Mumbai

Getting Easier

    It’s amazing how much easier life in Mumbai can be when you have your own driver. Ours started today, and I’m relieved. We may be scooting around in the Honda Civic for the time being, but at least the rides are now air conditioned and hassle-free. Four days of hailing cabs in this city can wear you out. And, since I’m new here, a few cabs have gotten “lost” on the way back to my place. It was to be expected…we did a whole simulation on cabbie foul play in my Hindi class.

    When you’re not in a cab, though, they seem pretty cool. All drivers drive the classic Ambassador, and Indian-made car that looks like a PT cruiser/old Benz prototype, only much much smaller. There’s hardly enough headroom for me, and I’m only 5’6…(okay, okay…so my driver’s license says 5’7″). Some drivers have also decked out their cabs with decals of Lakshmi, Ganesh, Lord Shiva or other Hindu deities, and the interiors of a very few are quite luxe. Still…no a/c.

    As I was fortunate enough to have a driver today, I decided to get down to business and shop.
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    Namaskar Mumbai Se!

      And on the first few days I saw:

      1 vulture
      1 lizard
      3 Cows (1 of which was hitched to a cart at the beginning of the evening rush)
      Several bats
      Dozens of stray dogs

      Mumbai is wild and for a city of its size – we’re talking 20 million – it certainly has a lot of wildlife. There are bats with 2-3 foot wingspans nesting in the trees outside of my room. The bats aren’t menacing at all. Kind of pretty actually. But when you first realize what they are, it’s pretty freaky because they’re bigger than crows. Much bigger. I’m fairly positive I saw a vulture yesterday, but
      upon looking this morning, I think it may have been a very large hawk. Not sure about all the birdlife here, so I’ll learn.
      Read More »Namaskar Mumbai Se!