We have arrived back in Mumbai - our last port of call in India.
Dand and spent a romantic night in our room last night, and watched a wide range of movies on HBO - the only English channel on the TV. It seems the last few days had taken their toll, and we couldn't even be bothered to go out for dinner. (Actually the truth is we were watching an animated film called 'Open Season' and didn't want to miss the end! I recommend it.) Fortunately for us though room service was an option, and we sat around watching these films, in our pyjamas, eating Chinese food and talking about boys - wait, girls - now I'm confused.
Our hetrosexuality barely in tact, we left early this morning for the train back to Mumbai. I'm pleased to say my behaviour was impeccable all the way. This may have been for three reasons:
- I was reading a very good book that needed by complete attention. 'Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintance' requires a certain degree of thought, and it was really hard, and my head really hurt, but the majority of the journey was taken up with me journeying through this book.
- Secondly, and probably more significantly, there was a small child near us who was very entertaining, and the two of us kept each other amused with various funny faces and hiding behind curtains.
- We were in a higher class this trip, so were not in such close proximity. As a result of this Dan had more success in ignoring me, and I therefore felt unable to maintain the right degree of annoyance necessary for my entertainment.
Back in Mumbai, we comment on just how different it is here than every other place we have been. I may have said before, in which case the repitition will be dull and you are perfectly within your rights to go, but it doesn't seem like India. There are bars with jukeboxes playing 'Umbrella', black cabs, and proper pavements. It feels a bit like we are cheating; like we have come to experience different cultures, but instead have wandered into a British themed nadventure park. We reason with ourselves that it will be a nice way to ease us in to the more Western atmospher of New Zealand, rather than leap from one extreme to te other, but deep down I feel like our trip to India was over the second we got off the train this morning.
It's really nice here, don't get me wrong, and I feel a bit foolish for saying it - but Mumbai just seems a bit to civilised. It lacks the atmosphere other places have had. It's busy, and hot, and a little chaotic, but no more than London or even Bournemouth in the Summer - probably with the same amount of Chinese people standing in the middle of the road looking at maps.
It is just too easy. So far, the trip has seemed a bit of a challenge. A game of sorts, where survival and finding our way is the objective. The game now seems over. We have passed Go, collected our $200 (no pound symbol!) and landed in Mumbai.
But the victory is by no means hollow. There is still plenty to do and see, but I think maybe, just maybe, we have already won the Indian leg of the adventure.
There is always extra time though!