I cant believe its finally happenned

Trip Start Sep 19, 2012
Trip End Jul 22, 2014

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Where I stayed
Prossers Hotel Coloba

Flag of India  , Mahārāshtra,
Thursday, September 20, 2012

What a start to my adventure. Loren was waiting at the airport with a big grin and his hand written sign with "GUS" in big letters. He had actually arrived by taxi and then arranged for one to take us back to Colaba. I was expecting to be hassled by touts but everything was extremely organised. We eventually found our designated taxi and the driver was fast asleep in the back seat.He had been waiting almost 19 hours for a fare. Driving into Mumbai was somewhat hectic - disorganised chaos with cars, taxis, motor bikes, and tuk tuks all competing for the same piece road. But everyone is quite civilised and just hoots to let you know they are coming through. 

 Halfway into town Loren asked the driver to stop and we all went into a little street restaurant for lunch. We all walked through the kitchen to wash our hands and the kitchen was in a back alley with just a corrugated iron and tarpaulin roof. Every bit of advice and guidebook I had read was screaming out a warning that this place should be avoided. First, the water was just served from a jug and not wanting to offend my new host I thought that if I am going to be here for 6 months I might as well start building up some resistance. The food was good and Loren kept piling more on to my plate and eventually had to ask the waiter to take my plate away. We all jumped backed into the taxi and headed off to find me a hotel. Loren had already booked one for me right on the seafront only 100 m from the Ultra Luxurious Taj Mahal Hotel. Apparently this is where all the celebs stay. Sadly my hotel is a little less impressive and resembles a prison cell. One single bed, one plastic chair and a small table! Perfect for my needs and more importantly my budge. About $8 a night.

I travel half way around the world and the first people I bump into in the hotel are from Chatsworth!! I kid you not. Loren had already paid for the first night as a welcome for me. He arranged to meet me about 4 hours later and this time he had his own car. Insisted that I get a new sim card so he can keep in touch with me. His "girlfriends" son joined us and he must have been about 14. He is from Uzbekistan and is fluent in Russian, French, English, some Hindi and also CELLPHONE. Once he had helped me sort out my phone Loren took us off to a street cafe where this time the kitchen was in a basement alley. Ordered a Masala Dossa which was a large thin crispy pancake filled with potato and onions and a brilliant Masala and a cucumber and curd dipping sauce. Very tasty and eaten the traditional way with my fingers.

After dinner drove around Colaba with Loren on the phone trying to hook up with Immrans mother cos he heard that she had another Russian women staying with her.After he dropped me off the hotel I took a walk along the seafront. Lots of families dancing and partying with their own mobile disco or band and letting off crackers..The noise was unbelievable. So my introduction to India has been Brilliant and so far the digestive system seems to be intact. Lets see what tomorrow brings?
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