Monday, April 11, 2011

1 & half day in Mumbai - Part 4

Ok... Enough for hating myself for not taking photo. I blame Dheepa.

Anyway, it was great to be there looking at the monument, blaming myself for not being Indian enough to don't plan, just do it. I also blame no one warn me before head.

So... along the way there was many army and police since it was right next to the Taj hotel. Security is extremely tight here. They can't afford to lose another life, the Cricket World Cup going on, it is better to tighten up the security to protect fellow human being.

So road was a narrow one way street and you can't turn back unless you are riding on a horse and carriage decorated with tons of flowers and gold.

The driver dropped us on the side of Taj Hotel, we walked passed police, soldiers and mix of foreign and local visitors, passed a very smelly public toilet with vendor selling flowers and big huge balloon, and occassionally 1 feet long cricket bat, pen, watch and boiled peanuts.

After passing through the security scanner, we are in the compound of the Gateway of India!!!!!

We looked at the Gateway of India and sigh how grand it was, how nice the sunset was, and those pigeon pecking and shitting away spreading virus/bacteria, and how disgusting it was for peoples to spit all over the place like the entire place was a public toilet!

"Just now I saw a guy who spit 3 times in a row!" Dheepa said, as I watched a dusty woman clad in sari with a dusty child in her arm and spit about 2 feet away from me as she walks, "How disgusting."

"Spitting is fine. I am surprise where he got some much of flam!"

We laughed. What else can you do?

So we walked at ease, Dheepa fished out her Sony point and shoot and we took some photos (which I'm still waiting for her to send them to me).

The wind was so cool we forgot about the heat in the afternoon, and join the crowd looking out at the Arabian Sea.

It was very nice, and surprisingly calm (with ranging horns and traffic noise 5 meters away).

We spent about 20 minutes there and we decided it's time to go.

As we walking back to the main entrance, an old man holding some prayer stuff and dressed like a priest, obviously fake one saw us, or rather, saw me and walk towards us.

As I had been a poor tourist with nothing much to offer for many times now, I instinctively (trying) to walk away before he catch me, but...

Dheepa, she paused and wondered what the old man was doing, despite me trying to drag her away.

And the old ma started doing all kinds of "ritual" on her - mumbling away whatever it was, don a red dot on her forehead, tying a multi-coloured string on her wrist (This is when she, "What is he doing?!" on top of her voice) and then gave her some candy like flower looking beats on her palm...

And then he turned to me and done the same thing...

Dheepa, is more a tourist than Indian.

So after he finish mumbling away, pointed at the string on our wrist, "This is for good luck." And then the candy like flower looking beats, "This is sweet."

Both of us looked at her, wide eyed.

"And now I will need some money."

All in less than 10 second.

I looked at Dheepa, and Dheepa looked at me, she opened her bag, fished out her purse, and gave the man INR20.

The man thanked us and walked away... Happily...

Business must be good that day.

Dheepa was suspicious of the guy might have voodooed us, so she quickly called a friend to find out if they know anything.. Again... these few calls away seems to work for everything.

Or she was just paranoid.

Anyhow, her friend said it's ok. don't worry about it. Just throw and wash away anything the fellow don on us if we don't want to keep them.

So that's what we did.

It was quite funny actually.

Anyhow.. it was getting late. So we decided to continue with our mission. But the driver had other plan for us - the Churchgate Railway station.

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