Dheepa and I took an auto to the domestic airport because Anju's dad flew in from Cochin, so the bus will be waiting for us there.
Being in Mumbai super rush hour, the traffic was jam packed with lots of cars, busses and auto. There was many people selling strawberries.
"Wow! The strawberries here are really pretty." I said.
"Really?" Dheepa looked at them from afar, frown, doubted.
"Ya! These are red, plum and pretty. I wonder what it taste like." I admire them further without lifting an interest on my face.
"Do you have strawberries in Malaysia?" Dheepa asked, adjusting her seat, her knee really was hurting.
"Ya. They look like cancer."
When we reached the airport... honestly, this is one of the best domestic airport I've ever been. The waiting area was open and large, and the walkway was well paved.
Anyway, we found Anju's dad and joined him. We had a little chat. He was a very quiet man, apparently a well known camera man in India.
Anju and the rest of the convoy came about 20 minutes later.
The reunion... well, I forgot how tall she was. The young pretty face replaced by a matured, beautiful young woman face.
I met the mother, a soft spoken lady with strong character. She worked in Malaysia for a few years, and that's how Anju and I met.
And then we adjourned to the bus, where there was 4 peoples waiting for us, excluding the driver.
Ben and Emma (an Australian couple), a very bubbly Canadian girl (I forgot her name), and Yogita, Indian lives in UAE. All of them are working friends of Anju in Dubai.
After we said goodbye to Dheepa, we hop on the bus and started our journey, directly in the traffic.
The traffic was awfully solid on the way out of Mumbai. Later, we found out that there was a fire at the train station, therefore the entire city stop.
It took us 3 hours to get on to the highway, when it was already dark.
This is what I was excited about. Every single lane on the highway was occupied by big huge cargo trucks. All of them was huge, heavy, and FAST!!!!
All of them had "HORN OK PLEASE" painted on every one of them. Agaist the boring red or black or brown; or the colourful, sometimes tattooed with lord Ganesha on them.
They HONK ALL THE TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Every few seconds you'll get a honk without fail.
See. The culture of honking here is basic road manner.
The truck was too big to see what's behind them, so they wouldn't know when to give way for the car behind. So the car behind, if wish to overtake the car or truck in front, they honk to ask for permission, and the car or truck in front would honk to say "it's ok (to overtake or the coast is clear)".
so just honk to your heart content driving in India. It's good manners. Get used to it.
very soon, we need dinner.
2 hours later, we are in the McDonald's by the highway.
The vege burger was really really good.
After dinner, we hit the highway again, and this time, we stuck at the tol... with 10 to 12 rows of trucks in front of us.
Since every one was moving was slowly, those truck driver had fun with their melodic horn, and ladies and gentlemen! We had India very own highway symphony.
It was quite funny really.
After that... I kind of drifting to sleep, but every so often, I was woken up by a honk here and there, and I notice we went into one tunnel after another, and all of them are so ancient, I thought I just about to enter the ice age when coming out of the other side.
After a few drifting in and out of sleep, we arrived in Kolhapur...
Gosh~~~ I finally get to stretch my legs.
Since Dheepa can't come, I was supposed to be on my own, but Anju's brother's girlfriend decided to attend the wedding, so I suddenly have a roommate.
I was overjoyed that I did not need to drape the sari on my own.
I looked for my room #109. It was 3am in the morning, and I knocked the door... 3 times.
When I was about to give up, a girl opened the door.