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Mumbai in 100 Observations

â—„ men transporting gas canisters on head ● cats chowing down on cardboard covered in sewage ● trash here, trash there, trash everywhere ● street markets buzzing with activity and flies ● Ambassador taxis ● carrying Imodium in pockets 24/7 ● after returning to America, Greg vows to learn the art of curry, it is that good ● one kilometer long street market with endless rows of fashion vendors selling every imaginable piece of clothing ● friendliest people we have encountered on our RTW adventure ● still repairing sites of November 2008 terrorist rampage – Taj Mahal Hotel, Leopold Cafe, Victoria Terminus, Trident Hotel, Oberoi Hotel ● Greg scolded for taking picture of car’s motor ● sidewalks with women laying on blankets while their filthy children play ● kids will be kids no matter the place or circumstances â–º

Woman Resting at Banganbi Tank Mumbai Children

◄ snarled traffic ● bags made from newspaper ● four grown men on one small scooter ● restricted areas for photography include docks and gas stations ● pungent smell of fish at Sassoon Docks ● women skillfully balancing multiple bowls of fish on their heads ● barbed wire fence from Naval base hanging onto sidewalk ● Nariman Point Business District with goats roaming free ● air surrounding Back Bay full of dust and smog ● pigeons, gross pigeons ● architecturally beautiful new hospital ● straight men holding hands ● vacant beach in Back Bay ● old British buildings in Fort area ● military troops strutting in the streets with rifles ● rich living on left, slum on right, separated by ten foot crumbling wall ● fruit stand delivering goods wrapped in newspaper ● red dirt of the Hanging Gardens ● trash cans nowhere to be found ►

Mumbai Bus Nariman Point Hanging Gardens with View of Urban Beach

◄ security guard requesting ten rupees to take pictures of Victoria Terminus, refused to pay ● belching in public is AOK ● lots of barefoot pedestrians cruising the city streets ● immense poverty is disarming ● Dhobi Ghats (open air laundry) are ordered chaos ● workers at the Dhobi Ghats bust their butts ● the whole city of Mumbai is under construction ● begging children reaching up and touching the food on your plate is irritating one moment and heart wrenching the next ● child touts are persistent and hard to resist ● “where are you from?” “America.” “very nice!” ►

Dhobi Ghat (Open Air Laundry) Dhobi Ghat (Open Air Laundry)- v4

◄ soot covering every building ● Bollywood commercials ● motorcycle transporting glass windshields ● trains spewing black smoke onto clean clothes drying in the sun ● welcoming breeze makes it seem we are inhaling clean air ● delicious and cheap street food ● curry and naan are staple foods going forward ● sunny blue skies with a constant haze ● restaurants in Colaba can be impossible to find ● prefer the previous name of Bombay over Mumbai ● Mumbai drivers are fearless ● local trains with people riding on top are fascinating to watch ►

Newer Ditched Cars Covered in Soot

â—„ slum’s moat reeked of fermenting raw sewage, nearly unbearable ● slum children are oblivious to their plight ● Slumdog Millionaire portrayal of life here seems accurate ● outhouses over the slum moat result in fecal matter and trash rising from the water ● slums = heartbreak ● blue oozing water of the slum moat bubbled and looked corrosive ● sheer level of poverty shocks you to the core â–º

Dharbi Slum Moat Urban Slum in Abandoned Boats

â—„ honking is to drivers as breathing is to humans ● Indian men rock the black mustache…they rock it hard! ● carpet salesmen are skilled at their trade and won’t take ‘no’ for an answer ● Bandra Train Station and its surroundings is mass hysteria ● brush your teeth with tap water at your own risk ● citizens are sweet and genuine ● Ashley’s celebrity status after 50+ photos with young Indian girls near Gateway to India ● public toilets for a fee ● squat toilets with “leakage” surrounding the hole ● seeing 1,500 people on the beach without one swimsuit visible makes you scratch your head ● dancing monkeys on a leash is cruel ● each bite of food or sip of drink makes you wonder when Delhi Belly will strike ● traditional female dress is delightful ● men urinating against truck in broad daylight ● packs of cats running wild, wanting to join them â–º

