Double Cruise Journey via the Suez Canal travel blog

View of Mumbai from ship

I am so overstimulated from the sights,sounds, smells, and shear mass of people in Mumbai I am finding it hard to communicate what the last hours have been filled with. Let me start with just a few facts.

1. The tide here shifts 18 feet every day.

2. Much of Mumbai is reclaimed land from the sea.

3. The Victorian train station has 5 million passengers a day. That is not a typo.

4. India has 29 states Mumbai is in the state of Maharashtra.

5. The population of Mumbai is 16 million.

6. They have beautiful beaches but the water is too polluted to swim in.

7. The population is 80% Hindu, 14% Moslem, 4% Christian, and the rest other.

8. Mumbai is second only to Miami Florida for Art Deco buildings from the 1930 & 40’s.

9. They no longer have much of a textile industry but manufacture thousands of automobiles sent to Asia.

There are many buildings that must have been magnificent when built but are all in need of some repair. No matter how much a building is falling down or how old it is people are living in it. We saw some bamboo scaffolding and men working with flip flops on.

The pedestrians on the street are an odd mix. Dress shirts and kakis. Hindi and moslem garb, students in jeans and t-shirts. Only the young students in shorts. Most had phones up to their ear and 90% had a back pack on.

The Portuguese tried to colonize the 17 islands that form Mumbai gave that up to use it for a dowry for Catherine Meganza of Braganza ,daughter of King John IV of Portugal, when she married Charles the II of England on May 11,1661. It placed Bombay in the possession of the British. Where it remained until 1947 when they gained their independence.

There were sidewalk book stores with thousands of books and each had a sign PORN NOT OK.

As we exited the ship we had to have our visa in hand which was checked by an armed guard. After boarding the bus we got to the “green gate” city entrance where we had another guard board the bus and check them.

We also had a red dot placed on our forehead for good luck. The guild told us the young people are using other colors to match their clothing.

They have 18 languages in India the two prominent ones are Hindu and English. Once again all the signage is in both. The Hindu languages very from state to state often times they do not understand people from other regions of India. They have developed a strong middle class that make about 50,000 Rupees a year which is

$715.00 at the current exchange rate of 70 Rupees per dollar. The poor make more in the range of 10,000 rupees per year.

There are Bannon trees that start at the top of host trees and send roots down all around the truck of other tree. They are hundreds of years old.

Every thing that has a fence has barbed wire on it, some have glass imbedded in the cement. Building are not torn down just in a constant state of repair. The shear amount of people, taxis, buses, scooters is staggering. When we were off the bus you felt like one on the ants on the ant hill. But everyone from the driver and guide, to the people on the street, were friendly, kind, and happy we came to see their country.

We were taken to lunch at a 5 star hotel called the Oberoi and had to put our purse etc. through a scanner before entering the lobby. There we had a really nice meal, of sandwiches with no crust, tiny chicken pot pies, tiny ground sausage in blanket, banana bread, tiny potions of beautifully decorated cheese cake, and water,coffee, or tea. It was just enough to keep us going. Later we had sugar cane juice with a little lemon, ground ginger, and black salt. It helps the acidity in your stomach and does not affect diabetic blood sugar.

Returning to the ship we had our visas checked at the green gate, and at the ramp before we entered the ship. D was kind of annoyed but I felt like we were getting our money’s worth from the amount we paid for them.

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