Slums & Bollywood!

Trip Start Feb 17, 2010
Trip End Feb 23, 2011

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Where I stayed
Anjali Inn
Red Shield Salvation Army

Flag of India  , Mahārāshtra,
Thursday, February 25, 2010

So there I was, sitting on the aeroplane enjoying the in-flight entertainment and trying not to think of what I just let myself in for when the air-hostess comes along with the aeroplane food, I was starving and looking forward to what it might be! When she get to me she tells me the worst news possible... "I'm sorry sir, we only have the vegetarian option left" I was gutted! I explained to her that not only to I enjoy eating meat but I am actually anti-vegetarian... I oppose everything it stands for... however the situation was somewhat resolved when she offered me some free beer!

I arrived into Mumbai and the blistering heat at about 11am and a guy from the youth hostel I booked was there to pick me up from the airport, It was a great youth hostel only 1Km from the airport, however it was quite expensive and about an hours drive from the centre of Mumbai. I met several other backpackers at the hostel and so we were able to share a taxi into town to get food and have our first taste of Mumbai. The coolest meal was when we wanted food at 3am and a tuk-tuk (3 wheeled rickshaw type taxi) brought us to a street corner where Indian guys were making a meal that consisted of red mush and at least 40 eggs!! - It was amazing!

2 days later me and 4 of the other backpackers (3 Belguim 1 German) moved into Colaba in the centre of Mumbai, as that was where everything was! We managed to find a really cheap hostel there (Salvation Army) it was about 3 per night and included "breakfast" and by breakfast I mean 3 slices of bread and a tiny bannana.... also it was 50/50 whether or not there was water in the taps and the beds were somewhat itchy, but it was situated right beside the Taj Mahal Hotel, and rigth by the Gateway to India, so I couldn't really complain... especially since everywhere else in Mumbai was around 8 per night.

Mumbai (aka Bombay) is such a wonderful city with sooo much to see and do although the contrast between rich and poor is everywhere... on one side of the street people are sifting through rotten rubbish to find stuff to eat, sell or recycle while 2 min from there is the Taj Mahal Hotel with its marble floors and walls!! 

Again I met up with several backpackers to try and find things to do and places to eat, including a guy from Belfast with the worst sunburn in the world and crazy South African man (a guy in his late 30s with lots of piercings who comes to India all the time and yet was soo enthusiastic about EVERYTHING! That night we were scouted by a guy from Bollywood looking for extras for a new film!!! So the next day me and several others had to be ready for 8am when we were picked up and driven to the set where the scene was being filmed - In a hospital! We had to sit about for hours at a time, and then we would do something silly like was past a window, or in my case sit and pretend to read a newspaper in the background of the shot! So yeah, I think I am pretty much famous now... and I also got paid 500 Rupees (7.25) for my days work!

The day after was an Indian Holy day "Holi Festival of Colours" where everyone says "Happy Holi" and throws coloured powder and water on everyone. Its most vibrant in the poorer parts so we went to a slum area where the people were going crazy with music and everything... It was amazing to see! I got absolutely covered in colours and water! 

So yeah, after 5 days in India, I have met some awesome people, had some awesome adventures, and am still completely healthy and well! Praise God! I arrived In Goa last night after a gruelling 12 hour train journey. The heat has been the biggest issue but i'm getting used to it, the food it great and I don't mind the spice too much!

So yeah, that about all I got for now. There is so much more I could tell you, but it would take forever, and there is a lot more adventure to be had!

Bye for now! :D

Irish Mark 
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Mark's Dad on

Great to hear from you. Glad to hear all is going well and that you're enjoying the food. Sounds like there are still some late nights being had - you think 8.00am is early! What's the name of the Bollywood blockbuster?

Mrs C A Delves on

Glad you're having a good time! Funny that you chose to go to vegetarian capital of the world tho... Stay safe and well

Ola on

So glad you're having an awesome time. Be safe Mr. Alcorn!


Commie on

Good to hear the dream is still alive and that you are about to enter the hippy mecca, Goa. Have a great time and avoid the brown acid!!

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