We're Definitely Not in Kansas Anymore

Photo of Mumbai, India, street. Man rides on a scooter.

The next morning, a phone call to our room would wake us up to inform us that our professor, Dr. Lalvani, was waiting for us in the lobby. When we arrived downstairs, our professor and his family greeted us and told us that we go for a walk around Bandra, the neighborhood in Mumbai where our hotel is located, and then get lunch. We prepared ourselves for our first true experience of India. With much anticipation, we walked outside into the 80° weather to begin another adventure.

We walked with the cars and rickshaws buzzing harrowingly close to us. There was no sidewalk, so we walked on the left side with traffic (yes, just like England,) and hoped for the best, as we were lead away from the hotel towards our lunch destination. Across from our hotel stands a row of various shops that we passed. A quick five-minute walk down two streets brought us to the place we would be eating lunch called Mini Punjab; a small café looking building with smiling servers who greeted us warmly.

Lunch was fantastically Indian. We were served a variety of foods ranging from tandoori chicken to some local fish. The food we ate was presented to us in a family style, which seems to be typical to India. Servers bring you small portions of various meats, vegetables, curry, and breads.

Dr. Lalvani told us that it would only be a 15-20 minute walk through a neighborhood synonymous with many Bollywood stars to get to the ocean. Once we arrived to the beach we were greeted with a beautiful sunset over the Indian Ocean/Arabian Sea. Occupying the beach, which was composed entirely of rocks, were a variety of people and sites.

With the sun setting rapidly, we made out way back to our hotel stopping off to buy some more bottled water for our night. It was 200 rupees for 12 1-liter bottles, which was a small price to pay for not getting “Delhi Belly” (sickness caused by bacteria in the local water supply that our bodies aren’t used to). Half way through our trip we departed from our professor and found our way back to our hotel.

- Ian Shelburne