Mumbai Madness

Trip Start Sep 22, 2010
Trip End May 17, 2011

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Flag of India  ,
Monday, October 11, 2010

India was an amazing experience filled with wonderful people, bright colors, vivid smells, and the best food in the world!!  It was worlds away from anything we have done or seen in the past. 

The people were our favorite part of our journey.  Every local we met went out of their way to talk with us, offering to help, making sure we were enjoying ourselves, wondering where we had been and what we were going to do.  They loved westerners and especially people from the US, which was surprising to us.  Barack-n-roll!    

Mumbai greeted us with a big slap-in-the-face, in the best way possible.  The streets were literally filled with thousands of people, dogs, tuk-tuks, cars, mopeds (we actually saw one ridden by a family of five, no helmets), bicycles, push-cart vendors, and more.  Entering the streets as a pedestrian was an extreme sport.  Being in a car was not any better.  There was no such thing as using lanes, waiting for a clearance to turn or enter traffic, or only passing when there was no oncoming traffic.  Basically, it was honk and go, no matter what the situation.  The energy was something else. 

Although we saw many of the beautiful sights of the city, we also saw crushing poverty and desperation.  Any parallels we attempted to draw to cities in the west just didn't work.  We needed to think with a new paradigm when it came to trying to grasp Mumbai.  

Mumbai Facts ...

1. Population: 16 million, 27,000 people per square kilometer
2. Trains: at rush hour, an 1,800 person capacity train has 7,000 people on it
3. Number of public toilets for every one million people: 17 (that's not a typo)
4. Tourist necessity: toilet paper

We were fortunate to have Susie's sister, Lisa, join us for the first half of our Indian adventure and she fell in love with India just like we did.   
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