Just a quick recap of the day: did not sleep well last night, the room was very cold, the mattress very hard, and I am used to sleeping with another body next to mine, and not having that feels very wrong. After a breakfast of cereal and chicken tikka pizza (gotta love India) we drove in Mumbai proper and shopped. First stop was a street market where we bought clothes for ridiculously low prices (150 rupees for a shirt is about $3). It almost seemed wrong to haggle with the vendors – what’s a few dollars to me when they probably need it a lot more, but they seemed to look down on people who didn’t try to get a bargain. Got four tops (one doesn’t fit, must go to Rachel, the pixie), a pair of Indian leggings and a skirt for the equivalent of about $20.
After that we drove to a large shopping mall where we got lunch and bought groceries. There was something very surreal about standing in a grocery store in Mumbai and listening to what appeared to be the disco karaoke station – ABBA, the Beegees and the Village People seem a whole lot weirder when everyone around you is speaking not English. Speaking of surreal, one thing that boggles my mind is the fact that all signage and billboard ads are in English. All of them! Some have Hindi translations, but most don’t. This makes sense for ads – as someone pointed out, who but the educated and English speaking would be rich enough to afford perfume? – but even the command “Honk Ok Please” on the back of all trucks? This, incidentally, is to tell people driving behind the truck to honk and let the truck driver know of their presence, since side mirrors seem nonexistent.
Must sleep now – we are waking up early tomorrow and will be meeting Loveleen Tanden!