27.08.2009 - 28.08.2009 35 °C
After 4 days in Mumbai I haven't a clue how it works. One thing I can tell you is, its busy. As the guide said you probably "survive it rather than saviour it". It's built on a peninsular and with a population of 18 million and its crowded. This was brought home to me when I went to the ticketing agent to buy a train fare to Varanasi. I open the door to his office and there is, this big guy with a handle bar moustache sitting behind a really tiny desk saying "Come in, come in sir". So I enter and find myself standing shoulder to shoulder with 3 other clients, and I mean shoulder to shoulder. I couldn't help laughing as a couple of them had to stand outside while I did my booking. Mumbai has the biggest urban sprawl on the planet and accounts for a third of India's income. It's busy!
But on the plus side Mumbai does have some huge parks and long, wide sweeping ocean boulevards where Indians go to chill.
It's just that the streets are choker with traffic, and needless to say I have turned into a bit of a sprinter these days, making sure I dodge it. I take pride on a well-executed "crossing maneuver".
Mumbai is the land of opportunity for Indians but in reality very few attain it.
Well its off to Varanasi tonight travelling 2nd class, and rather than sleeping with 72 others in 3rd, I will be sleeping with only 6. Nothing like a bit of luxury! I will basically crossing the continent, around 2000 kms and 30 hrs of travel. Hopefully I can use some of the time to learn a few Hindi phases to go with the one that I have already mastered.
Will have to buy some silica gel to defog the camera or throw it away