We have arrived in Mumbai, and not for the first time we are a bit shocked.
Here though it is for a slightly different reason: it's like a proper city. There are high rise buildings used for actual businesses, and a harbour, and old Victorian buildings that wouldn't look out of place in Oxford, and galleries, and bars - oh yes - real life bars that serve beer and everything. Not illegal beer that you have to hide under the table either (which we have had to do in a couple of places), but authentic, cold, bottled beer.
There is a smile back on our face!
Having arrived and had breakfast in a cafe you might expect the cast of Friends to be in, we - or I - decided to drag Dan around the National Modern Art Gallery. I think he would be the first to say that he was not impressed with anyhthing he saw in there, about from maybe the pretty French lady that was wondering around. I had to remind him that, although it's hard to tell, she probably wasn't an exhibit and so should probably stop staring!
We saw everything and left. I have to confess I was surprised that this gallery existed. I knew Mumbai was the arts capital of India, but find it hard to believe the locals frequent it - but I guess that maybe that is the point. It's for all the pretentious arty types that visit!!
To continue our day of culture, we also visited the musuem just across the road. We manged to get in as students, so saved ourselves 290 Rupees, and so entered grinning like we had just won the lottery.
The grin soon went.
I could not tell you what the musuem was bout, or really what purpose it had. The displayed pots, vases, paintings, Buddhas, knives - but in no real discernible order or providing any actual knowledge. But this was not all. We then ventured into the Natural History area.
The problem with this was that their was really nothing Natural, nor historical bout it. It was more a display of 'look what we shot and stuffed for you all to look at'. There were hundreds or birds, a rhino, a lion, crocodiles - you name it, it was hunted. Of particular note was a case, which within it was some sort of big cat. I'm not quite sure what, and it seemed neither was the musuem. as they simply labelled it 'Jaguar or Leopard'. Something tells me they just went on a rampage with a rifle and collected what they could simply to fill the place, as opposed to providing any actual knowledge to the visitor.
All I can say is we are glad we didn't have to pay full price!
Walking around, we are constantly being asked if we want to be extras in A bollywood movie. Unfortunately we leave tomorrow for Aurangabad.
But the good news is we will be back in a few days. I'm trying to persuade Dan that it is a good idea. I know he will love it.
If anyone can help persuade him, please do!