7.10.2007

On Sunday, the four of us set out on a full-day tour of Mumbai with a private car and driver and a tour guide. Here I am with a bunch of funny-shaped concrete wave-breakers.
Apparently the Indian coast used to be inhabited primarily by fishing communities. Most of these villages have been displaced, but we got to visit the only fisherman village remaining in Mumbai. The boats were mostly on land because it isn't safe to fish in deep waters during monsoon season.

Here is a women chopping fish. I was impressed with how clean this village was and how little it smelled like fish - much cleaner than the Delhi slums!

Using mythology to promote transportation safety - I can get behind that :)

One of our stops was this gaint market (Crawford market) offering everything from fruits/vegitables, spices,
to a big meat warehouse and a section for pets...most of these pets did not look very happy, although I did see one of the cutest golden retriever puppies I have ever seen...and a guinea pig that someone had died bright pink (conspicuously mixed in with a group of non-dyed guinea pigs).
One of the stops that I thought was pretty cool was Dhobi Ghat, where all of Mumbai's laundry is washed. When you look down into this area, it is hard to tell where it ends...so much laundry! Many of the day-to-day functional differences that I see in India compared to the US are related to the price of labor here. There are so many people willing to work for so little money that it doesn't make sense for many businesses and homes to by washing machines. In that vein, I don't think I have seen a single crane in India - but I have seen a lot of huge marble blocks being pulled up several stories with rope and pulley systems!
We visited a Jain temple in the most expensive residential area of Mumbai. This place was very intense. The priests for this branch of Jainism can only wear one piece of white cloth wrapped around their bodies and a white cloth covering their nose and mouth that is meant to prevent accidently killing any bugs by inhaling them. The 2-story temple (partially under construction) was like an insence hot-box with an obstacle course of dozens of religious activity options. There were lots of small rooms surrounding an open quadrangle in the middle where all sorts of praying, making and destroying rice pictures, bell ringing, and decorating idols was taking place. This Jain temple was very colorful with bright paintings decorating all the walls and ceilings.
We also got to visit the house in Mumbai where Ghandi lived for 17 years, which has been turned into a museum commemorating his life. He had a lot of books.

We like Bombay.

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