16 hours on a plane… piece of cake… Easy to say now that it’s over.
All totally worth it, as I sit in my lavish hotel room listening to the music of Mumbai – a myriad of different tones that motor vehicles can make just to let someone else know they are zooming past. It’s really much more of a “Hey, I just wanna let you know I’m right here.” than what we associate American horns with: sentences with a bunch of “@#%(#@*%@*s” in them. The sounds of Mumbai aren’t caustic though. Rather, an almost melodic, filtered background that fits so well with this beautifully chaotic metropolis.
Different groups arrived at different times throughout Sunday night/early Monday morning. The Taj Mahal Palace had a fun welcoming ritual upon our arrival: notice the bindi on our foreheads…
Breakfast Monday morning was without a doubt one of the best I’ve ever had in my life. And to think we get that every morning for the next two weeks!!! Not bad. Here is the group filling up on some of the close to 100 different breakfast foods available!
Next we scattered – some went out to find a good deal on some custom-made suits (story still unfolding), while others went walking around town to breath in Mumbai (pun UNintended – if you’ve been here, you know why). Spoiler alert – it’s the smell that I’m talking about. A few lounged by the pool, but no matter how the late morning/early afternoon was spent, we were all aboard the tour bus to see much of Mumbai on a three hour tour.
Though I learned as much from the tour operator about washing clothes as I did Mahatma Ghandi, the tour was a resounding success. Besides the shear multitude of visual and audible distractions at every corner, we got to visit parks, saw the main university, a game of cricket, temples, littered beaches, new skyscrapers being built, old ones falling apart, and much more. It culminated with a trip to the house Gandhi lived in for about 20 years. The following pictures won’t do it justice, but… enjoy.
Dinner in a couple hours, then our first site visits starting tomorrow. More to come.