I woke up very sore, I couldn't believe that 4:30 am came so early. I was glad to say goodbye to a terrible bed and to Bangkok. It was way past the time to move on. I had worried about a cab ripping me off, but the first price that he offered was less than at the prepaid places so I just went for it. I managed to be one of the first people in line for check in and nabbed a window seat.
One through immigration I grabbed some breakfast and picked up a few magazines. My flight to Mumbai was only 3.5 hours long. I passed the time sleeping and watching Slumdog Millionaire. It somehow seemed appropriate. Once we landed I had no problem getting through immigration. It was just a bit confusing to get a cab because the ATM didn't work and I had to beg my way to get back into the building to change some more money.
I could just tell from the traffic that Mumbai was a crazy place. Whenever we would stop several people would come to the car trying to sell me magazines. I just started telling them that I couldn't read English. Traffic here makes the Saigon traffic look like a walk in the park, it was shocking! What in the world am I doing here?
When I was dropped off at my hotel of choice a tout actually told me the truth, it was closed, and the next one I wanted was actually under renovation. This is a first, well, a tout telling the truth is a first. I then set out with 3 guys following me trying to find my own place. They wanted me to go to their hotels, but I had no interest in that. Eventually I found the Salvation Army Hostel. There wasn't anyone at the front desk and the guy following me tried to tell me that it was full. I didn't listen and soon someone came down. There was room for me in an 8 bed all female dorm.
I was pretty tired, but after over a week of travel atrophy I really wanted to get out and do something. I headed straight out to the Mumbai harbor and the Gateway to India. The colonial style arch was disappointingly under construction, but I bet it looks nice when its not. I sat for a bit to people watch and figure out where I was headed next. A few people came up and asked for money, but left me alone quickly. The most annoying were some guys selling balloons that were just as long as I am tall. What the hell would I do with that?
I wanted to go to a clothing market to pick up a few things but I couldn't seem to find it. I seemed to have either sent home or thrown out more clothes than I had realized. Before heading back I stopped at an internet cafe to tell everyone that I was alive.
It was so hot that I had to peel my clothing off to take a shower, but the cold water felt amazing. I then hung out at the hostel for a bit waiting for the sun to go down so that I could go out for dinner.
For dinner I went to a place called Leopold's. Four months ago this was the restaurant that 10 people were killed at during the terrorist attack on Mumbai. You can still see the bullet holes. The place was packed and the food was good. I had a murgh malai kabab and some cheese naan. I'm going to try and do a better job of eating local food here than I did in SEA.
After dinner I headed back to the hostel and was out like a light.