Mid-Night in Mumbai

It’s not actually midnight – it’s actually about 2am. With my time difference, it makes it midafternoon to some part of my hind brain, but the rest of me feels like going to sleep – again. I haven’t been able to do much yet. Once we got off the plane (the less said the better about that), it was all about overload. I’d heard this before, but since I have no experience in traveling outside the US, how could I have guessed what it meant? We tried to find the driver from our hotel. (Paid dearly for the luxury of being picked up by someone who knew exactly where he was going.) After a few minutes of waiting, I got put into the role of stupid tourist by a vendor who was giving me change. He gave me 400 rupees in change for a 500 rupee bill, and when I asked for the rest of the money, he went all blank faced. Well, I wasn’t about to start crying or yelling that he was a thief or anything, but it did start me off on the wrong foot. The next happening was wonderful, though. The driver walked by and I got his attention. He was from the right hotel, but had the wrong name on his board. After a few minutes on his cell phone with the hotel desk, he loaded our bags onto a cart and took us to the car. The wonderful part was the drive. It was terrifying in some part of my mind, but most of me was absorbed in trying to make sense of what I saw. I saw: burned out buildings that had been resettled travel businesses that looked open at 11pm traffic that melded and separated in a dance that mesmerized people sleeping[…]

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Mumbai, Wow…

…25 hours on a plane with a screaming child behind me was the longest flight I’ve ever been on. We showed up and our driver from the Hotel New Bengal was not there. We waited, called and waited some more. A driver from our hotel showed up but he was after another fair but when he called the hotel to find out where the other guy was they told him to bring us back with him… There is no way for me to accurately describe the 30km drive from the airport to the hotel. I’ve never experienced anything quite like it before. They have no traffic cops and their insurance establishment doesn’t run their country like in the U.S. so people just drive any-ol-way they feel like and it seems to work some how. …We slept, allot!

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