¡Historieta número dos!
Imagine, you are walking, but not necessarily walking with a purpose, just, walking around, enjoying yourself and everything that you are looking at because it’s new, you have never seen any of it before and you are exploring, seizing the day, making it yours. That is exactly the kind of thing that can get you run over in Mumbai.
Well, now imagine 20 million people walking with purpose all around you. Hundreds of cars with somewhere to go and then, to make matters a little bit more complicated, it is raining, and you don’t really know where you are going (because when you explore you don’t really know). This is the moment when, three people, a couple and the coworker -now friend- of one of them, all hold hands and make their best attempt to cross the street, following the lead of dozens of people but especially, the lead of the eldest lady or gentlemen in the crowd, because you know, that if they are still alive, it’s because they know what they are doing.
This is us. A couple and a friend. And that ^ is us during the first few days. Survival of the fittest at its best and learning priceless lessons of friendship amid discovery, yelling and honking but most of all, people looking at us as if we were lost puppies.
After taking cover at Churchgate Train Station, we decided that discovering and rolling with it was not going to work so, we made a plan. I saw some beautiful buildings close by and decided that would be our first stop. The Western Railways Headquarters were our first sight from the train station. We crossed to the Cross-Maidan Garden and then made our way to the Gateway of India that, once we realized how close it was, decided to make it our next stop, with Elephanta Island as a goal. On our walk we saw monuments like the Bombay High Court, the National Gallery of Modern Art and the Rejabai Clock Tower.
Gateway of India
Taj Mahal Palace Hotel
Remember how I told you about the rain and the monsoon season? Well, it turns out, no boats were coming out of the Gateway of India to visit Elephanta Island because of the weather, not for another few weeks at least. So we enjoyed (kind of sadly, but enjoyed) our time at the Gateway of India and gazed at the magnificent architecture of the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, and then we saw that they had private guided tours coming out of there every day, early in the morning, so we decided to go back there bright and early the next day. On our way back, already on our street and famished, we passed by Mockingbird Café Bar and decided to go in.
To our surprise, this place felt immensely familiar and cozy, a much-needed feeling after the few days we’d had. It wasn’t only that the whole décor was books and quotes from books, it was that they had Linus! Linus!! I was right at home. The food was delicious and the service extraordinary. But then again, what isn’t extraordinary in India?
A day in Mumbai guide is coming up! Also, THE adventure recount begins next Thursday!