Sunday, January 4, 2009


So I have landed in Mumbai and wowee what a crazy wonderful city! Too bad it took me so long to get here...20+ hours on 2 flights back to back has left me with a numb bum and an insane case of jet lag spanning a 13.5 hour time difference. Just awoke from a crazy deep nap so I'm feeling quite groggy and spaced out.
But I made it! Biggie made it in this morning a bit late as she was waiting for ages at the airport for her backpack which sadly didn't make it from Helsinki. It was so good to see her and we are quite excited to be travelling in India together. I'm feeling super positive and excited about being here for the next few months although I am definitely fighting a cold or something that I picked up from some friends back at home.
Landed at 2:20 am and the air was smoky, hazy, thick and boasted a tempid 25 degrees. I was thinking of my lot back at home with all the snow...seems so far away now. Biggie and I sepnt the day getting out into Colaba (which is the area that we are staying in close to the water). Saw the remnants (and there is much left) of the bombed Taj hotel which is a sight to behold. Meandered through the throng of people at the plaza to see the underconstruction Gateway to India (and fought off many eager tourguides wanting to seperate us and our money for a quick tour of Mumbai). We had a lovely breakfast at Leopold's Cafe which is a tourist epicentre for all travellers to go and be seen (and also much talked about in the book "Shantaram"which I am aching for right now) and I visited a leather shop that my parents went to when they were here. We then wandered all over the rest of Colbaba and up to the Grand Train Station "Victoria Terminus" which is one ofthe most beautiful buildings that I have ever seen. Bought a few pairs of harem trousers with aggressive haggling and then sat to watch a massive free for all cricket game that showcased at least 12 different games. Back to our hotel area were we discovered this amazing food stall selling incredible roti with veg ingredients (sooo good...I swear that I am going to eat my way over the whole menu) and I had an amazingly refreshing drink made from sugar cane juie, lime, and mint leaves. I'm sooo hooked. Tonight it's off to Chowpatty beach to people watch and nibble on many delictable treats served up from the street vendors. I feel quite at home here and not really minding the chaos, although I did manage to get myself nicked by a motorbike today which gave both me and Sarah quite a start! And I hope that a red light means go in this city as this is a rule that all the drivers seem to follow. EEEK!
Thinking so much about my friends and family back home, and hope to hear from some of you soon. I had a wonderful gathering the night before I came here and the night has let me with a warm heart indeed. Lots of love.....xoxoxox


usha said...

Ashley: You write beautifully; wonderful that you're loving Mumbai already. Enjoy the various foods, but use caution when eating at street vendors. I look forward to reading more from you.
love u

usha said...

btw; I am thrilled that you're actually at Leopolds. I'm reading "Shantaram" right now,

mom and dad said...

Hi Ash - so glad to hear from you and know that you made it there safely. Sounds like you're already 'into India', but remember what I said about the traffic. You've always got to have your wits about you and stay out of their way - pedestrians are considered nothing more than speed bumps at the least and road kill at the worst. Sounds like you found Mustan's shop - say hi from us. Snowed some on Friday and yesterday, but supposed to warm up
and start raining today. Be safe
luv Mom and Dad

Sundara said...

Hi Babe! Hooray 4 U and Sarah! It sounds like you got my cold, I'm SO sorry. Maybe some spicy curry will kick it out...Enjoy the most interesting city I've ever been to and I'm happy to read about your travels on this blog. You rock! Stay safe darling.

sasha said...

hey ashley,

Just saw your blog link on facebook and wanted to wish you the best. I miss Mumbai reading your blog, how long are you there?
You were at Leopolds, how nice!!

Be careful of where you eat as some places are better than others.......ask the sugar cane guy to wash his machine with bottled water and that makes a safer drink. Also, don't try the yogurt outside. If you smile, most people will oblige and with your sweet personality they will bend backwards.

Enjoy chopatti - it is fun from what i remember 8 years ago, there is a nice Dosa Restaurant SHIV SAGAR just 5 min away on the bend opp. Holiday Inn.

Try PAV BHAJI (it is a vegetable puree served with lots of butter).

Lots of love
Natasha said...
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