The Bobblehead

Trip Start Jun 14, 2013
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of India  ,
Thursday, June 20, 2013

As I was planning on leaving Mumbai Tomorrow I didn't have much time to do all the sites I wanted Mark and I decided to hire a taxi for the day to show us around a few sites as our hotel was in the Northern area of the city and the majority of the places we wanted to go were in the South.

This cost us 2000rs (22) between the 2 of us for 7 hours, the driver took us all over the city showing us sites ranging from the local zoo,, the beach, Gateway Of India which is where I bumped into Olga a Russian from my hostel in Goa.

Once the tour had finished I had to head back to Mumbai Central Station to book a ticket to my next port of call which is Udaipur in the state of Rajasthan. Unfortunately the only available train for the next 4 days was tonight at 23.25 as I didn’t want to stay in Mumbai for a few more days I decided to book this train which was 425rs (5) for a 16 hour journey in sleeper class. Watching Indians get on and off the train during rush hour can only be described as a cross between the conga and a mass stampede.

Booking the train ticket meant a mad dash back to Khar Road near my hostel to get some food and a beer before heading to the station where m overnight train was due to depart. Sezwan noodles and 2 bottles of kingfisher set me back 260rs (2.75ish)

I didn’t get a refund on the night I wasn’t sleeping at the hostel but it was better to get the train than stay in Mumbai for a few extra days with not much to do as believe it or not it is rather pricey by Indian standards.

Mumbai is a city of great contradiction on one hand you will see high end luxury brands such as Gucci, Jaguar, Ducati, Rolex etc. etc. and then no more than a 100 yards away you will have families searching through weeks and weeks of rubbish in the hope of finding something remotely edible or that they can use.

I said my goodbyes to Mark and headed to the station where I would get my overnight train, 1st I got to the local train 1 stop to Bandra and then went outside to get a Tuk Tuk to Bandra Terminus, originally he quoted me 100rs which was probably at least 50% to much but I really couldn’t be bothered to try and fight over 50p.

As the Tuk Tuk was leaving 2 of the drivers mates jumped in and when we got to our destination he tried to charge me for them aswell, I told him he had no chance the arse hole, once I handed over the 100rs he tried to tell me I had given him 90rs until I took it back and counted it in front of him and told him to get some manners next time. I know it is pennies but it is the principle!

Once at the station and on the train I bumped in Olga again who was on the same train and 2 Spanish lads Francisco and Gerrard. The locals were so nice and couldn’t have been more friendly and helpful which included about 6 of them playing what seemed like a giant game of musical chairs so the 4 westerners could all sit around the same compartment.

Despite my rant about the taxi driver in the previous post and my disgust at the Tuk Tuk driver once you get past these and meet the real people they are wonderful with hearts of gold. You will get the odd one pestering you but it isn’t that annoying and they will quickly move on, not as bad as when I was in Egypt and they would constantly harass and follow you for a few hundred metres.

You are probably wondering about the title bobblehead but it is a thing that Indians do when asked a question it is like a nod and means yes, just pictures those kiddies toys with a head that wobbles.

I really enjoyed the Indian train much like the bus journey, I had been warned against going in sleeper class but I thought it was ok , it is a open plan carriage with 3 bunks on each wall going the length of the train and then 2 by 2 bunks the width of the train only at 1 side.

I have arrived in Udaipur safely and staying in a lovely hostel for 300rs a night for a shared room, it is beautiful overlooking the river with a rooftop terrace where we spent the evening watching the sun set over the hills in the distance.

I will update this in a few days with what I have been up to in Udaipur and future plans.

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