Saturday, August 24, 2013

Day 2 - Long flight to Mumbai

Back to last night...

We sat on the run way for almost an hour before we actually took off. People in bright colored vests kept walking on and off the plane. I swore if I heard the words "technical difficulties" I was getting off and coming back home. Not sure what the problem was, but we eventually got up in the air. 

There were some pretty decent movie selections, so I got comfy and turned on 42 - the baseball movie about Jackie Robinson. About half way through that they served us some food: salad, bread (I asked for extra!), plain yogurt, chicken and rice, and some other random cup of something. It smelled funny so I didn't eat it. I figured I'm going to be trying enough crazy stuff this week. Why start now when I still had other options? ;)

Friday night dinner and movie. 

My movie was almost over when they announced they were going to shut down the whole entertainment system and re-boot it. I guess the entire back half of the plane had nothing working. Now that would suck for a 14 hour flight. It didn't take too long to come back on, and I finished 42. I don't know how much of it was true, but it was a good movie! Still blows my mind how racist this country was - and still can be sometimes...

I got up and stretched and went to the bathroom, and then decided to try another movie after a few minutes of failed sleep. Safe Haven. It wasn't very good, and since it was nearing midnight, I decided to try and get at least some sleep. You would think with all the extra room it would be easy. Not so much. I could not for the life of me get comfortable. I don't know what my deal is. I used to be able to sleep anywhere in any position. Now everything has to be just right, haha. 

I did eventually fall asleep. At some point. But I woke up and re-arranged about every 30 minutes. My throat was so dry and I definitely wasn't drinking enough. 

Somewhere around 5am my time, the guy in front of me realized he had lost his iPhone. He turned on all the lights and woke everyone around him up searching high and low. I have him my phone to use the flashlight on it, and convinced him to ask the stuartist if anyone had turned one in. This went on for probably 10 solid minutes. Then he realized he was sitting on it. Come on!!

I was pretty awake after that, so I drank some water, had a snack (chick pea curry wrap!) and finished Safe Haven. It wasn't that bad of a movie. A little far fetched for me to believe, but a good love story...which made me really miss Matt again. 

Before laying down, I went to the bathroom. I don't know what some people do in there. I mean, almost 10 minutes in that tiny space?! You've got to be kidding me! Also realized that running a long ways the night before I left was not a good idea. Squatting to pee + sore legs = painful. I couldn't even do it in one try, haha. I had to cut it off and stand up and shake my legs out they burned so bad! Might be a long couple of days with the squat toilets in India for my poor legs.

Six. More. Hours. On this stupid plane after that. I laid down and just tried to sleep for 5 of those. I think I got some decent hours in. I got up when they turned the lights on with about an hour to go. Couldn't believe I made it that long. It's never as bad as I think it's going to be. :)

They served a meal again, so I listened to some Adele and enjoyed the last food I won't question for awhile. Some sort of broccoli egg and cheese omelet, fresh fruit, a roll, oj, and plain yogurt. Who eats plan yogurt?! Yuck - so tart. I choked it down anyways. I get so nervous about food when I travel. About not having it or being hungry. Hence my backpack is half full of food. 

We landed right on time at 9pm local time (10:30am at home). Did you know that India is on "India time" and they added an extra 30 minutes to their days?! How can you just decide to add 30 minutes?! It's so weird and off from the rest of the world! 

I really don't like to fly in to new places at night. I like to see what I'm getting in to. No such luck this time. Completely dark by 9pm here! The airport is way north of most of Mumbai, and I couldn't see anything. It looked wet - must of just rained - and the plane said it was 80-some degrees. Lovely humidity. ;) Even the airport smelled like an old hotel room damp shower. Just stunk. And kind of run down with leaks in the ceilings. 

We finally got off the plane - took forever - and I had to pee! I made it through immigration - after sneaking over to the empty wheelchair only line - oops - and talked the lady in to stamping my passport for me. :) While I was waiting in line, two older Indian guys befriended me. They were both very nice and gave me some advice. Number one was do not make eye contact with or smile at any men. Seems so weird, but I guess it's a giant come on to them? Number two was don't get in any taxis and number three was don't drink the water or anything (fresh fruits and veggies) that was rinsed in it. 

As soon as I walked out of the airport, I was instantly sweating. Like, for real. I am talking serious humidity. I vastly underestimated it. A money exchange place was still open so I exchanged my USD I brought. Decent exchange rate but they charged me 4% to do it. Scums! ;)

Still had to pee so found a bathroom before exiting to find Ang. And this is what I found. 

Come on. Already a squat toilet?! I thought the Airport at least would have a normal one. Have you ever tried to squat over one of these with a 50 pound backpack on your back?! Obviously couldn't set it down anywhere on that floor. Pee everywhere. I almost didn't make it back up. No joke. I most went down in that hole. My legs were just not having it, haha. 

Anyways, made it outside and found Angie. She kind of stuck out with all the Indian dudes. :)

I was so excited to see her!! And in India?! Just crazy...

We grabbed a pre-paid cab - non air conditioned of course, because it was half price - and took off for the city. 45 minutes of madness. Not quite what I expected. It's pretty bad poverty. Really bad actually. I thought it would be a little nicer. Just so much sadness. And so alive. No one must sleep here!

Oh and they drive on the other side of the road here. Former British colony. Makes sense but threw me off driving. No one follows the road signs or pays attention. It's the honk and shut your eyes and go. Pretty sure I could have touched numerous vehicles out my window. Can't ever complain about traffic in the US after being in a place like this. 

In the back of the cab - all sweaty

Did I me took how hot and sticky it is here?? Wow. It's humid. :)

So our can driver wasn't exactly sure where our building was, so he stopped on a curb in a busy intersection and pointed to a building. What the... No. I am not getting out right here. Men everywhere. Staring at us. No women anywhere. Where are the women in this city?! Do hey hide?! So Angie called the guy we're staying with, Kiiran, and he came down to get us. Thank God! Sketchy sketchy area, through a little door off an alley and up some stairs. 

Through that door...

The stair well up to our room.  Nice.

Giant metal gate with pad lock, but such a cute nice little apartment. One bedroom with ac where Ang and I will sleep. The guy and his cousin share a thin little mattress on the floor in the family room. There is a mini-kitchen, and a normal toilet and a hot water shower. And it's clean. And there is wifi. So we're all set! The guys are super nice and helpful - made maps for us, etc. 

Not much of an update I guess, but that was my entire Saturday. Definitely the laziest one Ive had in awhile. It's almost midnight here and I'm semi tired. Going to try and get some more sleep. Need to be rested to take on the crazy metropolis of Mumbai tomorrow!

Catching up over a curry wrap.

So far, so good in India!

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