A movie set? — Mumbai (Bombay), Maharashtra, India

Hey, our bags arrived okay. Going from Spain to India was such a shock the our system. Going from the airport to the hotel (we had an overpriced pick-up organised by the hotel) made us feel like we were in a movie set.

Mumbai is like an explosion of noise and smells. There are people everywhere. The hotel has more people working for it than a western hotel would have of the same size. Are labour costs that cheap?

Well, food is. And postage wasn’t too bad. You expect to get ripped off quite a lot at the shops and so on. Is it worth arguing over 10 yen? Usually no, sometimes yes. Mumbai is a huge city, and dirty and run down. Every now and then a new building can be seen but on the whole, I don’t have much hope for the system.

I sometimes wonder if the British should have left. Like the scene from Life of Brian, “What did the Romans ever do for us?” Well, the British built the railways, introduced a public service, built large buildings, and so on. Now it just seems to be all crumbling away.

A few things seemed a bit weird, like going through a metal detector and security check to go into new shopping centres and cinemas.

Out hotel is absolute bottom the barrel budget. The share toilet is a hole in the floor, the shower has only cold. (The deluxe rooms, twice the cost are much, much better.

And then next, it’s a night train to Arungabad.

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