Saturday, August 18, 2007

Incredible Mumbai

Mumbai is a 9 hour flight via Singapore. Also known as Bombay (old name) and is the commercial capital of India. Bollywood is here. I arrived 12 midnight and the airport is good although lacking modern airport equipment- far from high-tech SG and HK. A renovation is on going apparently. Queue at the baggage carousel and immigration was not good. Lots of visitors looks confused where to go. Much like NAIA in Manila.

This city surprised me a lot. I did not actually thought of India as still third world, but indeed it is. Traveling from Mumbai airport to my hotel at Nariman Point is an eye opener. Mumbai is in the same situation as Manila, maybe even worse. You can see slums right after exiting airport. It's 12 midnight and lots of people are roaming the dim streets. And some topless guys sitting or just walking at the road side (pretty much like Pasay!). There are lots of homeless folks sleeping on the streets (just like Quiapo or Carriedo!). There are bunch of uniformly colored black small cars (not aircon) all over the roads and even up the fly overs.

The next day: Beggar knocks on car doors (looks worse than Manila). Black crows outnumber pigeons. I saw a cow on the street, the chauffeur told me nobody owns it. The Nariman point is like Baywalk in Manila only longer (4km) and cleaner. A man with his monkeys is dogging me to his monkey dance-- for a fee of course. Lots of people on the streets just walking or sitting around (waiting for job?). Hard to go around the busy streets or the slums as i can be easily spotted as foreigner in this part of the world.

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