After some massively annoying flight problems due to weather - 24 hours after I left Washington, DC - I arrived in Bombay at 2am and was at the Sun'n'Sand by 3!
The first thing I noticed was... mosquitos. And also, dogs. There are a ton of ferrel dogs running around. I sat next to the cutest young couple on the flight from Frankfurt to Mumbai - they were so impressed with everything on the plane but also were kind of disparaging towards Air India. It was really funny.
So, today I didn't do much. I was really, really tired from the flight but I wanted to get over my jet lag as soon as possible so...! I got up in the morning and got myself a taxi to the Gateway to India!
What else could I do on my first day here?
My taxi driver was the sweetest man who kept telling me which stars lived where - Dilip Kumar, Amitabh Bachchan, Shahrukh Khan, Lata Mangeshkar. I was ready to tell him to go but he was pushy and insisted on waiting for me, which was smart because clearly I was a silly and tired white lady and called him just 2 hours later.
So, after fending off a million people trying to sell me things at The Gateway to India, I went for lunch at the Taj - because I am a spoiled memsaab.
Oh. My. God. The Taj Hotel is beautiful inside and I had an amazing lunch in the Sea Lounge which overlooks the water. And then I went back to my hotel.
This whole process took 5 hours.
When Bollywood stars tweet about traffic, they aren't kidding. Going from North to South Mumbai is crazy - and amazing. I can see how it would get tiring to do it everyday but, honestly, I was really enjoying watching life pass by outside the taxi windows with narration by my taxi driver. I got to ride on the sea link which was really cool! Also, I kept seeing places that looked really familiar.
I took a small rest in the afternoon and then drank my dinner at the bar at the Sun'n'Sand.
Now I'm watching MTV India while typing to you all!
That was my first day in India!
Here are some observations!
* Everybody is trying to sell me something - everybody. But mostly people are nice about it.
* Culture shock is surprisingly not an issue. Mostly, I'm just having 'in an unfamiliar city' shock.
* Being treated like a princess is surprisingly fun. Maybe that should be Mumbai's next ad slogan: Where a Librarian Can Feel Like A Princess.
* See Katrina Kaif and Amitabh on billboards is like seeing old friends, which is kind of sad.
* There is some guy who keeps yelling things through a microphone outside my window. I have no idea what that is about.
Hopefully I'll have a bit more for you tomorrow!
Until then, have a cheezy video of "Kurbaan Hua" which is going through my head!