Thursday, June 11, 2009

Arrival in Mumbai मुंबई

I snapped these photos below, on my first day in Mumbai (Bombay) - June 10th. I had a full day to roam around Colaba district on my own, before meeting up with Liz the following morning. Wow. India! is all I have to say!! Mumbai is a city like no other, more densely populated than any I've ever experienced before. It is home to 13 million people, and I found it shocking to hear that over half of those live in slums.
Just crossing the street is a challenge because you are competing with cows, motorbikes, goats, buses, men pulling ox carts, cyclists, barefoot begging children, and rickshaws. It's chaotic to say the least. A full bombardment to the senses. Smells wafting from perfume shops competing with mounds of stinky trash. Hindi music blaring at top volume, harmonizing with a flow of beeping car horns. New exotic tastes of sugar cane juice from a street-side vendor (probably not the most sanitary, but I've survived), sampling mango candy and dried figs from spice shops...

Goats, cows and motorbikes a plenty.
How these men are able to nap on the noisy street, in the blazing heat, is beyond me....
Near Crawford Market. Betel nut, saffron, cardamon, anise and various other spices.Fabric market displaying rich Indian colors and fabrics. I walked through narrow hallways, along the lengthy rows of sari tailors sipping chai and greeting me with friendly smiles and a welcoming "namaste."