There were no sewage floods in Mumbai, there weren't even any open sewers, this city is a world away from anything else we've seen in India. As soon as we arrived this was obvious as the suburbs are littered with building sites and huge skyscrapers.
Shortly after we arrived at our hotel we went for a walk down Marine Drive towards Chowpatty Beach. Walking along the sea front it was clear how much more liberal life in Mumbai is. Women showing off their shoulders and legs would have been a strict no-no in Rajasthan. It was also the first place we've been to where we felt totally safe walking around at night and where there were actually things to do!
Our first day was spent exploring the cultural highlights including MUmbai's biggest museum (which had a nice reminder of home in the form of Coalport china from Ironbridge!). In Colaba we had a rather bizarre experience as we were approached by a Bollywood casting agent who wanted us to be in his movie! Naturally suspicious we checked him out on the internet and then when he turned out to be the real thing we decided to go for it and arrived bleary eyed at 8am the next morning to meet. Much to Nat's dismay (and to be totally honest, my relief!) we were met by a man who told us that filming had been postponed. No Bollywood superstardom for us! I should probably mention the night before, we went to Cafe Leopald in Colaba, the first place we'd been to in India with freeflowing alcohol alongside a DJ playing a bizarre mix of hindi songs and 90s hiphop anthems. It was our first proper night out in 3 weeks and how we loved it.
On our last full day in Mumbai we were faced with the choice of more museums/sightseeing or something a little different. We duly obliged the randomness and headed off to Esselworld and Water Kingdom, getting our first experience of Mumbai's suburban trains, with people hanging out of ever door. We found ourselves jumping from a moving train when we were going in the wrong direction but its all part of the experience! The theme park, Esselworld, was great fun if not a little bizarre, it was like one of our travelling fayres with half wit rides that would never get a look in at Alton Towers and about 4 candy floss stalls to each ride. Still, we love quirky stuff!
After Esselworld we headed to Water Kingdom next door, Asia's biggest waterpark. We were a bit reluctant at first because we didnt think that Nat had appropriate swimwear, but to be fair I don't think any western female tourist would have appropriate swimwear - the Indian bathing costume looks a lot like a 90s Mr Motivator style lycra suit, not exposing any leg, arm or torso flesh whatsoever. Nat ended up wearing one of her long sleeve tops and hiring some lycra trousers, funny funny site given that men just wear shorts like anywhere else in the world. Being the only white people there made it even more interesting but the whole day was loads of fun with big flume rides and rubber ring waterfalls!
To sum it up Mumbai was really refreshing, as much as we enjoyed and respected more traditional parts of India it was great to see a progressive city where you can let your hair down a little! We'd recommend Mumbai to everyone