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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

First Day in Mumbai

I woke up around 7:30 and took my time getting ready.  I called room service and had some scrambled eggs, toast with jam, tea and 2 bottles of water ($3.50).  I than decided to go out exploring around 9:00 and it was crazy.  Everyone was going to work and the streets were packed with people.  Although, with around 18 million people it isn’t that much different than NY except you see cows (only 3 so far) and people carrying things on buckets on their head.  One guy was carrying a basket of fish and bird came swooping down and stole a fish.

I read how India is an explosion on your senses and I can that is true so far.  It is an explosion on the eyes because of all the women in their colorful saris and all the interesting things you see around every corner.  It is also an explosion on you smell.  There are lots of different odors, some pleasant and some not too pleasant.

There is a lot of poverty, but it has not yet been as bad as I expected.  Fortunately, no kids have asked me for money.  I have had some people trying to sell me stuff (post cards, peacock feathered fans, tours etc.)  One guy even asked me if I wanted to have a cup of tea with him.  Also a “holy” man gave me some candy and tied a string around my wrist.  I tried to stop him because I knew he would want money, but I couldn’t and he asked for money, but I told him that I didn’t have any small change.  He said that was okay he would take $5 American, but I told him I didn’t have any.  I hope he doesn’t put a curse on me.

As I walking around I saw some great buildings and
stumbled upon guys washing clothes.

There are also some pretty nice gardens that are quiet and a great place to relax and escape from all the noise and congestion of the city.  There are no traffic rules and the constant horn honking is crazy.

View of the beach from the Hanging Garden.

I also visited a Jain temple.

Gandhi's House and and now a Museum.  Gandhi lived from 1917 to 1934.  It was in this house in 1921 that Gandhi conducted his four-day fast to restore peace to the city.

Today I just went out exploring to see what I could see and I found some interesting things. Tomorrow I will go to Elephanta Island that is home to a couple cave temples and about an hour and $3 ferry ride from Mumbai.

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