This city smells

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April 2nd 2005
Published: April 2nd 2005
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Melenie eating a coconutMelenie eating a coconutMelenie eating a coconut

She loved this. The guy cuts open the coconut and you drink the coconut juice and then scrape out the coconut flesh. I thought it tasted gross.
My first impressions of mumbai (bombay) was driving in a dodgy taxi with a top speed of 11km/h through what I thought were backstreet alleyways but were infact the main roads of this confounded city. It was 2am and not a creature was on the street except for the occassional stray dog. Garbage was strewn on every corner, the air stunk of rotten sewerage, and I found myself asking what I was doing here.

My first adventure involved catching the train down to Bombay downtown. I decided to be thrify and travel second class on the train. Terrible mistake. In india, the local trains travel with their doors open so that they can cram as many people in (leaving the doors open allows people to precariously dangle out the sides of the train). People have NO concept of personal space here, so I found myself smushed up with a gazillion Indians most who obviously hadn't discovered deoderant. Suffice to say I became quite intimately acquanted with the armpits of a number of by neighbours. I once also almost fell out the side of the train because a whole stack of people decided to try to cram into an already overflowing
A plate of BhelpuriA plate of BhelpuriA plate of Bhelpuri

Purchased from a very very dubious shop. We saw beggars sleeping on the counters in the morning and dogs walking around the kitchens.

Arriving in the city, I was surprised to see that it was every bit as dirty as the outer suburbs near the airport where my hotel was. Man this place stunk. However, on the plus side, there was heaps of food for sale, including what I discovered to be the milk of the Gods - Falooda - a drink made from milk and other stuff that just tastes so good - so good infact that I had to order a second as soon as I finished my first.

I also wondered down to the local beach which was actually surprisingly clean considering that the roads surrounding it were covered in filth.

That night, I went to the airport to meet up with my long lost wife who I hadn't seen for a terrible 16 days, 15 hours and 34 minutes (yes, we've only been married 2 years so these things still matter). Thankfully she managed to make it through her incredibly round-about flight which involved flying to Sydney, dawdling for 10 hours, then flying to Hong Kong, dawdling for another 10 hours, then flying to Bangkok, twiddling thumbs for 2 hours and then finally flying to
Local Mumbai streetLocal Mumbai streetLocal Mumbai street

Just filthy and noisy and stinky.

Additional photos below
Photos: 6, Displayed: 6


Local nut guyLocal nut guy
Local nut guy

Also known as a cachan guy. Right next to his wares is a taxi blowing out heaps of exhaust fumes onto his peanuts! Healthy eating.
Locals walking the streetsLocals walking the streets
Locals walking the streets

One guy thought I was a newsreporter because I had a video camera and wanted to pose for me.
There are SOME clean spotsThere are SOME clean spots
There are SOME clean spots

Heres one of the rare nicer looking parts of Mumbai.

30th July 2005

ridiculously biased comments, but just what one would expect from a first generation australian. :) thambi, how long has it been since your oh so clean ancestors migrated to a developed country?
30th July 2005

and by the way, i've read your equally biased comments about tunisia. is there any place in the world that you like? apart from where ever it is that you live now. it seems to me that your one heck of a traveller, by your comments you work as a food and safety inspector right?
15th August 2010

You're a self-righteous, arrogant arse. What would you expect a first time visitor from a developed country to think of India? It is dirty, it is smelly. The author is merely sharing her feelings and experiences from her trip. Accounts like these are of great use to someone who is planning on visiting India for the first time. You're self-righteous opinions are not of use to anyone because they don't represent a true account of what India is really like. So get off you're high horse and join the real world. You "citizen of the world." Absolutely full of shit.

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