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Articles Tagged ‘Mumbai’

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Four Taxis to Dinner In Mumbai

Thursday, July 18th, 2002

In Mumbai one night it was so ludicrous we just had to laugh…afterward.

Taxi number one only got us to the end of our street before Bob, realizing the driver didn’t know where the hell to go, jumped out of the car.

Taxi number two was an old old man that had to stop three times to get directions to Tamarind St. (Less than two kilometers away.) Each time he would say oh yes-like finally he knew just where to go-just enough reaction to be encouraging. He really had no idea where he was going but knew we wanted to eat so he took us right to a good restaurant across from Victoria Station…McDonalds! Oh my god, look where he brought us, I groaned. We paid him and got out.

Then Bob went from taxi to taxi on the street asking if any of the drivers knew where Tamarind St. or Meadows House or if they knew of the restaurant named Ankur. Taxi driver number three insisted he knew where he was going and drove around until we realized we were right back where we started-exactly one-half block from our hotel! In frustration we got out and left the taxi driver sitting there. “I don’t know what he was thinking,” Bob said in exasperation…”what did he think was going to eventually happen?” Maybe a miracle,” I suggested?

Then another driver said he could get us there…ok…one more time. The fourth time worked. I counted 11 people attending 8-10 tables. Tells you something about wages in India.

Our Mumbai Neighborhood

Thursday, July 18th, 2002

We watch India swirling with life on the street below our hotel window on the Colaba Causeway-the stretch of land that the English filled the Bay with that turned Bombay, now called Mumbai, from an Island into a peninsula. I love to watch the pretty (little children always are) school children in their clean ironed uniforms pour out of the building across the streeet at 3pm into loving care of parents who come to meet them helping carry away their florescent pink water bottles and blue backpacks like young school children everywhere.

The trim, graceful garbage lady in a dirty grey sari collects garbage out of the street at 7am in the morning with two pieces of cardboard and a green plastic tub…by evening the street gutter is full of garbage again. We are staying at an intersection of two streets and the woman cleans one street but not the other…one street must be her street…maybe she is paid by the private school so the parents don’t have to walk through the litter.

After four days the beggars know we won’t give them anything so they leave us alone…we have become part of the community of taxi drivers, fruit vendors, shop sellers, security guards and street cleaners. One pretty little beggar-woman carrying a baby looked up at me and asked where I was from…America I said…oh, she said with a sad face, I saw the plane that went into the big building on TV…are you afraid in America…

Migrants & Beggars In India

Thursday, July 18th, 2002
Continuing our taxi tour with Asane, he takes us to a part of Mumbai where we will see many migrants and beggars...and the red light district. As is happening all over the third world, migrants from rural areas make their way ... [Continue reading this entry]

Asane’s Taxi Tour

Thursday, July 18th, 2002
In Mumbai, we took a three-hour government sponsored tour in an Indian-made Ambassador car with "Indian A/C" which is a fan that sits on the dashboard. While we were waiting for Bob to run back to the hotel for the ... [Continue reading this entry]

Bhuleshwar Bazaars

Thursday, July 18th, 2002
Kalbadevi You would love this area if you don't mind being scared out of your wits by long lines of honking taxis and motorcycles behind you and worker after worker coming at you from the front with loads of goods ... [Continue reading this entry]

Bombay Renamed Mumbai

Thursday, July 18th, 2002
July 13-18, 2002 India forces you to look beneath the surface of things...there is more here than your eyes see...a midnight ride into the city from the airport in the non-A/C taxi with hot humid squalid air blowing the aroma ... [Continue reading this entry]