Mumbai Tourist Trail

Our trip to India was more about seeing family and friends than sightseeing, so it’s hard to know what tone to take in this travelogue. I didn’t even bring my fancier camera, ostensibly because it would be raining the whole time, but the truth is, I don’t love taking pictures when I’m traveling in cities, even though I love city photos. So some of these pictures are K’s, because he doesn’t have this hang-up. Moving on.

Our first day was spent meeting and greeting and having tea and such. (Please forgive my glossing over all that in the interest of actually posting something and not just writing in circles, as is my wont.) On the second day, K and I took an auto-rickshaw (more on this later) to the station and took the local train downtown. His family was adamant that this was a terrible, terrible idea, but he convinced them that public trans is of great interest to us, which sounds weird but is true, and after some time they stopped protesting.

I guess what’s most different is that the doors don’t close. This is from the platform at Goregaon East.

Goregaon East train

People do fall out sometimes. The general sense of what’s an acceptable risk is different in Mumbai, and it is evident in many aspects of the city. It did not bother me as much as I thought it would, which I realize isn’t exactly a good thing.

It was nearly midday when we went, so the crowds weren’t too bad, especially in the first-class carriage. (There’s also a ladies-only carriage, but it’s optional. If it was rush hour I might have separated from Karan to ride there.) You can sort of see through the bars at the back that the other carriage is a lot more crowded.

Mumbai Local

One thing that amused me was that the stops were announced in Marathi, Hindi, and English, but because all the station names are pretty much the same in each language, it was only the “next stop” being translated over and over again. I’m trying to think of other cities that do this; I’m sure there are a few.

We got downtown and walked around. It was beautifully green, especially after the sun-bleached landscape of Muscat.

Mumbai shade

We made our way to the Gateway of India.

Gateway of India

There were some security measures in place for getting into the plaza. Because of the 2008 attacks, protecting “soft targets” is a priority, which changes the atmosphere of these places. I feel like every single detail I mention deserves its own post. This is hard!

We also went to Nariman Point, where we saw the epic coastline of Mumbai from an interesting vantage.

Nariman Point

We were gently scolded for this next one. I wanted to show how big those things are, but I understand why it’s not allowed.

Nariman Point, me

K probably has enough of these sorts of shots for a series we could call “Rachel, For Scale.”

Okay, enough of a photo-dump for now. I think the only way I’ll be able to post more about this trip is to let it be sort of disorganized and choppy. Ta ta for now!

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