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Published: March 29th 2010
15/2/10 and 16/2/10: The next two days were spent hopping on and off trains and walking around Mumbai. Our main goal was to buy another laptop and battery charger for our Steri-pen as the other one broke. This proved more difficult than first thought and we found ourselves going from one side of Mumbai to the other. It didn’t matter that much because we really were able to see the real Mumbai. On the first day of walking it was safe enough to walk in thongs but after walking some tem km’s an old ankle injury decided to flare up leaving it difficult to walk without extreme pain and this would end up haunting me for the next three weeks. Jacinta had her own problems on the second day walking down the three flights of stairs she slipped on the top stair of the last flight landing flat on her back and then proceeded to slide down the rest of the stairs with her arms and legs spread out to try and stop her from bouncing all the way down. It was like watching her in slow motion and only after making sure she was alright did I burst out in laughter. She was more embarrassed than hurt and ended getting one massive bruise on her leg as her backpack cushioned most her fall.
Walking around we actually fell in love with this city and we both felt very safe. The accommodation is quiet expensive compared to the rest of India. The manager there was Kurma and he was probably the most helpful of all the managers so far on our trip. He started off being a bell boy some 30 years ago and worked his way up to manager. He only see’s his family for two months of the year during the hot summer when the tourist season is dead. I think he especially liked us from the start because we booked a room the day before but know one checked out of from a double room when we arrived so we had to squeeze into a single room. It didn’t matter to us as long as it was cheaper and he appreciated us not making any fuss. Even when an American couple complained the next morning because they didn’t have the double room they were promised and had to sleep in two singles he explained that we had to sleep on a single and on the floor, they shut up after that.
17/2/10: Our last day was spent doing the same thing as the last day but this time we got our laptop and our charger. We finished off looking around the rest of Colaba and some of the beautiful buildings and architechture before walking to our sleeper bus on MG Rd. This would take us on the 13hours bus trip down to Goa and at first it looked as if we made the right choice with transport as the bus was lined with double sleeper beds on either side, we immediately swapped stories with two Koreans guys and a South American lady. As we were speaking some Croatians lit up a smoke on the berths above us. I told them straight away to smoke out the window and a smart comment was made back under his breath. Jacinta overheard him say boo-hoo and as soon as I heard this I jump up and abused him for smoking as we had to breathe the shit. It was settled by two of the Indian staff telling him not to smoke. You will notice that in India they don't smoke much and there are fines for smoking in public places and I gathered that this is enforced by the stern reaction of the staff on the Croatians.
We had two hours of day light left so it was great to lie on the bed and watch the world go by in the comfort of our sleeper. The height of the bus was an advantage as you had a great view of the slums which would otherwise be obscured by the barriers and bollards from a ground view. We had people coming up to us everywhere wanting money and begging for food. We even had a young man come up to the bus that had paint all over his hands, lips, nose and was sniffing a tightly bound rag, it took me awhile to realise what he was doing but it was obvious that he was on some sort of drug by looking at the size of his eyes. As he was sniffing he asked for 10 rupees probably just to by more paint to sniff.
Well the bus trip just got worse from there and as the sun went down we tried to get out of the city and it was obvious that the bus driver was in some sort of hurry. There was constant and sudden braking followed by sharp swerving around slower traffic. This went on right through the night and trying to sleep was an absolute nightmare. The straps on the side of the bed to stop you falling out came in real handy as I almost bounced and rolled out of bed so many times as the G-forces from the erratically driven bus were increased because we were on the top sleepers. I lost my temper so many times but Jacinta was always there to try and calm me down. I wished she didn’t because the bus driver didn’t give a shit about the passengers in the back and needed to be spoken too.
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