Monday, February 26, 2007

After nearly a month (3 weeks to be precise) my trip to Mumbai is finally coming to an end. It's been an interesting 3 weeks but also a somewhat exasperating one. The trip itself started on a sour note with me getting conned by a taxi driver, through a sleight of hand, made me pay the fare twice. Then my trip gets extended and I find that I haven't packed enough clothes. I hadn't even packed the mandatory night suit I would need for the first night only. Must have been dreaming while I packed. However, there was this big store called 'Big Bazaar' near my hotel where I could get the stuff I wanted. It is these stores that 'walmart' would be pitting against should it enter the retail segment. I knew beforehand that there was a possibility of the trip getting extended as the client I was meeting needed more convincing. The hotel room was booked for only 3 days and I had to extend that as well and also change rooms once. I hadn't even bothered to note down the client's name and phone number when I started. Thankfully, I remembered the company name and was able to get the number eventually and contact the client thereafter. I had to go outside to access the internet as my hotel didn't have wi-fi. I searched for a list of wi-fi zones in Mumbai from the client's place and made note of several. The first weekend on saturday, I spent visiting churchgate, Gateway of India and the Elephanta caves. The boat ride to elepanta was an hour long each way and the ride was really thrilling. I saw an internet cafe sign in Colaba, where GoI is located, and checked my email. Nothing of interest other than that a CD I had ordered had been dispatched. I then dropped into a Barista nearby and was told they had wi-fi and charged Rs 113 per hr. Not bad but I was too hosed to stop there.
My second attempt at finding a Wi-fi came when I went to the Inorbit mall in Malad West which is not far from where I stayed. But on going there I found that the connection wasn't going through even though it said "signal strength - strong 11 Mbps" in the taskbar. Don't know if it was the wi-fi or my laptop. But I had to settle for checking out the movie 'Blood diamond' instead. A couple of things I missed sorely were my sneakers and my trunks. I couldn't get any exercises during my three weeks of stay. The hotel didn't allow you into the pool unless you had proper swimming costume and I was averse to running barefeet on the road.
The meals in Mumbai are different from the one's Iam used to down south. There's less of rice and more roti which was good. The hotel where I stayed served rice and I couldn't help myself from ordering a sizeable portion each time I sat down to eat. I plan to embark on a strict regimen of diet and exercise upon my return. On a philosophical note, as I write this blog, a song comes to mind though I forget the album or the singer's name "The sad part is living without love".

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