Monday, 24 June 2013

Mumbai’s Cell

The taxi touts started before we’d even stepped off the train, signalling and calling to us through the open windows. They were asking 850INR to the Gateway of India – ridiculous! They even tried telling us that this was the pre-paid taxi price and that we’d get a receipt, we kept walking sure that we were being had. We spied an old man in an ancient taxi and asked him his price, he said 300INR and we didn’t even argue, keen to escape the mob of drivers tailing us as they were making quite the ruckus. 

It took us a good hour to get to the Gateway, and in our prehistoric car it was only 'windows down' for cooling. However, being stuck in traffic 90% of the time meant that the breeze was limited, resulting in us both being drenched in sweat when we finally arrived. Fortunately, it was only a short walk from the Gateway to the SeaShore Hotel which we'd found to stay at. The entrance was quite hard to find, only a small sign that we circled passed twice before finally espying it, and that combined with the four flights of stairs meant we were now completely drenched when we finally arrived at reception. There was only one room left and it was pretty much a cell. No windows, no bathroom, one bed, no Wifi and a small TV with all Indian channels. We took it anyway as just the thought of lugging our backpacks around in the heat trying to find another room exhausted us. We figured we’d keep an eye out as we explored the town and if we found anything better we’d change for our 2nd night.

Gateway of India
The afternoon was almost over by the time we’d showered and were back on the streets. We needed to go back to the station to try and buy another Foreign Quota ticket and we decided that since the taxi had taken so long in traffic it’d be quicker and nicer to walk and plus it was a good way to see the city. Unfortunately when we arrived we found out that there was only one ticket left for the train we needed which meant our only option was to come back the following morning and try our luck with a Taktal ticket again. We were having to make all together to many trips to the train stations in India! 

It was now dark so we took a taxi back to the shore and enjoyed dinner before heading to our cell for a nights rest. The room was very stuffy with zero air flow and we both decided that one night in such a place would be enough. Well, on the bright side, at least the sun wouldn't wake us up early!

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