Archive for the ‘India’ Category

On the way to home… That was only a fantasy

Airport is introduction and summary for every new country. Mumbai airport is not an exception. Suspicious people are standing near entry, it is not too much cleaner comparing to the streets.

Which words should be used to describe waiting for the flight feelings : finally, no way or I do not care…

I believe it is more finally… 10 days away from home is too long time. It does not matter that +35 will be changed to +3 +5. It does not matter that chicken tikka and delicious vegetarian food will be changed to traditional latvian food [go figure which is traditional latvian food]. It does not matter…

I could not live in India for sure. Why ?

Poverty !

20 % of Indian population is below that edge. Every second Mumbai inhabitant is living on the shelter or sometimes shelter can be a privilege. So what ? It could be very hard to go to work, school, store, vacation and meet poverty people every day. People who have a lack of home, lack of food, lack of clean water…

India is fairy tale of two people. One is very rich, second is very poor. Go figure who is happier. Certainly I would not like to be on second, but about first… That’s a question ! I do not like manners and the way, how first group people are communicating and behaving with second group.

Mumbai [India] is definitely a good place where to think about the life values, understand that past problems were nothing and the way to discover unseen world…

Originally created on 7:07 [IST, Indian Time], 4:37 [Local Latvian Time]

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Key of Thane [Mumbai]

Work is over finally, and two more days left before coming back to Latvia. Sorry no more pictures, because camera batteries are empty [before the trip I did not expect to take so many pictures].

I understand why I like India so much, ok part that I’m visiting. It’s authentic. The place we are living are not made for tourists. Nobody wants to sell you their crap, nobody wants to tell that their products are the best, nobody doesn’t advertising any fool. People are just living their lives, they sell their goods, they make a food, they bring food, they sleep on the roads, they drive like crazy, they … They do not disturb you. Even you are [european] and something unusual for them.

There could be places where local people can bother you, but it does not look India has such place. Like it was in Egypt where people are ready to sell all for 1 dollar or more. One small thing difficult to accept that for a day you have been called “sir” for at least 80 times a day. But it does not look like they want to sell you their soul to change their lives.

Back to Work

Two days of work are almost finished. Lifetime trips to Mumbai places are ended for the moment. 2 days of work are gone + 3 work days to come. And 2 more days for journeys, time to travel on train roof and time to ride on the elephant 🙂

We were outside the hotel one time for two days to have a dinner. Not too much restaurants near the hotel, because the our place is not for tourists. We have not seen any white tourist near our hotel, probably some 4 white people in the hotel and few of them near Gateway of India,

Gateway of India

The rule we have learn about Mumbai restaurants. Restaurant should not be located close to the hotel and it should not be for tourists ! We found that food and service in the places for local peoples are few levels above of tourists places.

By the way about the work, I’m very surprised about the level of our students. Eight hours of constant talking is extreme training for the voice.

Mumbai Traffic

No rules…

How many taxi can feet

No traffic lights…

No Traffic Light

No directions…

No directions

No separation lanes…

No Separation Lanes

Be confident…

Be Confident

Use

Riiiing

at least 15 times in a minute…

P.S. All that you hear from window here during the day, piiiiiiiiiiiipiiiiiiiiiipiiiiiiiiiiii

Trains in Mumbai

Do you want to see real India ? Do not hear for commercial suggestions to use taxi, go with local train. All the stuff I see in movies is nothing comparable to what I saw in REAL indian train.

Each train starts with station. We went from Thane station. People density was something like 10 people for square meter [at 12 o’clock]. You need ticket to go with train, it looks like mostly India inhabitants are purchasing tickets. Tickets are sold in 6 7 different windows, 40-50 people are standing in the queue for each window. Right solution for non-local to go with first class, as it is the chance you can enter to the train and will not be over popular for all passengers. Stations are hugely crowded,

Train station

Train stop is longing from 10 to 15 seconds, somehow people are able to exit and enter a train. Do not ask me how it’s possible I don’t know. Be very fast when you have intention to take a train, train does not wait for anyone and driver will not use mirror to look, whether some people are exiting or entering train at that time (Normis jumped into the train, when it speed was above 20 km/h). Commonly professional passengers are exiting a train, when it is going at ±20 km/h.

Trains are divided into 3 sections: first class, second class, women class.
Foreigners must select first class, do not try to overcome that rule. The main difference between classes are price and number of persons standing there.

