Saturday, November 22, 2008

Mixed Experience in Mumbai

mumbai photo courtesy of mr. brian mcmorrow

It was like a scene from a movie. I was livid, pulled out my baggage from inside of the taxi. I just reached in Mumbai from Delhi via an overnight train. After agreeing on a price of 150 rupees to get to my hotel of choice, I was suddenly told that I'd have to pay 600 rupees! Indians are so predictable all through my travels in this subcontinent. It's hard to shake hands on anything you agree upon because they will change the terms of the agreement midway to your destination. They will shamelessly ask for fees 300% more than the usual price. I got exasperated. So I pulled my baggage out and left the taxi in a huff - shouting in the middle of the road - while everyone was watching me. NOW THAT will teach them a lesson! Shame on them! I wasn't born yesterday - if they thought they'd get anything more than 150 from me. It's exhausting dealing with Indian drivers!

I like Mumbai though, despite my rude welcome. It's a sophisticated city, and pollution isn't as bad as Delhi. Being situated in the southwest of the subcontinent, the weather is actually warm - a major change from my travels up north. Colonial buildings and art decos scatter around. It was a pleasure to learn that my hotel (which had a great view of the Mumbai harbor and bay) was just a 200 meter walk from the Gateway of India (an arch constructed by the harbor comemorating the visit of King George in the past).

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