Exactly what I wanted out of an exchange.

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November 2nd 2012
Published: November 9th 2012
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Hey everyone,

Like usual I've taken way too much time in writing a blog post. I've actually finished my term in Mumbai already, but I'm gonna fill you guys in on what's been going on since then and then tell you what's going on now!

Finishing the school term was pretty much torture, but everything besides school just got better and better with time. After a period of feeling really down because of college and a boring routine of a life, I decided to take a change and things really improved. I realized my college wasn't even taking my attendence, so I could do what I wanted! So I went to Goa with another Canadian girl named Renee and had one of the wildest weekends of my life I think, ha. Goa really was everything it has a reputation for, really different from the rest of India. It was then that I also had my first experience on an Indian train; in cramped compartments and families taking care of crying babies, with people walking by chatting every 5 minutes, somehow it still has a charm of the Indian style. This was in North Goa, and I even ended up staying an extra night!

On top of that I found a really good group of friends in Mumbai, mostly French actually, and some Indians too, who mostly all live in Bandra and who I've been spending a lot of time with. We've been to a lot of ladies nights at Lagerbay, and have spent a lot of nights in together as well. A few of us even went to Goa (again) together! These times to Goa have been some of the first times that I've had a holiday, meaning traveling just for the sake of traveling, alone with friends. Most of my other travels have been for a purpose or with some sort of 'adult' figure, so it was a really nice experience. We went to South Goa, which was a lot more chilled out, but also very beautiful, and had an awesome time together on the beach.

At the beginning I thought I would focus on meeting Indian friends to try and really connect with the people of the country I was in. Although I did make Indian friends, there were only a few who I could really connect with. I don't know if it was a cultural difference or a maturity gap between me and a lot of the students in college, but I found it was a lot easier to connect with other exchange students, and a few really awesome Indians. In general, while talking to other students my age in college, I felt like I was talking to people younger than me, with completely different perspectives. Obviously that is really interesting, and I tried to take advantage of that, but when it comes to my day to day life I wanted to be able to be with people I felt comfortable or could at least relate to. I know the point of an exchange is to have that other experience, and I did, however you can't force relationships, and I believe the feeling of not being able to really connect was mutual, even if we got along (though there were also many that I just didn't get along with ha).

My friend Bridget from Spanish class in Ottawa came to visit me in Mumbai, she was volunteering in a village in the north of India for the summer and was traveling around India. We spend a couple days together, and even though I was getting over an awful flu, saw a lot of Bombay together. We had tea at the Taj Hotel, which was just lovely (I hope I can actually stay there one day), visited a mosque, a mandir, a church and a synagogue all in one day, had a lovely dinner and more. It was really nice to see a Canadian friend in Mumbai!

Oh yeah! Seems like forever ago already, but I got an undercut! Hah, undercut and India don't really seem to go together, but I wanted a change and figured I might not get another opportunity in my life to have crazy hair. I went with my friend Arnaud and we got crazy haircuts together, fun! I was really nervous, but I'm glad I did it. It's growing out now. Around the same time I locked myself out of my apartment the same weekend that Jonny and my landlady was out of town. This happened at 10pm, and thankfully I was just with my friend Claire who let me sleep at her place. Learning experience for sure!

Something I've come to love in India is riding on motorbikes (the back of them, I'm too nervous to try riding them myself after hearing a lot of horror stories)! My first great experience was with an Indian friend named Garth, when we were riding back to my place on his bike and it just started POURING rain. Maybe it doesn't sound fun but it was amazing, I'll never forget the feeling.

Anyways I'll leave it at that, a pretty quick blog post to sum up the last few months in Mumbai. Hope you enjoy and will post another about my travels soon!


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