Mumbai - So many cities in one....


Some general insights about Mumbai...

In India, there is never one truth. And that’s even more so for Mumbai. Starting with the name that’s officially Mumbai now, but most people still call it Bombay.

There is the tourist Mumbai.... Mostly down in the South of the city, where foreigners will walk up and down Colaba Causeway, visit museums etc.

The Mumbai of the rich people... Who live in nice, air-conditionned homes, have a big car with a driver (or several cars with several drivers) and only walk in the street from this car to the luxury nightclubs or highclass offices or nice restaurants... All with AC as well. They hardly ever know that it’s hot outside :-)

The Mumbai of the slums and beggars who barely have enough to eat - some of them just sleeping on sidewalks in the middle of the noise and air pollution.

The Mumbai of the upcoming middle class people who walk around in shopping malls in the suburbs, wear jeans and t-shirts and (especially if they are young) find it very cool to talk Hinglish (a mix of English and Hindi).

I have spent a lot of time in the north of Mumbai (mostly Andheri and Vile Parle) and seldom ever seen another foreigner.

This a map of the areas I have visited - and as you can see, it was only a fraction of this huge city!

And there are many more. You can live so many lifes here... The good thing is that there is something for nearly everybody.

You want to go and see a film? No problem - there are seats in simple old cinemas for 16 rupees or sofa-like recliner seats with blankets (if the AC gets too cold) in modern multiplexes for 260 rupees. So even if you don’t have much, it doesn’t mean that you can’t have some fun.

In Switzerland, this wouldn’t be possible. Either you have the money or you haven’t - there aren’t many ways to adjust your way of living to your income.

So no matter what your tastes are, you will find something for you in Mumbai.

The only really democratic thing that is the same for everybody is the traffic.

During rush hour you will get stuck, no matter if you are in an auto riksha, that will take you to your goal for 10 rupees, a “cool cab” for 100 rupees or your own big European car with AC. When the traffic stops, it stops for everyone....

Ready for boarding...