day 2 part 1 - mumbai (bombay)
Its midday and I'm back at the hostel. I have actually been here more times when i didn't have an active reservation than when I did. I slept way too much last night...from 1 or 2 until 9 then another attempt at 1230 or so...I think i picked up a few more hours of sleep after that but spent the majority awake. gotta love my body saying that it's 12 pm when it's actually 12 am :)
|Vegetable and Fruit Market|
I had my first hostel community experience last night...an Asian guy named kit from the U.K. and a couple from...well, they were white, not sure where they were from...but we all somehow started chatting about this that and the other...kit was out on business (in Pune, where I hope to be in a week) and took 2 extra weeks to travel around. the couple was coming up on the close of their 5 month (!?!?!) south east Asia trip, hostelling and limping around to different countries. it was shocking at how similar our stories were..and not at the same time. i guess a lot more people around the world have the same type of desires to get outside their normal culture/life for a bit. i find myself desperately clinging to those things that i'm used to...that i love to play with when i'm home. my Macbook is now my friend...my iPhone, the last holdout of my day to day life in the us with pics of family, the all too familiar Facebook and the like.
on the next adventure, i'm pretty sure i wont be taking as large of a backpack, nor as many things. I picked up some detergent, soap and shampoo today which will make tomorrow that much nicer.
|One of many Mumbai Slum markets|
this morning, my driver from yesterday met me out front and we immediately hit the slums. it was an affront to all my senses as we started out walking through the vegetable and fruit markets. he must know me as he skipped the fish and meat markets today. the veg/fruit markets are different as they just throw any bad stuff into the aisles...where customers, cows and the like trample them down into a not so friendly on the nose muck. the shop owners frequently toss out the few English words they know in my direction in an attempt to sink a hook and get a response. i awkwardly nod, say hello or wave...but still just feel like i have a glowing sign over my head saying "this guy doesn't belong here and isn't sure what he's doing"
|Mumbai Holy Water|
We drove around much of northern Mumbai today and I realized how glad i was that i had found this driver. he took me to an area of holy water...it's a big pool in the middle of some beachfront slums (yeah, i was shocked) where legend has it, one of the Hindu gods shot an arrow into the ground to create a well of water. it hasn't been dry since...and that was over 3000 years. it was a fantastic retreat...lots of kids, families and the like just living life. several kids played cricket, others bathed in the holy water (with the ducks of course) while others took the seeds out of chilis...it felt like a great day where people were just living. community...vibrant life...ahhhh...
|Holy Cricket Game Batman!|
i have been living off of bottled water vs using my filter as it's cold when i buy it. the heat has been off and on...but when it's on, it's oppressing like no other. i'm a wuss...i don't like heat (and i don't think it likes me).
i had some great daal and paneer chili for lunch (with cold coke, no ice) which was fantastic. i'm hoping this train ride will give me a chance to clear my mind and prepare me for my 7 days in Delhi. assuming i get a seat, i plan to read up on the city, read some of the books i brought and take in the scene. i don't know...that sounds like i have way more of a plan than i do...i have no idea what i'm doing for 6 of the next 7 days (i reserved my trip to the Taj Mahal as you have to reserve tickets a day in advance and i didn't want to have to worry about it). i really want to find a spot where i can chill and take in the scene...maybe that starts at the hostel...it definitely could have here if i were staying longer.
|Mumbai is a city inside of a tropical jungle|
not sure what I'm looking for here, not sure how to find it...whatever.
i suppose i'll head back down to the car and see whats up. it's approaching the warmest part of the day here...yay :)