Well, I had written a simply fascinating blog piece and then was rudely booted off the internet, compliments of the Fariyas Hotel, Colaba, Bombay. UGH! Well, I don't really have anything better to do so I will try to recap most of what I'd said...
I have arrived safely in Bombay with very little trouble really. I was a little concerned this morning when I saw the headlines of the paper screaming that Bombay is under water. They had an amazing amount of rain yesterday which killed 5 people (drowning, landslide, electrocution) and halted most of the trains and everyday functions of the city. BUT, with not too much trouble and only a few minor annoyances, I am here in Bombay, which I already like a lot.
The day began (for the most part) in the domestic terminal of Delhi's airport without air conditioning. I thought that was just how things were, until about 5 minutes before we boarded and I suddenly felt a blast of cool air. The domestic terminal is utter chaos, in my Western opinion. "Security" was fine and quick, but the boarding process alone was enough to make me want to scream! No boarding zones or lining up by row--oh no, it's just a mad dash for the doorway. Then they load you onto buses (did I spell it correctly?) that drive you and 50 of your best, smelly friends out to the plane. I found my row to be empty, thankfully, and I scooted in next to the window. Everything was just great until Mr. 11E sat down. He had some serious sinus issues. It sounded like a 300 pound man was flat on his back snoring his brains out! Not only did it sound like snoring, but it was very juicy and at one point I thought that all the mucous had oozed out of this man's face and onto me. After a quick check, I was grateful to find that nothing had been snotted on.
We landed and into the rain we went. Back onto another bus to the baggage claim area and then we had to wait about 30 minutes for our bags. Thankfully both of mine made it safely, albeit a bit wet.
Off to the car and then to the Fairyas Hotel in South Bombay. It's a nice hotel with WI-FI in the room--woo hoo--and it's only a short distance from some of South Bombay's best sites, including the Taj Mahal Hotel, Gateway of India, Prince of Wales Museum and Bombay University. (Tomorrow I am headed to the University for some really awesome apparel!) I was incredibly late getting into Bombay--just like G predicted--and missed Mass. So I walked up Colaba Causeway and found Leopold's...a cute (and charming) little restaurant that G, and my guide books, recommended. It's actually a favorite spot of Bollywood directors scouting Westerners as extras (according to Fodor's). Unfortunately I was not discovered tonight--perhaps I will venture back there and bust out some of my amazing "screw-in-the-light-bulb" Bollywood moves.
I like the feel of Bombay even though I've only been here a few hours. It has a NYC vibe to it--young, hip and big. It feels more like home.
And no, for all of you who are wondering, I've not yet seen a cow in the road!