Mumbai Day 1

Continued from Udaipur Day 3.

I woke up this morning, and could not tell instantly where I was. That’s a good thing. The decor of my hotel is decidedly not Indian. I feel like I am at any other nice hotel in the world, and that’s familiar and comforting to me. It would have been a shame if I spent the entire time in India staying in nondescript Western hotels, but I’ve had my fill of Indian themed hotels and guesthouses. I need a break.

I go to the restroom and drink the water from the faucet. Victory! I don’t believe I’ve ever mentioned this, but the restrooms of almost all the other Indian accommodations that I’ve stayed in is only semi private. The restroom always has an open screen high above that just vents out into the hallway. I never understood this. Sometimes I have to close my bathroom door at night to keep the hallway noises out. On the day that I was throwing up in Jaipur, I am sure people in the hallway wished it was the other way around and they could close the vent. Now that we are on the topic of vomit, let’s move straight to food.

When I checked in last night, I was given an option to add a breakfast buffet. Why not.

It says Texas and contains pork. I am eating it! I haven’t had pork or beef in almost 3 weeks!! I am really craving beef and I want a hamburger!

This is the absolute best part of breakfast. I ordered some pancakes, and I just had the best pancakes I’ve ever had in my life. Who knew that I would have the best pancakes ever in a hotel, in Mumbai, of all places. They tasted like Asian sponge cakes. They actually put the cake in pancake. I ordered seconds!

There were a lot of guests from Africa here. I wonder if there’s a convention here in town.

Let me explore the hotel.

It’s so nice, I don’t even feel like leaving to go out. Why would I go outside and be hassled when I can stay in and feel calm and at peace?

What’s in Mexican Room?

Yes!! Found it! It’s been 3 weeks since I’ve been to a gym, and I am missing it. A visit will be my plans for later tonight.

This is taken from the top floor. Unfortunately, the heavily tinted windows here kills the view. That, and the heavy smog that covers the whole city.

The automatic blinds come up. Sidenote. My bathroom also has a window that separates it from the bedroom area and it has an automatic blind as well. There seems to be many Asian hotels that have this feature. Why is it that they have to incorporate sex hotel tricks into a business hotel?

My boring view of Mumbai.

I’ll be heading in that direction later.

There was a terrorist attack at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in 2008. Since then, many hotels have stepped up security. Everyone needs to go through security just to enter the hotel.

Here comes the taxi.

He actually stops for the red lights during the day. Maybe running red lights is just a nighttime deal when traffic is light.

Gateway of India! They are setting up some sort of concert for a festival and it’s blocking my view! Bastards! I am finally feeling the high humid heat here in Mumbai.

Imagine if it was filled with water!

Knockoff Doraemon toys.

The lines for the ferries.

Self photo. I didn’t feel like waiting around for someone else to take a photo for me. There’s no way for this photo to turn out well anyway unless a very wide angle lens was used.

The famed Taj Mahal Palace Hotel. Here was where the terrorist bomb attack happened in 2008. Originally, I was looking to book a room here for my stay in Mumbai. It wasn’t much more than what I am paying right now at my current hotel. I decided against it because the only rooms that they had left for my dates would put me in the expansion tower to the right and not in the old main building with all the history. Oh well, too bad, maybe next time.

All over the Gateway of India, there are these Indian photographers holding laminated photos and try to sell the tourists to buy a photo taken of them. They carry around portable printers and print out the photos on the spot. I swear, there were probably 30 of these guys in this one small area.

Looks like can of paint, but is actually a cooler for ice cream! It’s hot and humid out here.

Well, that was that for Gateway of India. I am just going to walk around the area as there are some sights and museums around.

Yes, Agent Vinod. I’ve been seeing ads for this all over town. I may have to watch this over the top Bollywood movie if I have time here in Mumbai.

That’s a pretty pimp building. There are all these British buildings left from the British Raj in this area. I am in the Southern tip of Mumbai.

You can kind of see the sign for Nationally Gallery of Modern Art. This made the list on Lonely Planet.

No photos inside, so I didn’t take any. But I would say another strike against Lonely Planet. It was very small, and I would say 80% of the exhibit space was devoted to a presentation showing city renewing plans of Mumbai. Might have been interesting if I lived here, but for someone expecting to see some art, this was a disappointment.

Yup, there’s a kid on the street just popping a squat.

How does a peacock’s feather grow? I’ve never thought about it. Does it grow from a miniature version of the whole, or does it grow the tip first, then the middle, then the end?

Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya. Previously known as the Prince of Wales Museum. I’ll refer to it as “The museum formerly known as Prince of Wales Museum”. This is supposed to be the biggest and best museum here in Mumbai, according to Lonely Planet….we’ll see. The building itself is pretty awesome though.

The entrance is on the right and the exit is on the left. I came through security at the entrance, then walked a little bit towards the exit just so I can get a better photo. I didn’t even past the gate, but the security guard made me walk through security again. Seriously? I walked 20 feet over to the entrance again and the security guy just waved me right by and I was in again. This reminds me oddly of the bus driving 10 seconds to the airplane in Udaipur. I feel like I am in a bureaucratic hell. I think Kafkaesque would be the right term here.

Camera charges. Yay!

Pretty nice inside. India’s best museum has no AC in the sweltering Mumbai heat. Note to self, don’t come to India for the museums.

These are the best! These are Indian miniature paintings. They are smaller than regular size office paper and they’ve got some amazing details in them. Some of the brushes that they use is probably only one single hair.

A security guy came up to me and asked to see my camera pass. I didn’t buy one earlier, because despite the sign saying that I needed one, no one offered to sell me one. I was then told that I could get it downstairs at the audio guide booth. OK, fine.

Happy now?

I came back, started taking photos again, and this same guy came up to me and told me that I can’t take photos. I flashed him my newly acquired camera pass. Yeah, that’s right!

Hand for size reference. I loved the miniature paintings.

Battle! Blood everywhere! Oh wait, it’s just Holi.

They had a section on Tibet. I need to visit Potala Palace one day. This is so not PC to say, but since the Dalai Lama isn’t living in Potala Palace anymore, China has made it into a museum. Now mortals like me can visit it, and I am excited about the prospect of that.

This dagger screws into the sheath. Hold on, don’t fight me yet, let me unscrew my weapon first. Damn it! It’s double threaded again. Fuck!


That looks painful.

Delicately carved ivory jewelery box. Very nice.

Well, that was about it. The miniature paintings alone made the museum worth the visit. Everything else was just ok.

Nice building on the left, and a building on the right that I wouldn’t go within 50 feet of in fear of it falling over on me.

I met one of the hotel guests of my hotel back in Delhi. He told me about this place and said that it was like the American Apparel of India and that I should check it out. Do they have hot girls in skimpy clothes for their ads?

Oh…nothing is skimpy sold here. Disappointed…

They do have a cafe attached inside. I shall have lunch here.

I ended up doing some shopping here. I love their recycled newspaper shopping bags. I had not bought a single item to take home with me during this entire time in India. I decided to do some shopping today because I am in my last India city so I won’t have to lug around all the stuff that I buy in India. But really, I am just not a big shopper.

Up the stairs to food.

I can even watch retail therapy from up here.

BBQ chicken sandwich, chocolate muffin and iced coffee. Yes please.

Back on the streets of Mumbai.

The have nots occupied this corner of the parking lot.

I love this photo because it shows the polarizing country that is India. You have these nice British Raj buildings in a nice neighborhood, and right there you also have a naked kid from the slums whose toy is an old rubber tire.

Sugarcane juicer.

These huge ants love sugarcane too.

St. Thomas Cathedral.

Just chillin’ and relaxin’.

I love the DoCoMo(Japanese mobile company) logo. It’s so creative.

Big park right next to Mumbai University filled with cricket players. They were all very proper and dressed in white.

A building on the University of Mumbai campus.

I was done seeing everything that I had set out for today, and was looking for a taxi. There just happens to be a whole entire row of taxis parked here. Literally probably 50 of them.

And all the drivers are taking naps…

Which driver am I going to have to wake up to take me back to my hotel?…

Clock tower on campus.

Finally found a driver who was awake, alert and ready for business.


Marine Drive, right along the shore. My hotel is Marine Drive.

These old school non AC cabs have manual transmissions and they’ve got the shifter on the steering column. Interesting!

Back to my temporary home. Oh, faucet water, I love you.

I blogged, then took a break and went to the gym. The gym felt awesome after not going for three weeks. Then I got hungry and it’s time to eat.

The hotel restaurant was serving a dinner buffet. All you can eat desserts…I am fucked…

Do you see what i see? Yes, they’ve got beef!!!! I haven’t had beef in close to three weeks!!!! YES!!!! Beef with faucet water should be a delicacy!!

A beer to celebrate the beef.

I couldn’t refuse. Needless to say, I was overly stuffed. I am destroyed. Dinner with beer was $45 so I had to try my best to get my money’s worth!

To be continued at Mumbai Day 2.

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