Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Running Red Lights

Mumbai, with a population of over 13 million, will definitely give you culture shock. We hired a car for a day to explore the city and get our bearing. It turns out that I am still as confused of this fast paced, red light running city as when I landed at the airport.

I was prepared for crazy driving but still on multiple occasions I wanted to tell the driver to watch out for the person, cat, or dog that was walking in front of the car. It was almost impossible to cross the streets. You would have to wait for a large mob or jump between cars as they slow down. The drivers, although a bit crazy, are very good. They are so fantastic at judging distance that they come within inches of pedestrians, which they did on multiple occasions. This promoted the pedestrians to run faster across the street. Here in Mumbai lane dividers and signal lights are just decorations.

Other than having a great time riding around in our hired car we were able to visit the Gateway of India which people called the "Gate." When the locals say it, it sounded more like "Get", so for a while that's what I was calling it.  From the Gate Tanya (my travel buddy) and I took a harbor cruise that costed 60Rs. So the conversion is 51Rs per dollar just in case you want to know.

We also visited the train station to buy our tickets to Delhi. It was absolutely crazy. There are so many people and no signs to tell you where to find the Tourist Office. We leave Saturday for Dehli, the capital of India. Its a 21hour train journey.

We met up for dinner with a friend at a very famous traveller restaurant. Why is it famous? Well last year it was attacked during the terrorist attacks in Mumbai. Its much safer now.

Mumbai is very hot and humid. Its about 35C but you still need to cover up and be modest. I don't mind the heat yet, but ask me in a couple weeks.Wish us luck, Tanya and I are heading to Gandhi National Park for a safari, then we head off to a Slum tour before some shopping.

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