be world class), maybe buy a few things, and then head to the train station for my 8PM-ish train.

For those of your concerned for my health, I am on train 9005 on 30-12-2005.

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