Oh the joys of jet lag. I have been up for 5 hours and in 2 hours I am supposed to be getting up and heading to the airport. I guess it’s a good time to write.
We made to Mumbai. We meaning me and my two travel companions Cathy & Ray. The flight was pretty uneventful and short. Well there was a moment over the Atlantic when a bout of moderately heavy turbulence flung me into the worst case scenario mode and had me quickly studying the neglected aircraft safety card. Within 5 minutes, my sanity was restored.
Mumbai’s weather was actually quite refreshing other than the “smoke,” a wonderful combination of fog and pollution. My allergies didn’t appearance this mix. We arrived quite late so we didn’t get a chance to survey our surroundings so we opted for the hotel restaurant buffet and some kingfishers. The added bonus was the Indian gentleman playing on his casio and singing some my favorites – Hotel California, Locked Out Of Heaven, you get the drift.
The next day we ventured out and frankly I didn’t take many photos because I was overwhelmed with sensory overload. The traffic is total chaos with vehicles and tuk tuks flying down the road weaving between lines and horns blaring continuously. There are just so many people here, everywhere. The hardest for us was being so aware of all of the poverty, the large amount of trash and stray dogs on the streets. It humbles you.
By the afternoon we were able to get our bearings and headed to a music store to help Ray buy a new guitar (his guitar as damaged on the flight over). Ray tested out potential guitars with playing Blackbird. For a moment this popular Beatles song brought the store to a standstill as we enjoyed the sweet strums. It was interrupted briefly as a hindu priest walked in. I marveled in his appearance as we came face to face but he then left quickly at the shop owner’s request. I’m not sure why. So no hindu priest selfie. Damn.
Afterwards we headed to a popular mall to do some high end shopping, well it was more to gawk at all the beautiful saris Cathy and I wished we could buy and to grab lunch. We happened across a restaurant Maharaja Bhog that had a location in Houston and we decided to give it a try. Once we sat down we were swarmed with servers offering up delicious curries, sauces, dal, lentils every 5 minutes. It was amazing and welcomed. It was a much better lunch that we had expected to have and it was only $6 a person! And the folks were so hospitable.
Instead of taking my nap time seriously, I watched Bollywood films, Indian soaps and the last few minutes of a cricket match. The Delhi Dragons may be my new favorite team. Apparently cricket players spend some serious time in the gym now!
Dinner was a treat. We headed to the gorgeous Grand Hyatt Hotel to check out Soma. Their high ratings were well deserved as the food, service and atmosphere were excellent. I fell in love with all of the beautiful tapestries featuring hindu stories and gods. We dined on kebabs, tandoori chicken, grilled fish, paneer tikki masala and a tasty spinach dish. Oh and the garlic naan was to die for. Apparently our culinary enthusiasm was accessed very early on and we got to take a quick tour of the kitchen where the kebabs and naan was being made. It was a perfect way to end our time in Mumbai.
Looking forward to heading to Cochin in a few hours.
Check out more photos here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/msgoodies/