We love it here
Since we were children, when our respective fathers spoke warmly of their time spent in India and couldn't wait to return as soon as the opportunity arose, we have felt both curious and well disposed to the country. Our travels here over several years have only confirmed and increased the appeal over time and we were looking forward to returning, confident that we'd still feel the same.
This morning, we made a short orientation tour, led by our guide Nandini, elegantly dressed in her contemporary sari unlike the vast majority of women here now, most of whom wear the clothes of women around the world: blue jeans, occasionally with a traditional kurta but more often with T shirt just like the rest of us.
The traffic was still horrendous, but we were not driving, so we could sit back and chat and leave it to the professional. As always, it's great to find out about a country from a local, to learn that we share similar concerns and worries and perhaps most important, have a chance to get some restaurant recommendations!
We stopped in the Victoria Terminus, somewhere we've been so many times but definitely somewhere for Amy to see and for Edward to rediscover. Two London commuters compared their experience with their Mumbai counterpart, standing back as train after train brought in a few more of the million or so people who use the station every day.
We drove up into the Malabar Hills, stopping at a food cart to discover the details of what makes a great Bhel Puri, a local street food we love and admiring the elegant homes in the area where most can only dream of living.
A short visit to Ghandi's house was made even shorter due to our impatience and the number of folks in there from a bloomi' cruise ship ;-) Grrr!
A reminder of how lucky we were to be there at all came in the form of a barrow full of dirty washing arriving at the same time as we did at the dhoby ghat, our next stop.
Thankfully, I don't have to bash my washing against a stone and can switch on the machine and let it run whilst I do something more interesting. I might be doing a fair bit of that next week, but for now, I can simply stand and watch.
For now, there was just one last stop at the museum, were I made a beeline for the Textile Gallery. Yes, there are more stories to tell, yes, the day continued to be filled with delightful people and exerpiences I want to remember. But for now, I'll leave you with a little Indian wisdom from Ghandi, the man himself.
Hard to argue with that, isn't it?