Mumbai feels different to the rest of India so far, it feels more European, more cosmopolitan than anywhere else we’ve been. It’s no surprise then, that Lucy and I really enjoyed our 3 days there, and wanted to stay longer.
Mumbai is packed full of British Raj era buildings, and still looks like it’s English in some way. The main train station was designed by the same guy who did St. Pancras (clearly he was pigeon-holed early on in his architectural career).
Aside from how it looks, Mumbai was basically lots of islands that have been connected together over centuries. It has a beach, something that all big cities should consider adding in my opinion, and is home to Bollywood.
We stayed at The India Guesthouse, which for Lucy felt like a bit of a pilgrimage given that she was about two-thirds of the way through Gregory David Roberts’ Shantaram. We also hit up Leopold’s Cafe which charges you £14 for the privilege of pouring your own beers from an on-table keg.
After said keg, we enjoyed the kebab of my life at Bademiya. I had a mutton number, and Lucy had a chickeny one. It looked a bit like this…
Our hangover was eased by the lovely Theobrama’s who offered delicious French pastries and proper coffee, and potentially the best service we have had so far.
We saw a Bollywood film “Shaadi-Ke” aka Side Effects which was jokes as it had an intermission and the single man in front of us (it was a rom-com) was on his phone all the time. There were also ushers, and it cost £1.50 a ticket!
Our first day was spent sightseeing, which included the majestic Taj Mahal Palace Hotel and the Gateway of India. The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel is particularly amusing as it was built by an Indian man (Tata) after he was refused entry to the European hotels. It is by far the biggest and most striking hotel in Mumbai, a bit of a middle finger to the Europeans!!
We also visited a Mosque, which was fine, but the best bit was the juice before it…Haj Ali Juice Centre do juice better than your average pulper and juicer, and had the biggest strawberries ever.
We then went to Ghandi’s Mani Bhavan where we found out he studied law in London and lived at 20 Barons Court Road, which is just over a mile from our flat in Hammersmith.
Funny how we came this far round the world when we could have walked up the road for our Mahatma hit…funny or awkward.