Sunday, January 20, 2013

Exploring Mumbai

Mumbai.  Well, here I am at last...I woke up to sunshine streaming in the window, and a warm breeze blowing.  I could hear a bit of traffic down below, but not too bad since the hostel is on a smaller side street. Someone on a balcony somewhere was practicing some kind of flute or pipe, in just the melody you'd expect  to hear in India.  I got a "shower", considering the water was cool, all I had was face soap (I have to buy some shampoo), and I forgot to take my towel in there.  Anyhow, I felt better.  It's amazing how much easier it is to get up and get moving in the morning when there is sunshine and warmth.  In Beijing, there was no window in the room, and I knew I would be leaving the warm hostel room to thirty-degree weather, so there wasn't much incentive to get moving.

I first stopped by an cyber cafe (the same one I've returned to now), and then went by the train station to see about buying a different ticket to Udaipur; I bought one online, but it's a wait list ticket, and as of this morning I was still number thirty on the list (down from seventy-two when I started, though!); however, the guy there said there weren't any others available, so I'd have to come Monday morning and buy a more expensive last-minute ticket.  I'm still watching the original one, though--as of tonight, I'm up to twelve.  I just might make it.  I'll come back down here in the morning and see how it stands; if not, I'll do the Monday morning thing.

I then took a few hours to wander around.  There was a map of a 'walking tour' in my Lonely Planet book; I don't always mess with those, but I realized I was right at the end of it, so I could follow it backwards and pass most of the stuff I wanted to see anyhow.  I saw the sights: the university, the guys playing cricket in the park, the Gateway of India, the famous Taj Mahal Palace hotel.  They were all nice, but nothing that would take your breath away; the real Mumbai isn't the sights, though.  All day I was taking pictures, but not feeling like I was capturing much at all of the feeling of Mumbai.  The pictures show buildings and roads, but they can't capture the warm breeze, the honking of the taxis, the variety of people passing by.

More tomorrow--the internet cafe guy wants to close and go home.


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