Mumbai. A city of dreamers. The most populous city in India.
We arrived late in the afternoon at Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus (CST). Haggling with the taxi driver, we settled for Rs100 to go to the Travellers Inn Hotel from CST. My first impression on Mumbai was a lively city, overpopulated by human beings with of course dreams of better livings and the notable architures that were almost as gothic as those in Prague.
Like any other first time travellers to Mumbai, we visited the Gateway of India and the Taj, Flora Fountain, the High Court Building, Town Hall, St Thomas’s Cathedral. The structures and architectures of the buildings impressed me so much that I thought they had great resemblances to buildings in United Kingdom. As I walked through the streets, the pungent smell caught the nose, the honks deafened my ears and the cleanliness was an eye sore.
We went to Colaba Causeway to do some shopping (again we were ripped off our rupees). I bought most of the kurta (Indian ladies clothes) at Kurta Government Shop. Chowpathhy beach was a regular hang-out for Mumbaikers. Oh, we ate street food for the first time in Mumbai brushing aside the chances of suffering from diarhoe. It’s vada-pav. Deliciously spicy. I was on the hunt for bhelpuri but could not settle for one as I did not know which restaurants served the best bhelpuri.
Among the highlight of mumbai trip was Mahalaxmi Dhobi Ghat. Dhobi Ghat or open laudry is popular in Mumbai. This was where the local washers came to wash the clothes. Thousands of local washers. At first we looked into the Dhobi Ghat near the flyover bridge and when we spotted other tourists who were actually inside the Dhobi Ghat, we made our way in.
We were stopped by a man who claimed himself as a supervisor/head of the place and demanded Rs100 from each of us so as to allow us in. Limited time yes. We paid what was asked out of us because there was no use going into a fight with these local washers and we were excited to make the best photo out of the trip to open laundry.
Next was Chor Bazaar, a place I insisted on going for I wanted to buy new cameras. Old and antique camera. Luckily we found the camera shop and boy, I felt like buying the whole shops. Absolutely going to Chor Bazaar again to buy more cameras.
One thing I missed doing in Mumbai was to watch a cricket game.
To be honest with you, Mumbai was such a busy city that I could not bring myself to dream. I didn’t even think of dreaming, really. I’d like to think that the dreams belonged to those Bollywood dreamers.
Your ‘Kajol-in-the-making’ is penning off now as she can’t wait to pack her stuff for her Mother’s Day Special: Trip to Jogjakarta.