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Mumbai

sunny 35 °C
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Nous sommes arrives a Mumbai en fin d’apres-midi, couverts de crasse et de sueur, epuises apres un tel voyage (voir article precedent) et harceles par les chauffeurs de taxi essayant de nous arnaquer (l’un d’entre eux nous a suivi pendant 15 grosses minutes malgre le fait qu’on l’ignorait, true story).
Puis il a fallu prendre une sorte de RER et un taxi. Une heure de plus… Autant vous dire qu’une fois en ville, il nous tardait qu’une seule chose : poser nos sacs et PRENDRE UNE DOUCHE ! Mais tous les hotels a prix « raisonnables » etaient complets a 18h. Mumbai c’est tres cher et le lonely planet sur l’Inde est pourri pour ceux qui veulent se la jouer budget. On a pete un cable apres 45 minutes de recherche sous la canicule et on a donc pris une chambre dont le prix se rapprochait plus des standards europeens qu’indiens. Dans ce genre de cas, c’est l’instinct de survie qui prime.

Bref, apres une nuit de repos BIEN MERITE, on a visite la ville et avons vraiment adore. Mumbai, c’est le clash entre modernisme et tradition, c’est le paradoxe (tres derangeant) entre extreme richesse et extreme pauvrete. Mumbai, c’est cosmopolite, ca grouille, ca vit, ca respire ou ca etouffe. Mumbai, c’est le cœur de l’Inde.
C.

Mumbai/Bombay, the industrial capital of India, has more millionaires per square kilometer than anywhere else in the world. It has an estimated population between 16 and 20 million. It has one of the biggest slums in the world and it is the most populated city in India. We arrived into the outskirts of mumbai around 4pm, we then got an inner city train at 4.30pm to the city centre. Let me paint you a little picture, at rush hour in Mumbai 7000 people were recorded on an innercity train with a maximum capacity of 1800 people, including standees. Sardines come to mind!!! We arrived then into Mumbais main train station, 2.5 million people pass through the train station every day. We arrived in the middle of rush hour. It was like leaving Croke Park after the all Ireland but with everyone going in different directions. It was a surreal experience!

Mumbai itself, is extremely wealthy when you look to the sky but extremely poor at ground level. There are amazing high rise building and some fabulous Gothic architecture. But on the ground in front of every building there are homeless people. The gap between the poor and the rich who living side by side is the widest we have seen throughout India. It is really hard to believe. We have a few photos of the wealthy aspect of the city, we couldn't get any photos of the poverty side as it is mostly people which portray this and they wouldn't have been too keen on us taking their photo.

Gearoid

PS. Claire fell fast asleep in The National Museum of India. She inhaled 2 (large) falafels before we went in, I could only manage 1. Claire there is no point in denying it, first of all the more you deny it the more people wont believe you and second, not many people can say they fell asleep the the nation museum of india! Who's the cultured one now claire!!!!hm?

g.

We arrived in Mumbai in late afternoon, covered of dirt and sweat, exhausted after such a journey (see previous article) and harassed by taxi drivers trying to cheat us (one of them followed for 10 long minutes even though we were ignoring him, true story).
Then we had to take some sort of city train and a taxi. One hour more... No need to tell you that once in town, we were only dying for two things: put down our bags and HAVE A SHOWER! But all the “budget” hotels were full at 6pm. Mumbai is very expensive and the lonely planet on India is rubbish for people who want to play it cheapie. After 45 minutes of research under the crazy heat it was just too much so we took a room which price was closer to European standards than Indian ones. In these kind of cases, it’s survival instinct that prevails.

Anyway, after a good night sleep WELL DESERVED, we visited the city and really loved it. Mumbai, it’s a clash between modernism and tradition, it’s a (very disturbing) paradox between extreme wealth and extreme poverty. Mumbai, it’s cosmopolite, it’s overflowing with people, it’s alive. Mumbai, it’s the heart of India.

C.

Quelques images apres beaucoup de blabla :

Some pictures after loads of blablabla:

Le port

The docks

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La « porte de l’Inde »

The « gateway of India »

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Le cote richou

The wealthy side

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Le cote moins richou

The less wealthy side

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Notre QG (falafels a tomber par terre) avec un cote tres…international ! Oui, oui c’est normal de pas prononcer les trucs normalement en Inde. Vous inquietez pas on a aussi vu des « shoppe » (shop), des « Guest Hause » (guest house) ou meme des « medical labotory » (medical laboratory, mais ca c’est parce qu’ils avaient plus de place sur l’enseigne).

Our headquarters (amazing falafels) with a very … international touch! Yes it’s ok in India not to pronounce things right. Don’t worry we also so some “shoppe”, “Guest Hause” and even “medical labotory” (but this one is because there was no place enough on the sign).

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Le Musee National, super pour s’instruire et oublier la chaleur ecrasante de l’apres-midi (et non Gearoid, je ne me suis pas endormie, c’est juste que j’ai du m’assoir une ou deux fois parce que j’avais trop mange…)

The National Museum, great to learn while forgetting the suffocating heat of the afternoon (and no Gearoid, I didn't fall asleep, I just had to sit once or twice cos I ate too much...)

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L’Universite de Mumbai, absolument magnifique

Mumbai’s University, absolutely beautiful

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Moi devant la « High Court » de Mumbai (on a pas pu prendre de photo devant l’entree car il y avait des soldats prets a tirer sur toute personne mal intentionnee qui nous ont dit que c’était interdit. On a pas insiste…)

Claire in front of the High Court of Mumbai (we couldn’t take any picture in front of the entrance because there were soldiers ready to shoot any person with bad intentions who told us that it was forbidden. We didn’t insist too much...)

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Gearoid, enchante de sa « street food » : un beignet de pommes terres – oignons – epices entres deux tranches de pain (delicieux) et un jus de canne a sucre (…interessant !).

Gearoid, delighted about his street food : some spuds – onions – spices battered fried between two slices of bread (delicious) and a sugar cane juice (...interesting!).

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On n’a pas pris de photo de la foule dans la rue mais les images que vous avez de New-York avec 30000 personnes traversant le passage pieton a un croisement geant, ben c’est pareil mais plus colore ! (Ils ont vraiment le chic pour s’habiller de manière un peu plus gai que nos couleurs francaises classiques et tristounes noir-marron-gris).

We didn’t take any pictures of the crowd in the street but the pictures you can have of New York with 300,000 people walking on the zebra passing of a giant cross roads, well it’s the same but more colourful! (Indian people really have something to teach French people about wearing happier colours than our usual black-grey-borwn).

Claire

Posted by g-c 11:44 Archived in India Tagged tourist_sites

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