Bombay (Mumbai): Yes, a Maximum City

At this point we are way behind with the blog. Sitting in an internet cafe during the Lao/Thai new year, our sense of time has lost shape. To think about Bombay (Mumbai) is to go back what seems months. Come to think about it, it was over a month ago. Nevermind, there is still much to remember and comment on. We weren’t very long in Bombay but because both of us read Suketu Mehta’s Maximum City during our travels, the city, with its filth, glamour, and history is somehow imprinted in our minds. And of course another thing perhaps as lasting in our memory of the place were all of the exceptions to the Indian rule we encountered: miniskirts, beer bars with jukeboxes, embracing couples, and eggs benedict. We found a cosmopolitan city during three clear February days where the air was actually breathable. We were expecting an urban chaos, a city writhing in growing pains, but instead found excellent pastries, ice cream by the seaside, and a corner room overlooking a park. Of course we were only in South Bombay, surrounded by wealth, British Era University Campuses, and only occasional rat sightings. The reality is quite the opposite. We know that much. But somehow we were happy to have missed it and were glad instead to have been blinded by what seemed like cosmopolitan freedoms. I guess at that point we needed something else to eat and something else to see. We needed a break, which would not really come until shortly after our Bombay visit on the beaches of Goa.

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Gate of India

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sugar cane press

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sugar cane juice…ahhhh

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a good deal

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…………

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Bombay University

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the restless movement of the city and the immobility of the huge trees in South Bombay

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a hint of the 19th century

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inside a cotton shop, frozen in time

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Victoria Terminus

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Victoria Terminus

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unexpected crazy circling around a roundabout with a wacking stick

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……….

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……………

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every taxi needs a guardian

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vivi in search of silk

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………….

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grego, always patient while vivi shops (not really)…

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…but there is usually a reward involved…

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…at the best sweet shop….”yes please?”

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yes, yes, please!…we enjoy a day at the market with Julius and Luke…

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…which ended with ice cream by Chowpathi Beach

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