As a beginning blogger, please bear with me as I adjust to writing and organizing my thoughts in this format. Here goes my first blog…
I made it to Mumbai on Saturday at midnight with much anticipation. This flight was unlike any other flight I’ve made. Not only the excitement to see Dan, the opportunity to experience a new world & culture has been top of mind and I was fortunate to fly first-class on Cathay Pacific (thank you airline miles!). As I was telling Dan, this flight reminded me of what I felt like when I was 7 years old and flying to see my Grandma & Grandpa for the first time.
Here’s where my mind starts to wander – how do I clearly communicate all the observations, visions, thoughts from a land that is unlike anywhere in the US. Dan’s apartment is located in a suburb of Mumbai, the area is called Nahar Amrit Shakti. On Sunday morning, we walked to the local center that has a few store fronts, grocery store and street market. What stands out in my mind from that first walk – it’s not as magnified as I expected. There are many people but not so crowded that personal space is an issue, horns are continually honked but they have a slightly softer sound then the car horns in the US, people went about their business, stared at us but left us alone for the most part. Yes, we’re in the suburbs so I’m sure this will all change once we hit the streets of downtown Mumbai!
Later that afternoon we took an auto rickshaw to Powai. This is an up-scale neighborhood not far from Dan’s apartment. What I find frustrating is that it’s necessary to take the rickshaw – Powai is about 2 miles away and we’ve been advised we shouldn’t walk there. I understand during the heat of the day, it’s just too hot & humid but I don’t think that’s their reasoning. From my outings so far, I don’t feel threatened or in harms way so we’ll see — I’m sure we’ll be walking there before this trip is over.
The roads …. no rules, I truly don’t understand how there aren’t more accidents between people darting across the streets, cars making up there own lanes & filling the gap, a family of 5 on a motorcycle, bicycles with 1, 2, even 3 people and no traffic lights to keep any order. It’s all for one and one for all. However, when people drive, they drive and are alert to all that is going on around them — no distractions. Hmm, something to be learned.
Dogs are an interesting part of the street scene. It’s rare to see a dog as a pet, Dan has mentioned seeing just a few people walking their dogs on a leash. The majority of street dogs are “wild” and left to their own devises. These dogs are the complete opposite of the “wild” dogs we’ve seen in Mexico. They are mild-mannered, non-aggressive and walk about the streets just like one of us. They’re don’t look mangy, are not skittish and will lay along the sidewalks to nap in the afternoon sun. I’m not sure how I feel about this, but it’s reassuring to see they aren’t harmed by anyone, look relatively happy & healthy and don’t appear to have problems finding food/water.
Looking forward to further explorations and sharing along the way. Cheers!
View from apartment balcony
Rickshaw — aka covered moped that seats 3
Napping street dog, I named her (maybe him?) Shanti.