Kadama 51: Monkey on my shoulder

Trip Start Jul 12, 2012
Trip End Dec 01, 2012

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Flag of India  , Maharashtra,
Sunday, October 21, 2012

Sunday morning we had planned to visit Elephanta Caves as well as the Modern Art Museum, but being a group of  seven females and one male, we changed plans and headed to the street for some world-famous Mumbai bazaar shopping.

We left the hotel around 10:00 a.m. and walked through the city to get to Fort Colaba which is where we spent most of the day. On the way, we admired the beautiful architecture of the Rajabai Clock Tower which is located on the grounds of Bombay University. We also saw the High Court which is the second largest building in the city consisting of well-appointed court rooms, a large library and a central staircase. Our next stop was the David Sassoon Library which unfortunately we were only allowed to walk through to the outdoor reading garden because the library itself was only for members.

The morning air was thick and humid, forcing us to make a quick stop at the Gateway of India and then take cover in an air conditioned coffee shop. The Gateway of India is a beautifully constructed archway that is Mumbai's most famous landmark. It was the first sight to see when entering Indian during the British Raj as well as the exit point for British troops after India had gained independence in 1947. Behind the gate, the Taj Mahal Hotel sits majestically on the banks for the port.

Following our refreshing session at a chic coffee shop, we headed to the streets to begin our day of street bazaar shopping. In a few stalls I noticed that the man was selling Old Navy clothes. I looked at our program director and said, "Why would I buy Old Navy clothes in India?". She said that Old Navy, Express, and many other clothing brands are made here in India yet they have the Made in USA stamp on the label. These clothes for sale on the streets are those that were rejected because of a small stitching problem or color malfunction. Never trust the Made in USA label!

Our night ended with a play called "Some Times". It focused on the struggles of young Indians as well as the struggles their parents are facing. The main actor was an advertising student who worked for a large advertising firm. His boss was very rude and stressed him out. To add onto the pressure, his parents could not understand why he had a creative job and why he was not yet married. Long story short, the stresses in his life caused him to drink large amounts of alcohol and take drugs. It was a very real scenario and showcased a lot of the struggles that young adults all around the world are facing.

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