Obviously when I just reached the hotel and agreed with the price that I knew from Internet, I took a shower and fell asleep for 1.5 hours due my journey which was 36 hours long besides Mumbai weather which is very humid and hot, so you could already imagine that after I walked from the airport to the hotel.
After I got up from my nap I went to Mumbai central, however the hotel was in Andheri hence I walked to the close rail station to reach it.
In my walk to the stations, I could see the suburbs of Mumbai, which are different from Mumbai which is more urbanized and ruled in terms of traffic, sidewalks, etc, but far away of any European & USA city.
At the same time I was taking care to lean of the way back and asking in shops which had a lot of mobile telecommunication companies advertising to buy a SIM cards. I had knew that nowadays is hard to get a SIM card in India and you can consider that’s a luxury which you can avoid, however having a mobile phone with Internet is one, probably the only one, luxury that I wanted to have, basically because it helps me to search cheap accommodations with no cheating, move around, read information of the places and do some work on wasted times (long journeys, waiting in the stations, etc).
I found a shop which wanted to sell me a SIM, but I had to give so much information, specifically a photocopy of my passport and my VISA, two pictures of passport size and sign everything besides a the form to fill. I also had give the address where I was staying and the phone contact number. On top of it, I had to wait 48 hours for the verification :(
Finally I reached the rail station; this is another chaotic place; the led panels only show one or 2 letters which is the destination, the time, ’S’ or ‘F’ which means “Slow” (it stops in all the stations) and “Fast” (it stops only in main stations) and number which I did never understand and anyway I did never need to do it.
I went from the hotel to Andheri station, as the day before, but this time I went to Mumbai C.S.T and I went back to the hotel from Churchgate .
This Mumbai part is more fancy, you can visit the Gate of India and the surroundings; I felt this part more monumental and Mumbai central more residential.
At the same time I started to poll to the merchants about prices, to have the references to be able to buy things closer to the prices that locals pay.
Third day was going to be a full day to work, plan the next and rest. With only two days of tourism in Mumbai I had enough, and the only thing that I had in my plan for the following days was long journey (around 25 hours) by train, 4 days later, to Delhi; the plan for the days before the journey was to stay with a fried of mine who lives Bandra .
I started with some work and swapping with the planing, looking for places to visit, booking tickets and hotels; one of the most painful in India is booking long distance trains tickets, they’re very crowded because people book so many tickets in advance which quite a few of them release after but obviously as a tourist I didn’t want to depend of a “wait list”.
Moreover when you are backpacking and you don’t want to depend that much of taxis, as me, you have to take care of the stations location and hotels to try to get the best departure and arrivals statins and times.
However the day was fucked up, I had to solve another issue; the 48 hours gap time to activate my SIM card was due and the line didn’t get signal; I had to go to the shop to see what was happending; the issue was really annoying, Vodafone called to the hotel to confirm that I was really staying on it, the hotel (Cosmo Hotel) said that they didn’t know me, so basically they made my travel more complicated with no reason.
At the end I could sort out that mess, doing all the bureaucratic process again and changing the contact to verify my staying in India to my friend based in Bandra (Mumbai) ; hopefully the verification for the activation took only 7 hours, this time, no idea why it was shorter so probably they probably cheated me the first time.
The fourth day I moved to my friend’s flat who lives in Bandra ; these days I could rest, hangout with them and finish my last bookings with their recommendations besides to have a view the surroundings, cooked Indian food and also carried me to eat Indian food.
At the beginning when I realized that I visited Mumbai in 2 days I thought that I was going to waste my time however I don’t feel after the experience that I did because those days I could learn how a few things work in India, which ended up to be quite important for my travel; moreover I solved the problem with the mobile phone line because if I had moved to other place I hadn’t been able to sort it out.
Continue reading the next post to know the rest of the travel; drop me a comment if you are curious about something that I haven’t written.
By the way, I recorded a totally mobile crafted videos during those days, so give them a watch