Thinking & Feeling

“The world is a tragedy to those who feel, but a comedy to those who think.” Horace Walpole

Sunday, 26 May 2013

Incredible India - Day 8 - Hello Mumbai

Day 8: Having arrived in Mumbai on the Doronto Express from Ernakulam we hustled and bustled and jostled and pushed and shoved along side the locals until we had secured a taxi. After the relative calm and slow pace of Kerala, Mumbai was a bit of a culture-shock and attack on the senses. Everything was fast, busy, loud, in-your-face, HOT, smelly. We were pretty startled and dozy after stilling in the train for so long. We had booked into the Nariman Point Trident Hotel, which was a rather pricey but nice looking hotel in a good part of town. The price had horrified me a bit, but I couldn't find anything mid range and it was either cheap and very dodgy looking or very expensive. We decided Mumbai would be tough and crazy enough anyway and opted for some comfort. The drive there was long and the sun set while we drove. It was interesting to watch the city and people as we drove by. We finally got to the Nariman Promenade as the last light was going and got a gorgeous view of the ocean and city line.

The whole town was bristling with tension and it turned out it was because the IPL was on and indeed the Mumbai Indians were playing right there in Mumbai that night. So it was kind of mad.
Arriving in Mumbai
We finally arrived at the hotel after the taxi underwent a pretty through security check and our bags and ourselves had to be x-rayed and security checked on the way in too. It was mad. So we walk into the lobby of the posh and swanky hotel looking like hobos having just come out of the jungle and after our long train journey. Then at the front desk I was told that they had no room for us! NOOOOOO! Apparently the Mumbai Indians were staying there and they were booked full.

I was not very amused. But I kind of just stood there forlornly, thinking wtf do we do now..? With that she apologised and said instead they had booked us into the adjoining partner hotel. The Oberoi. I started protesting and asking whether is would be as nice etc. Andrew nudged me and quietly said 'Just take it!'. I would soon find out why.

We were walked over to the Oberoi - which made the Trident look cheap! - and oh my god the opulence and luxury is almost obscene.

We were taken up to our private suites (yes we had 2) and were introduced to our private Butler (I kid you not!) Georgina. She offered to help us unpack, but we declined because our bags and clothes were filthy having been roughing it for over a week.

We did let her show us how our room worked (there were quite a few controls) and also let her help us select a suitably comfortable pillow from the pillow menu (which had 5-10 options, I am not even joking!). I chose duck down, and A chose a selection to critique, including Goose Down, Buck Wheat and some science micro-fibre thing... :)
The Oberoi Hotel
The laundry fees were staggeringly expensive so we did our own laundry and hung it up all over the swanky bathroom - really classy. We also threatened the boys with death if they even thought about drinking or eating anything from the mini-bar!

Still there were enough toiletries, gowns and slippers etc, not to mention the bathroom TV to keep them very happy.

A and I went for a late night run along the Promenade to stretch our legs out after dinner. It was lovely and I really enjoyed it, there were a lot of people out and about on the Promenade and it was here that I got my first real taste of the Indian Men. Boy did they STARE at me as I ran. You'd swear I was a blond-big-breasted super model they way they stared. It was funny and kinda endearing at first. And I think because I was with A it was amusing and somewhat entertaining rather than irritating or scary, but I could see how a worn alone could feel quite intimidated and even threatened by it.

Massala Dosa Dinner

After our run we were greeted like royalty and offered bottled water when we got back to the hotel. I could get used to that! We then had a shower we took a walk and had a fantastic sleep.  in the big soft bed. Before waking up to a first class breakfast the next morning.

Originally our booking had not included breakfast, but in being bumped over to the Oberoi, breakfast became included (yes we checked 3 or 4 times before actually going to eat breakfast! The breakfasts cost about Rs1200!). The breakfast was delicious and the boys revels in being able to order pancakes, waffles, eggs, cappacinos.... well whatever they wanted. I discovered a delicious and evidently really cheap fruit which I LOVED called Chickoos or Mud-Apples. They are so yummy and taste like custard.

Anyway after breakfast we went for a walk around Nairiman Point and Colaba to check out the Gateway to India and see what that part of Mumbai was  all about. It was hot, and bustling. Again there was not a heck of a lot of shopping opportunities and nothing really cheap but I did buy a few scarves.

Walking in the Streets of Mumbai
Next up our Slum Tour.

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