Just one day after I got home from Hawaii, I left for Mumbai to visit a childhood friend who now lives there. The perfekt reason to go to India. Mostly it was great to see my friend again, but it was also great to have a local show me around. She’s one of those who knows every single street and the history of every building but also everything about the culture and the political situation in the country. She actually knows more than most tour guides and locals, which was amazing!
When I started telling people I was going to India, I got a lot of negative comments on it. It’s so dirty, people are poor. It smells bad. So much traffic. People are aggressive and grab your arm to sell you stuff. You get rapped, ect. ect. So you can imagine I was expecting the worst, but than again, I wasn’t worried at all because I knew someone in town.
And guess what…. I had a great time and I would or even hope to go back some time!! Of course it’s dirty, smelly and traffic is bad, but it’s like that in most 3rd world countries. It’s not like Afrika is cleaner, Bali, Thailand and China have just as much traffic. The Indian people are super nice and not at all to be afraid of. Obviously if you dress like a tourist and go to the tourist hotspots there will be more of a hustle but’s it’s like that no matter where you go.
Anyways I was positively surprised by India! Actually I find Mumbai is kind of like New York but an Indian New York. Besides the picture you probably have of India, you’ll find sky scrapers, design offices, cool Startups and modern young and innovative people. We ate at super cool hipster boutique restaurants, had cocktails in stunningly beautiful luxury hotels like that famous Taj and went shopping in a fancy mall. Than again we had bucket showers in the morning, ate street food for just a few dollars or chai from a vendur walking down the street, took the train packed with indian woman in their bright and colorful saris and salwars. drove over bumpy streets in rickshaws and fought our way trough crowded bazaars. I was told, Mumbai isn’t a place for sights, it’s a place to experience. We did visit the Gateway of India and Elephanta island but it was just as interesting as accompanying my friend to the Police station or ordering a plumber via app to have the wash machine mounted.
I felt so comfortable living in Mumbai with my friend, I could have totally just gotten a job and stayed there forever. I felt absolutely safe and spontaneously decided to see some more of the country traveling on my own.
More to that in my next post.
Here a list of some great Restaurants I went to.
The Pantary – French chic boutique restaurant
Doollaly – bugers and great bear
Bagel Shop – Hip coffee hang out corner with Wifi
Pali village coffee – Industrial chic design, great for coffee and Breakfast
Brittania – historic colonial looking restaurant with real indian food
Pizza by the bay – casual lunch spot at the bay
Le15 cafe colaba – super cute, french looking coffee spot
Carters Express – cheap good take away food
Suzette – cool design and great crepes
Smoke house deli- right next to a fancy shopping mall. Very cool design and amazing food
The kitchen – by Suzette – cool design and great salads
Cafe Madras – Real indian food and favorite of the locals