We arrived on an overnight bus from Goa, the start of our travels around the country. Mumbai is a place of extremes from the decadence of the Taj Mahal Palace and being the center of the Bollywood industry to the back to basics of the Dharavi Slum made famous by Slumdog Millionaire.
60% of Mumbai residents live in slums and the popularity of the movie created ‘Slum Tourism’ throughout India. it is hard to believe when viewed from a distance that most of the residents will have jobs, pay rent and lead a fairly normal life within the community.
I really took to Mumbai finding it very safe and cosmopolitan. Highly recommended for anyone visiting India.
Memories that stick out to about my time in Mumbia;
- Packed lunches in cute bags ready to sell to the busy commuters outside the beautiful Chhatarapati Shivaji train station.
- Shopping for kurti ( Indian tops) in the super modern shopping center.
- Spending £12 for a cocktail in Taj Mahal Palace whilst looking out on to a homeless woman begging.
- Spending £4 on a delicious meal for three (including desert) in a place two minutes walk from the above.
- Making friends and hunting for the triple headed Shiva in Elephanta Island.
- People watching at the Gateway of India by day and colours of the lights at night.
- Sharing my 10p glass of lime soda with a little boy without shoes who had a huge smile.
- My first (but definitely not my last) sightings of naked toddlers sleeping in the street curled up next to their mothers.
- Long walks with our map searching out architectural delights.
- Stumbling across the incredible temple and the dread of having to leave my camera outside.
- Our overnight bus taking an extra two hours to get through Mumbai traffic, a distance we could have walked quicker.
- The delicious chai tea and tasty masala omelette they served for breakfast in our hotel.
- Walking along the promenade and feeling just like the local love-struck teenagers.
- Learning to tell an expensive restaurant by the freezing air blasting out the air con.
- Witnessing the colourful spectacle of the Mahalaxmi Dhobi Ghat (basically a giant human powered washing machine!)
- Trying to get into the Dairy Milk building assuming there would be a tasting tour…there was not.