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.
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!
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Well, that was about it. The miniature paintings alone made the museum worth the visit. Everything else was just ok.
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?
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.
Back on the streets of Mumbai.
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.
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.
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.
To be continued at Mumbai Day 2.