Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Shopping in Mumbai

So, we had arrived Mumbai and I checked into Hotel Elphinstone Annexe, est. 1946, an old colonial style building near the port on 149 P. D'Mello road. Not in the heart of Mumbai but close enough for comfort. The rooms were worn out but clean and had working hot water and A/C.

Our first day went in that we had lunch with Saini at the Balgi and then I took Jira to Crawford Market. From there she took the reins as it was shopping time. It was shoes. bags, clothes - the works. We even bought a light banderoll. Dinner we skipped and just rested at the hotel.

Dhobie Ghat laundry

Next day I went to the Gateway of India but as it started to rain heavily I treated Jira for breakfast at the Taj instead and from there we walked around Colaba picking up a bottle of Attar. Then I hired a taxi and we went to Chor Bazaar where we got a 3 different sizes of Nepalese bells. After this I showed her the Dhobie Ghat, Queen's Necklace, Malabar Hill and Jain temple with the silver doors and fittings. It was again raining heavily at the Hanging Gardens so we took the taxi back and got some lunch at Leopold's and at same time showed her the bullet holes from the 2008 terrorist attacks. After this we got the stuff back to the hotel and went for a movie (The Sorcerer's Apprentice).

Hotel Elphinstone

View from hotel

19th was the last day for Jira, we checked out of the hotel and went for breakfast at Mondegar Cafe and after this we went for Crawford Market to do some last minute shopping at Roopam's and looked for some fake jewellery. They were all quoting high prices so we just settled at looking at the beautiful creations that mostly was sold in bulk. After some time we went for a movie (Inception) to pass the time and after that an early dinner at Mondegar's again. Once having dined I asked a taxi to take me to the airport and he agreed.

Shopping in Mumbai

We sat in the taxi and he did not move. I asked the driver what was the problem, I got no reply only heard some indistinct muttering. He was parked some distance from the kerb and after awhile another car came and honked at him as he was in the way. He started the car and moved a bit so the other car could pass and then he stopped the engine. I got out of the taxi and asked the next one if he would deem to take us to the airport. He said "yes", so the driver, who couldn't decide whether to drive or not, lost a fare.

After a fair bit if driving we arrived the airprt that was congested as usual we lined up at the gate and I asked the police if I could escort Jira to the check-in and help her on the way. He said yes and off to the check-in counter we went. The personnel was perplexed as I was not going to fly. Apparently it is not allowed to escort people to the check-in counters. Well, check-in was done and I saw Jira off to the immigration queue and I went out of the airport. The police officer was the same and he let me out of the airport alright. I caught the same taxi-wala and went to Khargar to stay overnight at Saini's pad so we would go together in the morning onboard. My vacation was now truly over and the work and toil is looming ahead.