Back Where We Started

Another short flight today and we are back to where we began. In a way it feels good to be back in the city. The hive of activity invigorates the senses. We are now in the final stretch, shopping must continue, there can be no fatigue or surrender, shopping must prevail. Attacking the streets we hit all the shops, the Colaba, Churchgate, Nariman Point, Malabar Hills, and Kemps Corner, no market is spared as we peruse Chor, Zaveri, and Crawford. Mumbai is like a 30-mile long open bazaar.

Exhausted, our hunger for shopping turns into just hunger in general. I have to briefly describe the food in India. There is a big difference to having an elegant Indian meal in the United States to having a street side meal in India. First of all, there are no bathrooms, and if there are bathrooms, they are indescribably hideous (Can anybody really wash their hands?). Secondly, there are flies everywhere. The local vendors wave them to the side then continue to serve your plate, actually just a circular landing pad for these vociferous flying mouths. Large piles of grains line the markets, but looking closer, the entire mass appears to be slowly moving, crawling with worms, larvae and other assorted creepy-crawlers.

Don’t get me wrong, there is exceptional food to be had, its just you can’t think about it too much. My husband, who has a completely abused palate, ate everything, loved almost everything and never got sick. I, thinking way too much about the no hand washing thing, ate very little except at the main hotels, and by the time we got back to Mumbai, had lost about ten pounds and had the appetite of the Mughal army.

Stopping at one of the business hotels on Nariman Point, we happened on perhaps the finest sight of all, a western style buffet. Everything a woman could want while on vacation in India – pizza, pasta, Chinese and Mexican food, and real bacon – meat I could recognize, even (forgive me for my sins!) a burger. My husband watched in disgust as I shoveled food into my mouth more than making up the ten pounds from the past two weeks. Satiated, we collected our purchases, and returned to the Taj to make plans for our departure.

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