Juhu Beach - Dancing Monkey Ashley Is A Celebrity with Taj Mahal Hotel Squat Toilet

â—„ counted six dead dogs on side of street in under two minutes of walking ● men staring at Ashley’s chest ● dust filled air makes coughing unavoidable ● no regard to traffic signals ● man walking down middle of street with two cows outside $1,000 per night hotel ● cricket match with Indian men wearing all white ● touts on every corner ● men with digital cameras and mobile printers at tourist sites ● extravagant wedding with bride and groom riding in a horse drawn carriage ● genuinely happy and smiling locals ● homeless man sleeping in gutter midday ● urban slum near water with people inhabiting abandoned boats ● body odor ● white t-shirt is brown after eight hours ● necessary to check bottled water to ensure it wasn’t resealed ● naan is simply the best food to clean a plate of curry chicken and vegetables ● helpful strangers who can’t stop smiling â–º

Taj Mahal Hotel Cattle Crossing Beggar Boy Bandra Train Station

â—„ strange Indian bobble head motion to indicate ‘yes’ to a question ● three lanes of traffic, seven rows of cars, cement trucks, humans, auto rickshaws, bikes, dogs, mopeds, taxis, and motorcycles ● beggar boy coming up to taxi window with sad and dirty face ● our hotel room resembling a prison cell ● My Name is Khan controversy ● raucous men climbing over each other to board train to Agra ● if you visit India, Mumbai is a must â–º

- Greg and Ash

Learn From Our Footsteps:

1) India is a dirty place and after a long day hitting the pavement, a clean and comfortable room is precious. Spend the extra $$$ and stay at a guesthouse with plenty of positive reviews.

  • Inspired Follower

    ahh I loved reading this!! we were debating on whether we want to go there but after this it sounds like it is a must!

  • fofs

    Inspired Follower – Ash and I both thought Mumbai was more interesting than New Delhi, so if it is between those two cities, Mumbai is the way to go. In order to essentially see the whole city, we negotiated an eight hour private car for quite cheap. India is an explosion of all 5 senses!

    - Greg and Ash

  • Amar Jeet Singh

    When I saw it first time, I thought that Ash is meant for Ashvariya Roy.Later on after a few mouse clicks I visited your vedio clippings.It is like seeing our country with the eyes of an out sider. I too, when of your age, felt that I should travel a lot and visit many many countries. But in India you cannot leave your job just to see the World and come back. Jobs are hard to get and easier to loose.So no adventures.But it sounds good to see some one else to follow what ones heart says.GOOD keep it going.

  • http://twitter.com/amarinrdso Amar jeet Singh

    I think New Delhi is somewhat cleaner than Bombay, the people of Bombay are far better than the people you may come across in New Delhi.

  • fofs

    Amar – So great to have a reader from India! We absolutely loved your country and look forward to a return visit in the future. Any places to visit that are not on the tourist track that you would suggest?

    Leaving family / friends, employment, and the every day comforts of home behind was not an easy decision. But the people, places, foods, and experiences we have shared are irreplaceable.

    Thanks for reading all the way in India!

    - Greg and Ash

  • Amar Jeet Singh

    When I saw it first time, I thought that Ash is meant for Ashvariya Roy.Later on after a few mouse clicks I visited your vedio clippings.It is like seeing our country with the eyes of an out sider. I too, when of your age, felt that I should travel a lot and visit many many countries. But in India you cannot leave your job just to see the World and come back. Jobs are hard to get and easier to loose.So no adventures.But it sounds good to see some one else to follow what ones heart says.GOOD keep it going.

  • http://twitter.com/amarinrdso Amar jeet Singh

    I think New Delhi is somewhat cleaner than Bombay, the people of Bombay are far better than the people you may come across in New Delhi.

  • fofs

    Amar – So great to have a reader from India! We absolutely loved your country and look forward to a return visit in the future. Any places to visit that are not on the tourist track that you would suggest?

    Leaving family / friends, employment, and the every day comforts of home behind was not an easy decision. But the people, places, foods, and experiences we have shared are irreplaceable.

    Thanks for reading all the way in India!

    - Greg and Ash

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