Sunday, January 20, 2013

Mumbai continued

Mumbai continued...

I wandered along until I got to the Gateway of India, a huge arch right by the water, which was built in honor of the last time the King of England made an official visit during the early 1900s.  The idea was that it would be a fitting place to welcome the monarch on future occasions, but then India  got its independence, and so now it's more a symbol of the period of time when they were struggling for independence.  It was nice enough as memorial arches go, but nothing really spectacular.  I guess I had expected something just a bit more...colorful.  

Anyhow, I took a rest sitting, along with many other people on a ledge in a shady area near the arch.  This was probably my favorite part of the day, just people watching.  I wish I could wear a seemed every woman who walked by had an even more beautiful one, in every color, turquoise and pink and yellow and purple and orange.  The outfits with the pants and the long shirts and scarf look like they would be cool and comfortable. Most of the passers-by were Indian, but there were also some western travelers; I would try to guess where they might be from.  Men tried to peddle the hugest balloons I've ever seen, and the men with postcards and maps were quite persistent.  I did buy a few postcards, but it didn't seem to deter others from trying to convince me theirs were better, even when I told them repeatedly that I already had some.  

After that, I got a taxi to another part of town--and the taxi rides themselves are some of the best sight-seeing--to find the Hard Rock.  I really wouldn't have chosen my first day to eat American food, but I wanted to go there, and I don't know that I'll get another chance.  It was pretty good, but not as good as it usually seems to me, but that's probably because I just had plenty of western food in Beijing.  Oh well, another to add to my little mental collection of tacky travel souvenirs.  Another Hard Rock, another country.  

I went back by the Victoria Terminus train station, which isn't too far from where I'm staying, to take pictures of it lit up at night.  It is a quite fancy train station--that's a picture of it in the last post.  Victoria Terminus is its old name; it has an Indian one that is the official name now but I can't remember it at the moment much less spell it.  

I spent the rest of the evening booking future train tickets and hostels at the cyber cafe, and then headed back to the hostel.  Before going to sleep, I talked for a while with two of my roommates, a teacher from Finland and a recent college graduate from Denmark, and the Danish boy played his guitar.  

One last thing:  all of the trucks around here have "Horn OK Please" painted on the back.  I love it. 
Anybody know the origins of that phrasing?  


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