“Well, the traffic drives me crazy!”
That’s the first thing I told this cute Indian guy who tried to pick me up in the hotel’s nightclub yesterday... Why did he laugh? :-)
So really, after 2 weeks, how do I like it?
I am definitely very glad I came here and that I took enough time for it.
Just like Oriental dancers make their pilgrimage to Cairo or Istanbul, I think everybody seriously into Bollywood dance (or just Hindi films in general) MUST come to Mumbai to get a deeper understanding of the culture and how the films are a part of it.
I am also glad I moved away from the typical tourist area in the South. It’s definitely also something one must have seen - and there are some cinemas one should have gone to :-)
But away from the typical tourist places, you just get more of the “real” India - whatever that means (see my last blog entry).
I also try to fit in, which is easy since I was shopping, right? So I can wear a different Salwar Kameez every day.
Interestingly, I mostly walk around in high heels.
“Arrey, to abhi yeh larki bilkul pagal hai?” you will ask (hey, is this girl crazy now?” )
- I bought those high heels in Bombay - and if I have new shoes, I want to wear them, right?
- You don’t walk so much here. It’s too hot outside and the distances are too long. So from one taxi to the next shopping mall, you don’t need sensible shoes.
- Most pants just are too long! And I have long legs for sure! You see many Indian women stepping on the hems of their pants... I will definitely have to shorten many of them once I get home.
Definitely the shopping!!! Superb! Even if you are not into Indian clothing, you get a lot of Indian/Western fusion clothes, like tops and skirts.
Chinese food. Nobody does Shanghai noodles like the Indians! I doubt if a person from Shanghai would recognize them as Chinese, but who cares? (Chinese food is very much the fashion here in general!)
The cinemas. Yeah, I do miss subtitles, but hey, those “recliner seats” are great! If only the intermissions were longer... I always have to pee very quickly not to miss the beginning of the 2nd part.
Getting a newspaper with the latest gossip about Bollywood stars every morning. Yeah people, I am really up-to-date now!
The nightlife. Well... it DOES start late, especially when you go to a club that belongs to a hotel. The “normal” clubs have to close at 1 AM (a law that was established for security after the riots, I think) but in the hotels the party goes until 3 AM.
And yes, you get chattet up a lot if you are a reasonably cute woman ;-) But if you don’t like the guy and he won’t leave you alone, just call security. There are always quite a lot of security people in all the nightclubs. I guess there must me a good reason why... But this ensures that things never get out of hand and you can feel completely safe there as a woman.
My riksha driver today. He was such a nice man, driving me through half of north Mumbai to help me find some textile borders I need for a costume. When we finally found the right shop and I made him wait, he got me a doughnut-like thingy because he was hungry and thought I might be too.
And despite the heavy traffic, and the crazy driving I never saw an accident. Actually, this morning I read in the newspaper that in the last years there have been LESS accidents and deaths in the street because of the increased traffic which slows everything down... Hahaha!
Anyway, I will soon be on my flight home and crave some fresh air!