May 25th, 2008 – Mumbai, India Today is my last full day in India and boy did I wake up with a mega hangover. I actually felt like death. I slept till 11 something and basically just tried to sleep the hangover away. It wasn’t until 130pm or so that I was ready to go out and get some food. It was time for some good old fashion western food, and what better than McDonalds! I first grabbed a soda to ease my stomach which worked, and got a rickshaw down to Mcdonalds. I ordered a McChicken sandwich and my drink was a fountain soda that came with ice. Unfortunately they gave me coke instead of fanta, and I never even got a chance to order my choice of drink, they just assumed I wanted coke. I didn’t care, the drink was cold by the standards here with ice! After eating the food rather quickly, I left and bought some things for the girls in the all girls school we visit in shimla or dharmasala with the school. Our professor/program director emailed us to pick some stuff up for them to put in a goody bag. I bought 30 cute hair clips which I think they will like. But this brings me to the ripoff of the day. Yesterday’s rip off which I failed to mention was paying so much to get in to the clubs. Today’s ripoff was paying 500 rupees for 30 hair clips. I think I overpaid by easily 4-5 times more than I should have. Whatever its going to a good cause and I need all the good karma I can get. After I made my purchase and started walking away my stomach started to really hurt. I ran back to Mcdonalds and had to hit up a bathroom. Thank g-d it was a western style bathroom with toliet paper or the water hose if you choose to clean up that way. I went for the tpee and left. Of course I left my hair clips in the bathroom so I had to run back in to McDonalds and wait for the guy to leave the crapper to get my bag, which I did. After McDonalds I strolled down Lincoln road. Known for its nice shops and abundance of clothing markets. Clothing markets are extremely common here, but I am waiting for smaller markets outside Mumbai to make my purchases. Showing restraint has been hard but I realize that I have 70 days left and will have tons of opportunities to buy things in all the places I am going. I really haven’t bought much in Mumbai, but I’m sure I’ll find something before I leave. I decided to walk back to the part of Bandra west I was staying in, and remembered that walking straight down a certain road should get me back home and impressively enough it did! I was really looking for an internet cafe I could have sworn was on that road, but it wasn’t. So when I reached globus mall yet again, I got a rickshaw to Bandra train station where nearby I knew there was a cheap internet cafe, which is where I am now. It is so hot and the place has already crashed all the computers twice. They don’t work so well, so I have had to go fast. My stomach is really hurting so now I am nervous that I have some stomach problem and just in time for my 16 hour train journey up to delhi, great. I think for the rest of the day I will chill out with Rahul, enjoy my last day in Mumbai, spend some time packing up my stuff, which I brought too much of and make sure I don’t lose anything. I originally wanted to go with Piya to this small fishing village and Bycula where there are supposedly jewish temples but its just too damn hot. I know normally I am running around these cities trying to see everything, but I am learning that these trips aren’t sprints they are marathons and I have a long way to go. Also my classes will be starting soon and I am definitely not ready to start reading again. Plus I am still waiting for two grades to come in, and I just hope they are decent so I can complete a very good semester of law school. It was getting late and I couldn’t bear to wait till 10pm or later when Rahul and his family likes to it. So I insisted that someone take me to get some food. Vikas and Rageev took me to this small chinese restaurant in the area and it was good. They left me though to go meet their parents and Rahul to go to Banstan, so I sat there and ate my food peacefully. I actually ordered my drinks in Hindi! Everyone has been teaching me bits and pieces of common phrases and words that I will need for ordering food and stuff. It has been very successful.
After dinner I caught an auto to banstan to meet the rest of the gang, and it was a very interesting journey. I had done this journey several times during my stay in Mumbai but none of them came close to this one. At one point my rickshaw became stuck in one of the most ridiculous traffic jams I have ever seen. Five or more minutes nobody could move. They really don’t believe in lanes here either. At one point to avoid traffic my driver was on the sidewalk avoiding people left and right. Anyway the traffic jam started when my driver as well as others tried to turn right across traffic coming in both directions. Well this really jammed things up. Nobody could move, nobody could turn around and everyone is honking like crazy. Man do they enjoy honking their horns. They honk like every two seconds, since the drivers always appear to be in a rush, are uber aggressive they just honk when traffic lets up just a second.
Anyway when I finally got to banstan I called Rahul and then he informed me that his mother did not want to go out and they had not made the journey to banstan. I was a little pissed off after having spent some time getting a rickshaw and getting over here. Instead of going back home I sat down on a cement block facing the water and just enjoyed the surroundings and the cool air blowing off the arabian sea. I made a few phone calls to some friends, and after about an hour or so made the journey back home.
We ended up watching some cricket and usual and chatting like most nights and then at around 1am attempted to go to sleep. Rahul had work the next day so he had to get to sleep.