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Published: April 2nd 2005
Melenie 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 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 street
Just filthy and noisy and stinky.
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