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May 26th Mumbai to Delhi India

Monday, May 26th, 2008

Today I am off to Delhi.  I will be taking the best train to Delhi which will take approximately 16 hours.  I am in second class AC which is the second best class.  I did not want to take first class because I wanted to be more social.  I will either have a lower or upper bed and I am just thankful that it will be full A/C.  Oh how I miss air conditioning.  I am always sweating, it just feels like a layer of sweat 24/7 all over my body, so gross.

 The only bad thing is that right now it is 12pm and my train leaves at 4 and I still do not have a confirmed seat.  Basically in the next few hours if 2 people or 3 don’t cancel out then I will have to share a bed with someone!  I will be so pissed and will refuse to do so.  I will complain like a loud, obnoxious american until I get my way.  Sometimes you just have to pull out that card.  I mean how ridiculous is that they let you make the booking, I thought they said it would be confirmed and then find out that you can board the train but that they allot two people per seat!  Anyway, before I head off to the station at around 2pm, since it will take 1 hour to get there I want to leave enough time just in case something happens.  I still need to get some snacks and drinks.  Apparently everyone at the apartment said that there is unlimited soft drinks and food with the purchase of the ticket!  I hope the drinks part is true as that would be very nice.  I am excited for this train ride, especially since everyone seems to say it is a very good train.

Sorry for the late updates to my friends and family who are reading this somewhat daily.  I have had trouble logging in to the site that I blog from so I have been writing my updates in my email and having to copy and paste them in when I can.  I will not be updating until I arrive in Delhi on the 27th but have made three posts today to catch everyone up.

I know it hasn’t sounded so eventful but this place is so hard to describe in words.  I mean I have only taken a few hundred photos but I stopped walking around with my camera because it was attracting attention and I also really wanted to immerse myself in the culture and I think I have.  I have learned some basic words and have used them successfully, and I feel that it is degrading to take pictures of poor people and the garbage and the hundreds of people I see sleeping on the streets, literally.  I mean Rahul’s brother made a comment about me taking a photo to show my friends back home the poor indians and that really made me feel bad.  I wasn’t trying to do that, but I was trying to capture the country in its element.  Anyway, I stopped taking so many photos but have taken enough to show people what Mumbai has to offer, the good and the bad.  So goodbye for now, and see you all in Delhi!


May 25th, 2008 Mumbai, India

Monday, May 26th, 2008

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.

May 24th, 2008 Mumbai, India

Monday, May 26th, 2008
May 24th - 2008 Today I really didn't do a whole lot. Unfortunately I was up bright and early since Rahul's mom awoke at like 730am, and since we all sleep in the same room, that meant I was ... [Continue reading this entry]

May 23rd, 2008 continued – Mumbai, India

Sunday, May 25th, 2008
Well after I left the internet cafe, I got a rickshaw back to the apartment.  When I got back Rahul had informed me that his parents were coming to stay with him for a few days.  This meant space would ... [Continue reading this entry]

May 23rd – Mumbai, India

Friday, May 23rd, 2008
At around 230AM I awoke itching my pointer finger and my inner thigh.  I first thought that I had contracted bed bugs for the third time in as many months, but quickly counted and did not have three dots in ... [Continue reading this entry]

May 22nd – Mumbai, India

Friday, May 23rd, 2008
Today I woke up not really refreshed.  I am sleeping on a bed per se, but it is really just a thin mat on a steel mattress, not much give so my back and neck hurts quite a bit.  I ... [Continue reading this entry]

May 21st – Abu Dhabi, UAE to Mumbai, India

Thursday, May 22nd, 2008
I arrived at Abu Dhabi international airport around 730 am on May 21st.  I was really anxious as I had just sat for many hours on a plane.  The airport was really small and I must have walked around it ... [Continue reading this entry]

May 20th – And We’re off

Thursday, May 22nd, 2008
Well today was the day where I would venture off to India.  I woke up bright and early tuesday morning, around 630AM.  I had to make sure I wasn't forgetting anything important for my trip.  We loaded up the car, ... [Continue reading this entry]

May 19th, 2008 – Great Neck, New York

Monday, May 19th, 2008
Well it is 1010PM the night before I leave.  My excitement is not the usual excitement I get before a big trip.  I am not sure if this has just become a run of the mill feeling and something not ... [Continue reading this entry]

Countdown continues

Thursday, May 1st, 2008
Well after my last trip to Beijing and Hong Kong, I have come home, recharged and am in the midst of making my final push towards my second year law school finals. I have a final next week and ... [Continue reading this entry]