05.01.2010 - 05.01.2010 29 °C
So, let's get things out upfront. I'm tired. I'm hot. I'm probably a bit dirty (not in mind) and I...wait for it...have a mild stomach condition. So if my entry is slightly sarcastic, cynical or crass, these may be contributing factors.
Let's start with the obvious. No, it's not the dreaded and unspoken. It's not DB. It's still a stomach unhappiness though, but I have not felt inconvenienced by it in any dramatic way today, except for some continuous stomach cramps and a very real sense of internal sensitivity. Thank the gods. In all honesty it likely has to do with a mild binge yesterday afternoon at the airport (Toblerone, Pringles, Nuts, More nuts, More toblerone) followed by an excessive dinner last night. Carolyn and I admittedly shared enough food for six people. It was Thali (a mixture of dishes), Pilau rice, a massive other curry and enough naan to have biblical signifance. The food was wonderful. My stomach was massive and the waiter laughed at us. Lurking in the back of my mind was the stomach monster saying things like, Öoh, big city water....ooh...water washes vegetables...ooh...more dishes= more chance." I guess it was right. And toady I apologise and ask all the gods that exist in this country and others, to spare me any embarrassment during the wait until 2:30am this morning when we finally get on our plane.
Yes, we get on the plane at 2:30am. Mumbai airport seems to have the most convenient arrival and departure times. You arrive homeless and dirty and leave homeless and dirty. Perhpas it's Karma sent by the souls of the street kids and that one cat I saw earlier. Anyway, we had to check out at 12pm, so have been roaming the more priveldged streets of Mumbai. At least we've been common enough to use the busses. First, they are pretty starightforward. Second, they're like 80c a ride and third, it's a great way to get a sense of the city.
I don't mind the city. It seems like it's in between a few things. Not identityless, but like it's been constantly tugged at by different influences and has settled into the inbetweenness.
We visted the Gateway to India. I cannot say that an egosistical colonial monument in any way evoked anything "WOW" in me. A declaration of arrival by royal colonists can be expected, but I'm not too sure that if I lived in India, I'd be as proud of it as many people here seem to be.
We should have gone to Elephanta Island instead of the 30 minute harbour cruise to bide time. On that ferry ride we were photographed by every single Indian aboard the boat. Most people didn't even ask, so we sat with a seat between us while everyone came, in turn, to sit between us and be photographed. How random to think i'll be on some stranger's facebook newsfeed or in their holiday or pilgramage album. Funny!
Anyway, I've been told to hurry up. I'll post a few pics when i get home in many hours time....after I have slept, cleaned, washed everything and gotten over the things i DIDN'T buy.
India, you have been amazing!