I spent a good part of today getting lost in Mumbai. Some of the streets seem to have alternate names, and the Indian versions of the names can be quite long, for example Shahid Bhagat Singh Marg — aka SBS Marg — also known as Colaba Causeway. I met a friend of a friend at Melbourne airport. Today we headed towards Chowpatty beach and got lost in a maze of streets whose signs I couldn’t see, and resorted to taking a taxi to the beach. The same thing happened on the way back to Colaba, but we got lost in a different area. I suppose I saw more of the non-tourist’s Mumbai than I would have if I’d relied on a taxi.
Spending some time in Singapore gave me some warning of the chaos of Mumbai. The roads are no place for the timid — cars, motorcycles, bicycles and pedestrians jostle each other with no regard for painted lanes. The constant honking of car horns has already become just background noise. Amidst run-down old buildings, expensive fashion stores and billboards advertising Western fashion and mobile phones.
I had nothing to be scared about. I haven’t been partying or seen any major tourist sights yet, apart from the Gateway of India. (I will hopefully visit Elephanta Island tomorrow.) Just being here is a thrill.over 7 years ago