In the evenings, the parks are full of children and adults playing multiple games of cricket
. We met one local, Martin, who actually taught us the rules of cricket. Martin was a little sketchy and was too insistent that we go for a beer with him, that we ended up eventually going our own way. The airport signs warn you not to go for drinks with locals or go to eat if invited...it's apparently a common scam. So, two days later, as we were walking through the same park, Martin approaches us...with the same speech he used the first time. He had no memory of speaking with us before, even after we refreshed his memory. I think he was high on something..and am definitely convinced that he was trying to scam us or rob us or something. But...at least we learned how to play cricket!
We had a map that told us where the General Post Office is...in an old building...so we went to check it out and buy some stamps for our postcards. We found the "Telegraph Office" but it wasn't the Post Office. He told us to go across the street and ask. So we did...right up to the homemade bunker of sand bags and the military soldier inside...and asked. About 2 minutes into our conversation, I looked down...there's an AK47 pointed directly at my chest! OMG..I was standing right in front of the guys gun!!...within half a foot! So I calmly moved aside and tried not to show the fear on my face...lol. He didn't speak English, so another guard came up to help. He asked if we had our ID, which we didn't because we left it in safekeeping, so he waved us in anyway. haha. We had to go through a metal detector and check the camera...so we asked again where the Post Office is, shocked at the security they had just for the Post Office! They tell us to go further in. A gentlemen offered to bring us part way, so we followed him through a maze of hallways. We emerged from the hallways into the 18th century! WOW! What an awesomely amazing place. We soon realized that we weren't at the Post Office...we were at the High Courts of India!
! The buildings were ancient and well maintained. They looked brand new! The ground was all cobblestone paths. It was a whole village...that can't be seen from the outside. Literally, we were living in the past. The judges were all wearing their cloaks...kind of intimidating...lol. We asked one of them where the Post Office is...which is when we found out that there is not post office there! Haha. So a couple other judges joined us and after a short discussion, we were directed back where we came from! So...enjoying the sights and atmosphere that no other tourists get, we took our time going back out to the chaos of the streets of Mumbai. We never did find the Post Office!
Overall, India is fantastic! Not for everyone...but fantastic for us. Everyone warned us about coming here...the food will make you sick, the streets are dirty and stink, there are so many people that you will get robbed...but, seeing 14 countries before this one...in our opinion...India is higher up on the "clean" scale. We've seen, smelled, and been to much worse and more scary places. Amazing India!
The people in India are amazing! The food is fantastic! Everyone is super friendly...and look out for us! There are some beggars, mostly street children, that will harass us for money...not nearly as many as some other countries. We've only had about 3, and one boy selling maps...which we spent some time with, giving him life lessons and joking around. Each time a child starts begging from us, a random man...sometimes a vendor, sometimes just someone walking by...will say something to the kids that makes them leave us alone. It's like they tell them to go away, and they do! We've met some good friends in the restaurant at our hotel too. Everyday, they help us to choose something new off the menu, and they bring us new teas and snacks to try. They find it comical to watch us attempt to eat with our hands.