So, as it is probably clear from my tweets (and conversations), I'm in India right now. Depending on how you count it, this is my second day of the trip, but third night, and neither of those counts the 24 hours of traveling I did across 36 'calendar hours'. Confused? I'm just getting started.
This whole thing is TL;DR, and is more for my sake than anything. Hopefully it will be found interesting to at least one other person, though. I can hope :)THURSDAY-FRIDAY: Travel Days
Thursday was the travel day. I got my butt out of bed at 5:30am, in time for a 9am flight. Treated myself to breakfast at the airport, or rather allowed the corporate credit card to treat me. Flew 5 hours to Newark, including a few seconds of stark confusion ("what? we're over the ocean?") before realizing that I had taken my first-ever gander at the Great Lakes.( Collapse )SATURDAY: Mumbai Exploration
The hotel had a breakfast buffet, and I took good advantage of it, with a full British breakfast including roasted tomatoes and baked beans, with some delicious mango juice as well. By about 11:15, I was ready to sally forth into Andheri. (Andheri, by the way, is a northern suburb of Mumbai; I didn't get a chance to see the heart of the city, and will have to do so in another trip.)
I had wanted to see the "real" Mumbai: A version different from the PBS specials and Bollywood films and Kipling stereotypes I'd had before. The first thing: Where I was walking, at least, was an area of immense poverty. The homes, the streets, the smells, the trash, the flies, the stray dogs everywhere--it's different from any other experience I've ever had. Along any given block, you could find street vendors selling wheels and timber, bathroom fixtures, tshirts and hats emblazoned with "Hilfiger" and "Playboy", mobile phones, fruits and vegetables, and a wide range of just about everything else. American franchises like Domino's Pizza and Subway dotted the cluttered streets, next to street vendors selling cane juice and samosas. I got as far south as a McDonald's, and then didn't want to go farther for fear I'd forget how to get back to the hotel.( Collapse )SUNDAY: Travel to Delhi
Mostly uneventful. Had breakfast, went to the airport wearing a light windbreaker, got on the plane, got off the plane on the runway (for once, instead of the gate directly), and instantly regretted the windbreaker. It's 42 degrees centigrade (110 fahrenheit) and was simply BAKING.
The guest house is extraordinary. It's within this huge and elaborate building complex, and is elegantly laid out with its own caretaker. People have lived up to a couple of years at a time in the guest house, and after tasting the egg curry and cilantro dal that the chef prepared for me, I can see why. I'm getting spoiled rotten here.
Alas, though, I should sleep; I have work in the morning. I'll be posting pictures soon, though, and I'm certainly having fun and taking care of myself.