Sunday, June 26, 2011

Mumbai and Beyond

Mumbai was a blast. This trip keeps getting better and better. Goa was nice and quiet, but Mumbai was an absolute party. We got in in the evening and wandered the streets looking for a hotel. Everything was full so we pulled out our trusty Lonely Planet and found the closest hotel to us....without reading the description. (sidenote: how did people ever travel before LP? We'd be lost without a clue). We walk into this beautiful, new, modern lobby and inquire about rooms. Find out that they have one, but it's expensive; roughly $30 a night. This is by far the most expensive room we've had. Then we get to see it. WOW. It's not even on a floor. It's on a sub floor between the first and ground, eloquently referred to as the "mezzanine." This 5'x5' box has 1 tiny bed on eachside, you can't stand without hitting your head on the ceiling, and the ac is shared with the room through your wall; which isn't really a wall as much as a peice of plywood. No windows, no priavcy, oh and a shared toilet and shower. The shower you can see from one into the other. Nice-uh.

We made it through one night there- gotta love Discovery Channel, then met Carl (friend from high school) the next day for lunch. He took up to Leopold's. If you've read Shantaram you know what I'm talking about. If you havent, you should! Carl was suffering through a breakup, so it turned into a boozy lunch, followed by a boozy walking tour of downtown, followed by a boozy evening at Carl's apartment 40km outside the city. Beautiful apartment, with Turkish roommmates who cooked us dinner (with cheese!!), and best yet, a free place to crash for 2 nights! No more 1/2 floors for these kids!

We had such a blast with Carl. The next day he decided to go to work, so Paul and I took a boat to Elephanta Island. You leave from the Gateway to India, boat for an hour, then arrive at this little island (7km of coastline) to look at some ancient Buddhist/Hindu caves. After the Batu caves in KL, this looked like a pile of rocks. Not so interesting. The highlightwas definitly watching a monkey grab a water out of this guys hands, unscrew it, and drink it, all the while the guy just looks at his empty hands in disbelief. The boat was fun too.

That evening we met up with Carl's friends and went out on the town. Decided town was not in our backpacker budget, so we hit the wine shop and drank in the street, then hit the club, then went back to Carl's friend' Jay's apartment, where we made 3am sandwiches and chatted until 5. I havent been up that late in months! It was ana amzing time and Carl was so sweet to post up our poor asses for 2 nights!

The next day we said goodbye and flew to Jaipur, capital of Rajasthan....

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