|We made it safely to India after encountering our first snag,when the train from Canberra to Sydney was rerouted before we hit Goulburn. It took two hours to get to Goulburn and then all passengers were transferred to local coaches to be ferried up to Sydney Central Train Station. Unfortunately the driver didn't know how to get there as he only did local trips - so it was lucky that we took an extra day for that section.
The 14 hr flight was as exciting as a 14hr flight gets but at least we had a couple of seats each. We arrived in Mumbai to the glistening clean streets, the modern sophisticated capital of Bollywood - home to more movies than Hollywood!! and now with Ozzie stars ;-) the film clips we took will be here soon. When we found our hotel which was near India Gate it was as flea bitten and dishevelled as you would expect from this slum a la paradise...Nearby was the Taj Mahal hotel where the Aussie cricket team stayed before their world championship win against the West Indies - we were at the stadium!!!! but of course a big storm came in - play was postponed most people left and we missed Ricky pushing the ref off the podium for a photo.
We spent a day going to Elephanta Island (which has no elephants on it, no statues of elephants, no street names beginning with elephants aka no bloody elephants - but you could buy bananas - 15 rupees a kilo (50c in Oz money so we bought loads and watched them go black just for the hell of it) no we didn't we gave them to the beggars, which apparently don't exist in Mumbai as with the cows on the street (information courtesy of the first tout we met!!@!) However there was a great temple built into the caves of E island similar to Petra, Jordan but nowhere near as elaborate or well preserved.
There is some fantastic Victorian architecture that has unfortunately been allowed to decay and the streets are like Bali, China or Vietnam - the lines on the road exist but nobody knows what they're there for ;-)) so its a matter of head down and walk - though to Mumbai's credit they do have traffic lights - but has anybody explained to the locals what they're there for???
We visited Ghandis house and learnt a lot about the great man, and we visited the famous Chowpatty beach - don't swim in it though, and if you sit to enjoy the hazy sunset you get harrassed with big balloon sellers ( I pointed out that I already have a big balloon, which when understood got a laff and they departed!!!) Everywhere Bernie is being oggled for not only her blonde hair but also her cleavage which even when covered up gets a deliberate oggling. We visited the Hanging Gardens so called NOT for the beautiful flora and fauna but it was where the Brits used to hang people during the British Raj. Then we saw the Tower of silence where the Vultures feed off dead Zoroastians - still - except the vultures themselves are a dying breed due to the pollution and lack of nesting places.
Bernie's dream came true when we were picked by a talent scout (see they recognise talent when they see it...and it had nothing to do with my big balloon ;-)) to star albeit as extras in the latest and greatest Bollywood movie starring Arzoo - yes you heard right...apparently she's famous. So at 500 rupees each for the day ($15)8am - 8pm - we were transferred via 'luxury coach' to Filmstan - one of the Bollywood studios - and in the hottest sweatiest studios I've been in we made a night club scene come alive. Bernie and I along with a lad from Townsville showed them how we rock the house in Oz, introduced the famous wanker move to the dancers who tried to imitate us punch hands in the air and doing wjhat we guys do best - unfortunately the male dancers didn't quite get it right and did more of a 'spank the monkey' a la UK!!! In the end the director came up to us (after 7 takes) and enthusiastically informed us that we had more energy and better moves than the professionals - anybody whose ever seen me dance will realise that the pogo and the shoulder shuffle aka Jason Morrissey are my full repetoire - oh except for our imitations at Bollywood moves!!! The movie at this stage will be called "Hey Baby!" and is meant to be a rip off of Three Men and A Baby it is out in Feb so keep an eye out!! Photos and movie clips cant be uploaded at the moment but will follow soon.
Which leads us to last night and the trip to Hyderabad - 14hrs on a train to be woken up with 'Chai, Koffee, Chai...' 'omlette bread', @ 5.30/6.00...but here we are safe and sound in Hyderabad, again where they have no beggars ;-) Tomorrow we start our conference with welcome drinks - the first we've had in India - yeh yeh we know you don't believe us!!!!! stay tuned for more from Devi Bernstar and Chairman Robiji