Thursday, April 9, 2009

Ok, we are alive.

Here are some things I wrote when we first got here.

March 29, 2009. 6am in Mumbai. I'm listening to new birds squawk outside in the quietness. it's still dark out.

I wonder about a lot of things...are the mosquitoes in our room malaria infected; does India have a religious day of the week; how long will it take me to adjust to the time change; will the 4 of us remain friends throughout all our adventures; what is that bird that sounds kinda like a pack of coyotes; what will today bring; will we ever learn all the ins and outs of travel, like tipping, etc?

I'm very excited for this adventure. We already started some of the fun that will be ours for the next year, like washing our clothes in the shower, power outages and lost luggage. I'm curious to see Mumbai in the daylight. Driving in I recognized those unforgetable smells of a big city and open markets. You know, the smell that is like dead fish and drying meat on top of old fruit and sewage. But, I must be growing up, it didn't make me gag like it did when I was a kid.

Getting here was an adventure, too. I've never flown stand-by before. After rushing to try to make a midnight flight in Salt Lake, only then to sleep on the floor, freezing, hoping to get on the 7 am flight, although not really daring to hope. Miracles happen, though, so we got on that flight and then waiting in Atlanta. Steve, Spencer and I made it on Thursday afternoon, but Heather got stuck in Salt Lake too long, so she didn't get to Atlanta until after the Mumbai flight. So, we hung out in the airport all night, trying to sleep as the janitors vacummed around us. We had all day in Atlanta and wanted to explore, but all the sites we wanted to see were either too expensive (read $26 per person for the aquarium) or outside (ready raining buckets all day, so much that our luggage was still wet when we got it in India). So, we kept ourselves entertained by people watching, a worthy hobby in any airport. We got on the flight to Mumbai at 8 am and were lucky enough to fly business class (read super swanky). The free movies and 5 course meals didn't even compare to the wonder of being able to lie down and sleep for 11 hours straight.

And so here I am, plinking away on my iphone (now ipod) in the dark, while the others are catching up on sleep. Listening to the birds squawking outside.

March 29. Writing from a bus heading from Mumbai to Hyderabad. We tried to get a train, but they were all booked. So we're on the overnight bus instead.

Highlights so far:
The horn on the bus sounds like a really loud clown trick horn. And we get to hear it about every 60 seconds, give or take.
The really loud Bollywood movie playing, that has all the drama of a Mexican soap opera, but with the singing and dancing of Rogers and Hammerstein. And the only parts in English are exclamations of fear, love or sassiness.
Spencer is pinned in his seat and can't move when the people in front put their seat back.

Only 8 more hours.

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