i arrived in mumbai early this morning and the smell of burning was less unpleasant than it sounds. in fact, there was something familiar about it. the young man who’d been sitting next to me throughout the flight, a native of mumbai who has been living in london for several years, offered to give me a ride to colaba (downtown mumbai) and my hotel, so we got our bags together in the traditional indian airport mayhem of queues and luggage and so many people. after a few minutes, we tracked down lilat’s brother and i was reminded that they drive on the opposite side of the road here. and also take traffic signals as a recommendation rather than a hard and fast rule.
many of the buildings as we drove into colaba were lit up with bright strings of christmas lights in many colors. lalit told me this was for indian republic day, which is tomorrow. i have somewhat of a knack for arriving and departing on holidays – i was in morocco just in time for ramadan, and the last time i left india, it was on august 16th – the morning after independence day. the lights were magical on domes and even haphazardly on little private balconies.
we made it to my hotel around 2 am and they dropped me off with hugs and best wishes. perhaps i’ll see lalit again while he is visiting mumbai. i had been awake since wednesday morning (aside from a few winks on the flight to london) and now it was early friday morning.
i finally fell asleep and woke up this morning for breakfast and to start my day. however, i decided a quick nap was in order, and ended up sleeping till nearly 6! oops! i got up and wandered around the area, realizing i wish i’d purchased kitty food from the states before i left, as they don’t seem to sell it here and i would like to feed little strays as i go, in memory of my sissy, who was, as we called her on our trip to brazil, the mother theresa of cats.
ganesh comes into the city tonight – my indian brother whom i haven’t seen in almost 4 years! i am excited to see him and excited for the next step in the journey: goa! ganesh has a childhood friend who is getting married and we will hopefully get a sleeper bus there for tomorrow night.
no pics yet, since i slept the daylight away, but tonight i’m planning to go to leopold cafe and see if the place is still hopping.
love and miss,