Thursday, January 8, 2009

Day 2 - Mumbai, Juhu Beach

Day 2 - Mumbai, Juhu Beach

- Corrections
- The weather
- Let’s take a walk on the beach
- Who wants to be a slumdog millionaire
- Meals
- Headweave

- The bumble bees are not mini-minivans, they are more like large three wheel motorcycles with black coverings, semi-open sides and yellow stripes. Cheap enough that school kids can take them to/from school. Rickshaws gone modern?
- The day of no pounds was not because we weren’t trying to spend money, just didn’t want to exchange dollars into pounds.
- Bamboo scaffolding noted as being used here as is done elsewhere, not to associate it with poor construction

We ate outside last night, and it was nice enough that we asked for the fan directly above our table to be turned off. This morning, we took a long walk on the beach….OK, we walked really slowly along the beach for about 25 minutes. Temp is in the low 70s when we start around 8:30 and it is semi-clear and smoggy. Amazingly, we are near the flight path for the airport take-offs, making the car trip to hotel seem even slower in our jetlag haze than we experienced at the time.

The beach is crowded with teens playing soccer and cricket matches, people strolling (walking fast seems almost as foreign as in Beijing, though by Chinese terms here they are jogging). Seems to us that people are enjoying the sand before work and school day, which appears to start at 10am.

Along the beachfront are mostly extremely weathered low rises and a few new and a lot of older hotels. Lots of palm trees leaning out to sea. Our hotel is 5 stories, and would be classified in the new category, though I would estimate it is at least 10 years old.

Not much surf, and washed in to shore are a number of flower wreaths with what appear to be shiny purple ball xmas ornaments. Because there is not much surf, we assume they were thrown in last night rather than washing to shore. Also saw one small finely meshed fishing net drying out, and a few boats just offshore possibly fishing with nets. About 20 minutes down the beach (or, 500 yards?) was a group of food stands. Every few hotels, there are coconut vendors, and we see people at our hotel drinking out of freshly cut coconuts.

As we headed out to the road, we spy two small concrete buildings (cabana size), painted white with the following bold black lettering: Complaint office #1 and Complaint office #2 (bonus points if you quickly knew that nobody was there to take complaints).

Along the road are two young women in saris filling metal baskets with large concrete gravel, then carrying them on their heads into construction sites (at least, we think they are going to construction sites). Streets, while seemingly under construction everywhere, are clean.

We find an ATM and take out 10,000 rupees, approximately $200. The receipt prints out with our account balance: WE’RE SLUMDOG MILL-IONAIRES!! Now to start practicing our dance moves. Back to the hotel through the front entrance, this time we have to go through a security metal detector, something we did not do yesterday (nor did our bags). Maybe a new procedure since 26/11, as they are calling the terrorism of November in Mumbai?

Dinner last night at the Kabob House (one of restaurants in the hotel). Chicken and vegetable mix kabobs, which includes a number of veggie composites we’ve never seen, several plain naan, large bowl of peanuts, hot sauces and a chutney that we’re instructed to eat with the peanuts (good!), rice pudding type dish (payasam in guide book, phirini (sp) on the menu), martini and draft kingfisher beer: $70.

Breakfast buffet: Lots of pastries, breads with food coloring, sweet yogurts, papaya, watermelon, pineapple, eggs cooked to order, cereals, and lots of hot trays full of Indian dishes. Coffee with hot milk (yea!), chai, sweet lime juice and papaya juice. Included with room.

Lunch: Panini sandwiches and water and coke by the pool. Chicken with green pepper for me, cottage cheese (more like curd) and (unbeknownst to MHB) green pepper as well, which she doesn’t like. Cost: $20.

We’re enjoying conquering jet lag by settling in at the hotel, using the fitness center, sitting by the pool (feels like mid 70s even midday, though MHB i-phone sez mid 80s), doing an occasional lap, reading, people watching (lots of westerners, also many Indians doing business) and what may be a few families where someone is recuperating from an operation.

Lastly, Graham mentioned the way Indians weave and bob and nod and shake their heads as they are talking, and today I had someone do it for about 30-45 seconds while helping me. It is mesmerizing once you notice it.

Sorry, no pics today, camera and i-phone stayed in room

Ralph and MHB


  1. nice desriptions would you rate your hotel...5 stars? what are the rooms like?

  2. oh yeah, i'm "anonymous"...rpb

  3. that would be descriptions...

  4. We were worried about the pics of you both in London and then realised they were of the Saatchi Gallery!!!!!!!!!!

  5. blackburnes- dont' worry, me and katie are tough on them, but not THAT tough!

  6. Hmmmmm...glad to see the commenters are commenting on the comments, helps the blogger out!