- The Departure
- Sleepless in Delhi
- Crud, Cows and Cremations Or … Varanasi
- It’s Not Ooohgra, It’s Agra
- Ranthambore National Park
And Now …
In the wee small hours of … the morning, we boarded our plane in Udaipur and headed to Mumbai. It was time for the last stop on our grand India tour / honeymoon. (And thank goodness, because we were worn out at that time and I’m sick of writing about this. You know it’s going to be a good post when I start off with whining.)
The funny thing about the airport experience was that a woman, an Indian woman, walked up and asked me if she was at the right gate for a flight to Mumbai … you’re going to ask the white guy? Lady, thanks, but I’m not fountain of knowledge. We were at the right gate though.
When we landed in Mumbai we did one of the most American things you can thing of … we went to a Starbucks. Lauren and I had left very early in the morning, too early for breakfast, but by the time we landed we were more than ready for some food. A blueberry muffin and coffee for each of us and what a thing it is to eat foods you know after two weeks of new foods. I was sad that it was something so cliche as Starbucks, but blueberry muffins are delicious.
Our hotel lobby was so hip there was a no geriatrics sign hanging (hyuck hyuck). There were a few tables, a kitchen area, and almost constantly one or two employees hanging out. The rooms were all right off the lobby so it was quite small, but very modern and cool.
The one downside to the hotel … there was construction going on. The kind of construction that made it sound as if one of the construction workers was going to accidentally put a hammer through our room wall at any point. In fact, from our room, if we opened any of the shades we stood face to face with the construction workers on their bamboo scaffolding (which appeared to have been constructed on a dare).
In the early afternoon our guide came and met us in the lobby. She was, well, first off, a she, and secondly she was a bit loony in a fun way. For Lauren our guide reminded her of a good friend of hers – the kind of woman that not only takes no ish (that’s the PG word for shi*) from no one, she proactively takes no ish from no one.
She understood, partly from us telling her, that we were wiped out feeling. Message received, she had us covered. We did a bit of a driving tour of Mumbai, getting out to view the dabbawallas (the amazingly accurate and low-tech food delivery system), the Gandhi museum, and the public laundry area. Toward the end of our driving tour she told us a number of places to try that were walking distance from our hotel, including a delightful tea room. Lauren was feeling a bit off so we opted for that. We bid her goodbye, enjoyed tea, and then mostly confidently (me) but also full of fear (Lauren and I) we depended on our sense of direction to get back to the hotel. We made it!
Due to the lack of full energy/wellness feeling we had a very low-movement night at the hotel.
The next day we met up with our guide and headed to Elephanta Caves on Elephanta Island which features religious carvings dating from the 5th or 6th century AD. The carvings were beautiful.
On the boat to the island we chatted with some Swedish students who were working in India for an internship/semester abroad kind of thing and they had enjoyed quite the experience thus far. Two of them were very stereotypically Swedish looking – very blonde, very light blue eyes, pale skin. They said they had taken a tour of some slums in Mumbai and a woman literally shoved her baby into the arms of one of the girls for a picture. Lauren and I’s brown hair perhaps kept us from more unique encounters.
Well … I’m wrapping this trip up in a hurry because, as stated previously, I’m ready for a different kind of thing to write about on Fridays. Telling true stories gets boring – it’s time to go back to oddball nonsense.
High: The carvings in the caves were beautiful and impressive, it is a shame so many were destroyed.
Low: The next “morning” our flight left at 3 am, the driver was a friendly fella who chatted with us and was happy our visit to India went well. The agent was an absolute punk who looked like a very angry, mean, Indian Burt Young.