Bombay Dreams?

Trip Start Nov 16, 2004
Trip End Nov 15, 2005

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Flag of India  ,
Monday, December 6, 2004

I have thought that the recent pictures that I have added might give a false impression of our experiences so far. It hasn't all been sea & sunshine, so I have added a few comments I made in my journal when we arrived at Mumbai (was Bombay until 1995).....

"We crawl into Mumbai, with a population of 15 million, at 7am. We have been on the sleeper train for 12 hours and stagger of the train attempting to be as alert as possible. Viewing Mumbai from the train my first impressions are of poverty and shabby slums. We walk along the station and are confronted my an awful smell that drags our eyes to the track. On the track are countless piles of human excrement. At this point I'm trying not to throw up and hurry through the station while dodging the sleeping corpses of the numerous homeless people."

So, it's not all fun!

We had wanted to get a 24 hour sleeper train to Agra to view the Taj Mahal but after some effort at the train station we eventually conceded that it wasn't going to fit into our schedule.

We found the Tourist (Mis) Information in Mumbai to be useless and most of taxi drivers were either incompetent or doing a good job in trying to extort higher fares by climbing not to know the whereabouts of simple landmarks in Mumbai.

We visited Elephanta Island on Tuesday the 7th December that is an hours boat ride from Mumbai harbour. Elephanta has about 4 man-made caves with carvings/sculptures dating back to 4th century A.D.

On Wednesday, we got a 40 minute train journey to 'Film City' in search of Bollywood. The journey was pretty unpleasant with some awful smells. And then as I was staring out of the window I noticed a couple of people standing over a male body that was on the track. Presumably, a jumper. Not quite sure, but it looked as though the guy wouldn't be doing any 'Head & Shoulders' commercials anymore.

Said it wasn't always fun!

As it turns out we didn't get into Bollywood. Due to some bureacracy, very common in India I have noticed, we were not allowed permission to view Bollywood. Instead we contented ourselves with some cinema in the evening. We watched a movie called, 'Hulchal', that lasted for 2 hours and was all in Hindu. It was surprisingly good fun considering we didn't understand any of the dialogue.!

After bringing our flight to Bangkok forward by 24 hours we headed to the Airport at about 11pm (on Wednesday 8 Dec). Our flight eventually took off at 0600hrs on Thursday the 9th.

Bye bye India, Hello Thailand.
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