Tuesday, September 04, 2007

How (not) to see Mumbai

I am now a seasoned traveller, and feel that I can share my vast store of how-to with you all. I did everything right, and the post that follows is not based on my experiences, this all happened to a 'friend'...

What not to do when visiting Mumbai (A Comedy of Errors)


  1. Arrive during monsoon, guaranteeing delays on either end of your flight
  2. Book into a hotel, which, while comfortably appointed and close to the airport, is far from absolutely everything else
  3. After travelling all day, spend the next day travelling all day, leaving yourself no time to recover from aching muscles, dehydration and exhaustion
  4. Spend an hour and a half schlepping from said hotel to the Gateway of India
  5. Eat your obligatory lunch at the famous Taj Mahal hotel and pay more than you have anywhere else in India. For entrees only
  6. Buy tickets for the ferry to the Elephanta Caves, and trust the toothless tout, parting with three times the going rate for an info booklet
  7. Catch the ferry, in mildly nasty weather, not realising you will be on board for an hour, and get sunburnt (this happened to the husband in this little tale, not erm, my friend)
  8. At the Elephanta Caves, refuse the help of the security guard who is showing you around, because you think he wants a bribe, as everyone has so far today
  9. Find yourself being trailed by a large, boisterous family from Rajastan who want (endless) photos with the foreign Auntie
  10. Step in mud of questionable provenance and break your sandal, after seeing only one of the caves
  11. Realise the security guard doesn't want a bribe, and finally accept his offer of help
  12. Hobble down the (steep) hill on your broken shoe, climb into the ferry, and spend the next hour spitting out sea water and praying, because the waves are like something out of Perfect Storm, and, this being India, the ferry is in poor repair, it is spectacularly overcrowded, and a life jacket has never crossed the threshold
  13. Back on dry land (miraculously), lose your taxi driver and spend the next hour hobbling around, looking for a phone to call him or the hotel. Eventually give up and ask at the Taj reception. Where they help you. Could've gone there first and saved an hour...
  14. Spend three hours in Mumbai's best traffic, getting back to the hotel at 9pm
You may want to take the odd pointer from this. I think maybe this is why so many people we have spoken refer to Mumbai as that city. Believe it or not, it wasn't actually such a bad day!

6 comments:

rand(om) bites said...

If all this happenned to me, I'd just have to laugh in the end and just go with the flow. Too funny, eventually hey :-) Now London will be another culture shock from the experience you just had!

Warren Ho said...

Hectic hectic! All i can say is "RESPECT"! What you do for your yoga!! :)

GlamSpirit said...

I will have to print this out and re-read later this year before I get to India. Sounds like your sense of humor is still intact. Kudos! :)

Linda (Sama) said...

sounds like a typical day in India!

and I can't wait to get back -- 111 more days!

Scott said...

Only in India!!!

Glad to hear I wasn't the only one who had this kind of 'comedy of errors', thankfully we both survived them safe and sound :-)

shula said...

I had to laugh.

It sounds like Mumbai, alright.

The city where going out for milk could take 12 hours.

But what a place. One of my favourite places in the world.