A day in Mumbai – Part 2
Before I forget I just want to finish off my post about Mumbai and what I got up to.
The day itself was definitely one to remember and I know that as the whole cultural experience just keeps replaying in my mind.
I can’t believe how different it is over there to every other country I’ve been to. The public transport thing sticks in my mind mostly I think.
I did visit The Gateway to India and The Taj Mahal Palace but neither was much to look at really in my opinion. It was worth the journey down just to experience it but I’m glad I only had the one day in Mumbai!
When walking to The Gateway I had an Indian woman follow me around trying to get me to come to her store on the market, it was a bit of a pain really. She was nice but too pushy and I tried to lose her but no luck. Ended up going to her store to buy nothing and then headed to Leopold Cafe to escape!
Leopold I’d heard about already. Meant to be this popular and old cafe I think I’d read about in a guidebook. Either way I dived in and ordered a drink. The juice was so disappointing and warm that I decided not to stick around to find out what the food would taste like so instead left and headed down the street to find a place to eat dinner.
It was on my way that I had a young girl start following me, she must have been about 8 years old and kept repeating please..money for food. It makes you feel very guilty after a while. She pointed at a restaurant named Cafe Mondegar and told me it was good. Not sure if she meant she wanted me to get her food from there but either way I headed in and left her outside. I don’t think she would have got in anyway, they seem to have guards on the doors of restaurants in Mumbai.
It was at Cafe Mondegar that I finally got to taste my first Indian curry! It was actually really yummy! And spicy too, I could eat one now if only…
After this I began to head back to the train station, I knew it was quite a walk only this time it was dark so would be harder. I decided to follow a tourist I noticed with a backpack hoping she was going the right way and following the map on my phone as I walked.. I was wrong about the tourist but found the station all the same.
It had been a long day and by the time I’d made the 30/45 minute train journey back to the station closest to my homestay I was literally exhausted. The last thing I needed was to spend ages trying to find a decent Tuk Tuk driver who wouldn’t scam me. I knew the price should be 30 and yet whilst the majority of drivers didn’t know where it was, the others wouldn’t use the meter and insisted on charging 120+!
Eventually, I just began walking, I was stressed out and didn’t have much option left with my flight leaving in a few hours and me wanting to arrive at the airport in good time I figured it would be faster to power walk in the right direction until I found a decent man to take me. This happened eventually but with a lot of difficulty as the guy couldn’t find the place for a long time, similar to the man at the airport. Definitely wouldn’t recommend staying at this place as it doesn’t appear to be well known. (But I’ll save that rant for my hostel review).
By the time I arrived back at the hostel it was nearing on 10pm and my flight was at 1am. I knew it would take around 15 minutes to get to the airport by Tuk Tuk but I didn’t want to be messing about being scammed so I took one of the staff members with me to negotiate, paid a set fare of 100 rather than the meter rate of 50 just because I wanted to be straight home and out of the hustle and bustle and by that point I knew how much money I had left to waste.
I’m so glad I left in good time. The hostel staff asked me why I was leaving for the airport so soon which is odd given how slow Mumbai Airport is! One line to check in and bag drop (Luckily I had already taken care of both of these) One line for security check..In which my bag got kept behind for nearly 20 minutes as I queued to get it re-checked. Thought I was through finally but nope! A third line to pass through security, this took around 30 minutes as they stamp you out of the country and check your onwards travel. Then a 4th and final line to get into the airport duty free where they check that your baggage has been stamped as checked!
Anyone know why India is so strict on people leaving the country? It is seriously slowing the airport down!
As you can imagine, after all of this and running off a few hours sleep and a whole lot of jetlag I was absolutely knackered by the time I got on my 1am flight to Bangkok. In fact I was so tired that I’m still feeling the jet lag even now!
So on that note it’s bed time 🙂 If anybody has any questions on Mumbai or is thinking about visiting feel free to drop me a note!