Mumbai's train

This is second class, second class with a lot of free space [believe me]. Everybody is standing comfortablu, unfortunately I do not have any image of extreme second class, probably Normis will have.

First class has a lot of free space. You are not so popular in first class, when you lean out of the door. There are no too much people traveling on the roof in city trains. You can go to prison if you go on roof. There are rumors, that intercity expresses offer facility to seat on the roof.

Train First Class

Avoid rush-hours ! You can go with train, but how you will get out of the stations ? We got stacked in people jam, when we were searched for exit and 20 meters distance took us 10 minutes. Time was 2 hour close to rush-hour. Can you image what is going on rush-hour ?…

P.S. Photos do not provide even 20% of the feelings, that you can have here.

Mumbai food

Mumbai adventure is continuing… So what about food ?

We have started our indian trip with the hotel check-in. We have asked hotel guy for coffee. He brought us coffee. Unique coffee which is made in Indian way

coffee –> hot water –> milk = ± European coffe,
hot milk –> packet with coffee = Mumbai coffee.

It is milk with coffee smell, not the coffee, but it tastes !

Our day consists of three eating usually. First goes breakfast, it is hotel breakfast, nothing interesting about it. Egg hotel guy is five times slower then Egypt egg guy,

Indian's food

Second time of eating, let’s call it lunch. We are preferring vegetarian food for lunch, we are in in India, where vegetarian food cult is very strong. Our first Indian lunch was pretty extreme, it was the local cafe. For example you can see rats on the floor. After 3 days in India, nothing can shock you. Moreover everywhere food costs approximately the same price and you get the same food. Only pay attention to the fact, if there are some visitors in restaurant !

The name for all dishes usually means nothing. Ask officiant to recommend, sometimes they just going over entire menu, but you can be lucky and they will recommend something delicious. Food can be spicy, but tasty spicy, not extreme spicy. Our lunch is something like this,

Indian's food

Dinner can be non-vegetarin. One Indian guy said to us, “Chicken is not meat”. Want to taste something delicious, Chicken Tikka is absolutely great. If you do not know what to order, try chicken tikka ! It was one of the best chicken, I’ve ever eat !

Chicken Tikka

For the evenings we can go with beer. The interesting fact, that two beers cost the same price you pay for 3 people dinner. 300 rupies cost for 2 beers – 7 dollars, the same prices you can pay for dinner. Motorickhaws cost 15 rupies. Good local beer is Kingfisher. Usually Indian people drink strong 10% bear, but it is too strong for us. Middle 5% beer is pretty enough. Kingfisher can easily compete with Latvian brands.

To respect local people, we are trying to eat with right hand, only right hand. When you are finished, officiant brings you plate with warm water and lime in it, to wash you right hand. Before trip to India, one colleague asked me, “Bring me chewing gum from India. They should have different Chewing gum”. Yes they have completely different chewing gum,

Indian's food

These things are very tasty and makes breath very fresh. If you will go to the same place second time, all officiants recognize you, like they meet old fried, and even remember what you have ordered yesterday…

Three crazy men walking down to Mumbai suburbs [II]

Today’s walk was one of the most extreme and emotional for recent years. 4 hours walk down to Thane [Mumbai] suburbs opens a window to undiscovered world.

Mumbai [Thane] walk

We meet 0 white people, we meet 0 foreign tourist. We meet hundreds of Indians, from 4-year boy preparing and selling fruits on the street old man repairing shoes, guys manufacturing suspicious stuff with funky tools, young mother with 1-month children, motorickshaws beeping constantly, posh men and women in expensive clothes… It looks like we were first white people walking down by these roads for recent time.

Mumbai workers

We go to eat to Indian restaurant. OK, it is not restaurant, let’s call it indian authentic place to eat food, where you can meet only local people. They were dazed and confused, when we entered and took places in their place. A lot of flews, very hot and weird procedures from officiants [like cleaning hands with your tablecloth after giving you a meal]. Despite of all these factors food was nice, more and more I like spicy food. Indian spicy food is few levels above of indian food in Latvia or Poland. Try some Indian sauces they are very nice.

Indian's food

If you will sometime go to Mumbai for travel. Besides visiting all tourists and famous historical places, find time and go to local inhabitants district, like we did in Thane [probably someone will say that it is dangerous, etc. Though it could be, but this is onetime experience in your life].

The time to go with Indian train, now.