We’ve finally arrived in Mumbai and it’s very impressive. The population of Mumbai is 22 million. There are no rickshaws here because they have been banned from the city center. There are, however, taxis, taxis, and more taxis. They come in two flavors – yellow cabs with no air conditioning and blue/silver which have air conditioning. The blue/silver are tough to find. The bargaining with taxi drivers is incredible. Perhaps because we’re tourists, they want to spend the entire day with us – wherever we want to go. Getting a simple taxi ride from point A to B is very difficult and takes some negotiation. And the rides are wild.
We started first with a few of the British era buildings in the center of the city.We visited the outdoor laundry, Dhobi Ghat, which is the largest outdoor laundry in the world. It only employs men and operates every day of the week. To watch the operation was very enjoyable. Here’s a peek. They use a special bluing agent for whites and the white laundry comes out very white and clean. You can also see one area that does nothing but denim.
We next visited a Hindu temple while a service was being performed. Of course, we had to take off our shoes but were able to watch the service with the worshippers – it was a little strange to be taking pictures in their midst but they encouraged photos. One mother even asked me to take a photo of her child – notice the Disneyland T-shirt.Last night we had dinner in Mumbai and not on the ship. We traveled to Trishna restaurant with our Toronto friends and had an excellent meal. They are known for Garlic Pepper Buttered Crab and it was delicious. I asked the question about shells in this restaurant and another where we ordered prawns. If you prefer the shells removed, they will do that in the kitchen for you. It makes eating so much more enjoyable and less messy.
Today we ventured out on our own into the wilds of Mumbai – and it’s a Monday so traffic is at its peak. It’s definitely a feast for the eyes. The taxis are very small and only accommodate 2 people. Our driver today was young and particularly aggressive in traffic. He squeezed us into spaces that a bicycle typically wouldn’t attempt. It was a wild ride to say the least.
We saw the Gateway of India monument which was built in 1911 and dedicated to King George V and Queen Mary. It’s very impressive and is visited by millions of people, even locals. The Taj Hotel is directly across the street and has some of its exterior shrouded. We went inside the Taj and it’s beautiful and very opulent. The security is quite excessive because of the 2008 bombings that occurred at this site.Oman and we’ll be at sea for the next two days. I’m not sure how much I’ll have to post but please continue to follow and comment. Thanks again from Mumbai. By the way, many locals still refer to this city as Bombay so I guess you can technically call it either.