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Mumbai Bombay!

Written on: Sunday April 19th, 2009

A journal entry from: In the spiced Indian air....

Hi again!  I forgot my camera cord so I can't upload pictures.... I will in a day or two, because Mumbai is crazy!

We spent a day in Mumbai and that was enough. The city is huge, almost the population of Canada on one small island!  There are millions living in slums, the largest having 1 million in an area only as large as Central Park.  Poverty is everywhere;adults and children sleeping on mats on the sidewalk, malnourished children and deformed elderly begging for money, trash everywhere....  you can't get away from it in Mumbai, and that's probably a good thing for western tourists. I was near to tears several times, you just can't give to everyone.  You wonder how far your money can really go with such huge numbers to help.

 Mumbai was quite difficult to get around, but made 100x easier by our helpful hotel guys Rajesh and Anil.  They drove us free of charge (wouldn't even accept a tip) to the train station where we were told to go to the front of the long lines. 1st class apparently doesn't wait in line. We felt sooo guilty walking past 100s up to the front but no one seemed to mind. After we had our tickets we were to find the Ladies Car - men and women are not to ride together. I was blown away at how beautiful the women are. They stare at us and when we catch them they either giggle or just keep staring. After the long ride we were off to get cellphones and see a few sights. 

Chowpatti beach was a highlight, looking out over the arabian sea was amazing. There were many small colourful boats anchored in the water, women in saris blowing in the wind, young boys playing in the waves, and men selling colourful little windmills.

We also saw Haji Ali Mosque, or the "Floating Mosque". It is set out in the ocean on a mile long cement walk where thousands of indians visit every day.  When it's high tide, the promenade is flooded, leaving the mosque in the ocean as a tiny island. Jennelle and I walked out to the mosque along with thousands, it was an amazing experience and the mosque was gorgeous at dusk.

The true highlight of Mumbai is Dhobi Ghat, the largest human powered laundry mat in the world!!  You'll have to check back for pictures because this place is amazing!!!  Miles of large concrete wash bins with miles of clothing lines... this place must employ thousands!

One thing that struck me in Mumbai is the friendliness of the people. Families will just come up to us and stand there, staring and wanting to talk to us. The children are sooo cute and friendly with surprisingly good english.  I guess Slumdog Millionaire isn't as unreaslistic as I thought!

Mumbai for one day was just the right amount of time. We were happy to leave and we are now in Panaji, Goa which I will write about in a couple days.

I have a cell number for India now which I will carry with me for the next two months, I can be reached at 011-91-900-442-6961. I think that's how you dial it anyway...

Will post pictures soon, there are some pretty amazing sights to be seen!




From Mom on Apr 20th, 2009

Glad to hear you are doing good. Shaun and Naomi had their little boy. His name is Willem.They are doing well. SOrry I can't seem to get my text messaging working. I think it is a Telus thing. Dad's is Roger's and it work fine. Sad to hear how poor people are there. God has truly blessed us. Love MOm