Sunday, August 25, 2013

Day 3 - Mumbai

Jet Lag 0, Terri 1

It's funny how my writing always starts out detailed and organized...and then I jump in to a crazy and colorful city like Mumbai (while jet lagged) and I just can't keep up...

I think I slept for all of two hours last night. I've never laid in bed and counted my breaths so many times in my life. I really tried to be still and keep my eyes shut. But it was the middle of the afternoon to my body! At one point Ang and I realized we were both awake and had been for hours...and it was only 6am. Alarm wasn't set to go off until 9! We both eventually fell asleep...about the time the alarm went off. Ugh. Stupid jet lag. 

At least the room was cool and dark and quiet. Nice pillows, but the mattress or whatever it was is hard as a rock. Literally. I couldn't even sleep on my side how I normally do because my hips were digging in! 

Anyways, we drug ourselves out of bed exhausted. I rinsed off in the shower. Took me a few minutes to figure out. The shower and toilet are in one little room. You have to flip on like brew switches to get everything going (pressure, hot water...something else) and then to actually turn the water on you have to turn the handle to the right - not up like you so ours. Couldn't for the life of me figure that one out, haha. Felt nice to be semi-clean. 

Threw on some baggy pants and a light top and set out for the day. Oh, after two granola bars and chugging water. Still dehydrated from that flight!

We decided to try and get a can to take us to Starbucks. Real Indian, I know. But it was supposed to be really cool and the biggest / nicest Starbucks in all of India. Now to get a cab...

Look at the tree branches that dude is carrying on the left!

The first guy we asked just said no. What the...?? I don't think he spoke English. So we kind of wandered around - trying to act confident like we knew what we were doing. All the while whispering to each other we had no idea, haha. Eventually a guy came up to us and asked is where we wanted to go. So we whipped out our map and showed him. He said 5 kilometers, 100 rupees. We didn't even attempt to barter. We just wanted off the street. 

Now since I had just told Angie she didn't need to bring her umbrella because i had mine and it wasn't supposed to rain (she did anyways) started raining as soon as we got I'm the cab. And it quickly turned in to a freaking monsoon-like down pour. Awesome. 

So a lot of people just live on the streets here. Under plastic tarps. It's pretty crazy. And they get their little kids out in the gutter naked and just suds them up from head to tow and scrub them down! Hilarious. We didn't take any pictures - that might of been frowned upon. 

By the time we got to "Horniman's Circle" (yes, you read that right. And that's how it's pronounced) our cab driver couldn't find the Starbucks. On the map, it was just right off the circle. So we go out with the driver and walked up to two other guys. They all argued and pointed different directions until one finally walked us around the corner and pointed. We were close so we just walked. And it had stopped raining!

How many guys does it take to find Starbucks?

Before going in, we walked through the beautiful park in the center of the circle. Turns out Horniman is some mans last name. Poor guy. 

The claim about Starbucks was true. It was pretty awesome. The owner and his wife happened to be in there and Angie talked to them. She had a coffee, I had a croissant and oj. And of course enjoyed the free wifi that all Starbucks all over the world seem to have. :)

From there we set off to find Fashion Street. We somehow wandered by it the first time. But did find lots of cute little kids to give my stickers away to! They all loved them! One little girl followed me forever just begging for more. I almost kidnapped her and brought her home with me. Look at that face!

We eventually found Fashion Street. And what a street that place is. It goes on forever and it's just stall after stall of clothes and shoes...and some jewelry.  It was exhausting. Men constantly staring and trying to get our attention. "Yes! Ma'am! Come look! Just come take a look!"

We did a good job of ignoring most of them, but let me just say, we did some damage shopping today. I think I ended up with like 4 new pairs of pants? Add in a necklace, a couple tips, some ankle bracelets with bells on them, and a sari... Yea. Day one was shopping. Forget sight seeing and museums. We had clothes to buy, haha.

After Fashion Road we walked back to Starbucks for a bathroom break and for a snack. We were exhausted and almost delirious, but the shoppers high kept the jet lag at bay just enough to keep going. We walked to Fabindia, a department store that sold all kinds of nice Indian clothes really cheap. The stuff we bought off the streets was like $2 for a pair of pants or tunic top. At this store, it was much nicer quality, and maybe like $8. Still just so cheap. We couldn't help ourselves. Not sure how I'm going to get it all home, but I'm sure ill find a way. :)

We were seriously inside the three story Fabindia for a couple of hours having so much fun trying stuff on. By the time we were ready to leave, it was monsooning again! I guess the good news is that it kept the temperature down and the clouds kept the sun away. There was some breeze. Not to say I didn't have sweat dripping down my back all day from the absurd humidity, but it could have been worse. 

The plan was originally to go back to the apartment for a nap because we were so worn out. But we decided to just keep going (and shopping) instead. Jet lag can't keep us down!! ;)

We got out our umbrellas and took off down the street for a cafe we read about for some food. We found it pretty easily and had some Indian food (butter chicken and naan for me!) and water for early dinner around 5. 

We gave away our leftovers to an old lady out front who tied flowers on our wrists before we went in the restaurant. 

Random:  While I was waiting in line for the bathroom, two guys walked by with monkeys on a leash! Crazy! I want a pet monkey!!

After dinner, which was delicious, we kept walking - and shopping. I bought more pants off the street. They're amazing. I had to. 

Ankle bracelets with bells on them!

Best $2 I ever spent. ;)

We eventually ended up at The Gateway To India. Just a giant gate across from some huge old famous hotel. It was like the Central Park of India. Just people galore and total chaos. Leave it to me to find something else to buy. I loved the hand embroidered wall hanging. Aaand I got the lady down to under $3. She wasn't happy about it but gave me the deal once I started to walk away. I love this place. :)

A little girl started following me asking for food. I gave her a fruit rope just to quit pulling on me. And some random group of kids asked to take a picture with us. I guess we look funny? And we towered over them. People are short here!

We walked away from the madness and grabbed a cab back to the apartment after that, and the whole inside of it (the cab) was covered in a plastic flower shower curtain. Amazing. 

The guy dropped us off just across the street from where we needed to be and only charged is like $1.30. Ridiculous. 

It was only 6:30ish, and although we really wanted to just go to bed, we stayed up for a couple of hours talking and trying on all of our new stuff. We also booked a tour of one of Asia's largest slums for tomorrow morning...and showered. (SO gross from sweat an mud puddles today!)

For a little re-cap, I think we broke every rule in the book today. 

1. We definitely struck up numerous conversations with men. They're the only ones around! I swear the women must be in hiding...

2. We definitely got in a cab. Twice. But both were fine.

And 3. We definitely brushed our teeth with tap water and filled up our water bottle from a fountain at a store. 

And we're still alive! :) 

What a fun and successful shopping day 1 was in Mumbai! 

Hopefully we can find something to do besides shop tomorrow... 

Back in the room, showing off our new pants!

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