~A few weeks ago I found myself stuck outside the Mumbai International Airport because security would not let me in. My flight was at 4:30 am the following morning and I didn’t want to spend money on a hotel for that evening. There were only two spots I had to choose from to sit and wait. The 1st was a Burger King; if you’ve been to India you know how different these fast food chains are and I didn’t really feel like a potato burger. The 2nd was a little place called “The Beer Cafe”, now that’s more like it!
Here is my rant:
It’s going to be a long two days. I am sitting near the Mumbai airport in a café across from the International Arrivals doors. The security guards won’t let me in because my flight isn’t until 4:30 am tomorrow morning and right now it’s about 2 pm. Of course, I don’t really want to pay another $70 dollars to stay in a hotel for twelve hours so I’ve ordered a Masala Chai and I’m hoping no one notices how long I sit here.
This morning I had to beg the front desk for a late checkout, which only brought me to about twelve o’clock noon and then I sat in the lobby of the hotel for about a half an hour trying to figure out why my card wouldn’t work to pay for the room. I finally realized it’s just because this country is impossible sometimes… well, most of the time. After 3 attempts at the hotel’s card machine, I ended up walking in the blistering heat to two different bank machines each way down the street. After the 2nd attempt at the ATM’s nearby I thought maybe my bank back home had canceled my card for the 5th time during this trip. It wouldn’t have surprised me at all. But when I went back to the hotel and called my bank on Skype, the bank attendant told me my card was active and should be working just fine.
It was then that I remembered, “Right… India.” I should’ve guessed it wasn’t going to be a smooth transaction. Once again, I asked the hotel attendant if there was another bank machine close by and went for yet another walk down the street in a different direction this time to find a 3rd bank machine in hopes that this one would work. Finally, after all that, the 3rd ATM let me take some money out to pay for the room. Success!
Now, here I am sitting in this café with only four hundred rupees in my wallet and fourteen hours to go. I’m really regretting not stuffing some bread in my purse from my buffet breakfast. I didn’t really feel like eating much anyway because my stomach was not feeling well. It has been a common and unpleasant feeling I have had a lot during this last month in India. I’ve heard of Delhi Belly before and luckily, I haven’t been that sick. Most of the time it’s just a morning thing, I do my business and then move on with my day. I have found that most travelers will talk about this at some point because the food is so different over here and a high percentage of people experience stomach issues while traveling through this country. Even locals have bowel issues. It’s just another wonderful thing about India; everyone poops a lot. It’s not the end of the world. Maybe just a minor delay in the day.
Never the less, the food has always been really tasty. This is one of the best things about India. Every dish is delicious. I haven’t really had anything I didn’t like. For the most part, I’ve enjoyed all the spices and curries this place has to offer. And not only that, I’ve also never had so much amazing Vegetarian food in my life. Who knew being a “Veggie” was so great?
The 2 things that have stood out most for me while exploring India are the food and the fashion. The colors and the sparkles of the woman’s clothing have blown me away. I’ve never seen so many beautiful garments in one place, and while being in one of the dirtiest countries I’ve ever experienced to boot. It does seem a bit strange at first when realizing how each woman dresses like this daily no matter what they are doing. Whether it’s going to the store, working in the farms, cleaning dishes and laundry in a filthy lake or even just sitting around on the pavement trying to avoid the scorching heat, the women of this country look amazing all the time.
There are so many stories to tell and it looks like I may just have enough time to write a few while I wait for my flight out of here. I can’t say I would come back to the North again but I would really love to travel through the Southern region in the future. I’ve heard there are some wonderful beaches down there and it’s more of a chill, relaxing atmosphere. I entered through Delhi and stayed in Rajasthan for the month I’ve been here and the chaos is very real through this region. There is so much congestion and pollution in a lot of the areas I’ve visited. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve also seen some very nice areas as well which I am very excited to write about while I have this time in the airport here.
I mean really, what else am I going to do now for the next… thirteen hours? I have no excuses anymore.
It’s story time! 🙂
Wait… this is beer café!!!!