I have decided I need to make sure I keep on top of this blog this time as I let it slip in New York badly and I want something to read back on once I’m done with my trip. This is also the best way of me telling you guys what I’ve really been up to!
So today I spent the day in Mumbai. About 8 hours to be precise, a very long cram-packed 8 hours might I add!
It all started with my flight from London to Mumbai, about 8 hours it took and I arrived this morning about 5:30am London time but 11am in India, so as you can imagine it’s been a pretty confusing few days for me with jet lag, especially since I’m currently typing this whilst flying from Mumbai to Bangkok and its 2am.. I’m very blagged.
Anyway, when I got off the plane I headed straight for immigration. There is a separate part for all people who have an e-visa, that’s me! The queues were short…and misleading. It took me 2 hours to get through this queue! I had to get a photo taken, put my fingers in wax and get told that my passport ‘isn’t working’…what? Lol
Not an overly complicated process just not a quick enough one. The e-visa is a new tourist visa for residents of certain countries so I imagine they will speed up the process eventually.
So after I left immigration I decided I wanted to feel the heat outside…you know because England is freezing! So I headed outside only to find that I couldn’t then re-enter the airport. So I was stuck outside in the humidity surrounded by locals and taxi drivers surrounding me and no wi-fi! This was actually a bit of a nightmare to be honest. All I had was the directions I’d written down in my book. This is usually enough to get by with but I knew India would be slightly more complicated. I also wasn’t entirely sure where I was meant to be going and had no way of checking. With a few bus numbers written down I headed for the bus- ignoring every man that tried to put me in their taxi. I soon realised I stuck out like a sore thumb and that’s when I started to feel a little overwhelmed as a Western solo female traveller with bleached blonde hair…oops.
When I got to the bus stop, I noticed one bus go past crammed with men hanging off it and out of the windows. Quickly decided against that idea… So I figured I’d head back to the airport and get myself a taxi straight to the address. As I was turning away, an old man waiting for the bus asked me what I was looking for. He appeared to try help me with finding the bus number so for some reason this was enough for me to believe he was genuine. He then directed me to the taxi rank and to the woman with a security vest so I knew I was getting the right taxis. She had a clipboard and wrote down some information on it, they talked for a bit at the taxi rank where I presumed they were working out where the address was.
After many windy roads and getting lost multiple times I eventually got there. I was heading to a hostel I’d booked. (Aware I wasn’t going to be sleeping there as I was only in transit but I figured it would be a good way of storing my stuff away for the day whilst I explored) As I pulled up, one of the hostel staff came out to greet me. I asked him how much I should be paying for the taxi. He told me it should be 80-100 which is only around 1GBP.. What I was actually being charged was 500! The taxi man said I had agreed to this fare. I said I hadn’t agreed on anything. Turns out that ‘friendly old man’ had agreed the fare being 500 and taken commission for himself haha.. Jammy sod. Unlucky for him though I’m not that stupid so after multiple arguments I just put 100 in the taxi mans hand then went into the hostel lol
There is 2 lessons to be learned here.. (And I’m kicking myself because I should know better)
– Trust nobody but yourself
– Don’t talk to strangers (that only applies to people pestering you in the street otherwise you may never make any new friends)