Dehli vs. Mumbai

India Exploration Seminar Group

India Exploration Seminar Group

I am pretty sure everyone agrees that Mumbai is much more exciting than Delhi, and we are all sad to leave it tonight.

Delhi was a very big culture shock. Crazy traffic, tons of people just sleeping on the street, many vendors determine to get you to buy their products, extreme heat and humitity, etc.

Mumbai has been a much calmer experience. There are not as many people, I feel safe when riding in a taxi, lots of fun little shops, and many interesting people. We actually had a chance to hang out with students from a university in Mumbai yesterday while visiting Tata Motors and a local call center.

I think the best thing so far in India is the shopping. I am one of the few that absolutely loves to haggle. Any chance I get I try to go lower. I think the most important thing to do is to be willing to walk away and it works almost every time.

Oh and the wild life is exciting. The night we got off the airplane we almost ran into an elephant on the road, there was a lizard in our bus one day, and tons of monkeys in Agra. Cows, goats, and sheep all wander the streets  and slow down traffic constantly.

I think the best part so far was both of our trips to the slums. We had a chance to go to two different slums. Both areas seemed to be in the same condition–impossible to imagine living in, but I felt safer there than in any other place in India. The people were kind, all of them smiled, waved, and said hello. Of course they were all staring–everyone here stares at us, but they were friendly, and I enjoyed having a chance to talk to them. Plus the children love getting their pictures taken! Also, while in the slums there were no beggars at all. My biggest fear when visiting was to be uncomfortable and to be attacked by children asking for money, but not one person asked for anything. They would come up and shake our hands and walk with us. Being around these people really changed my view on the slums. I would still never choose to live in a place like that, but I could see why they choose to live there. It was a really strong community and they all seemed to care about each other greatly. I was glad to experience it.
I know this post is kind of scattered, but I don’t like paying for internet and I am not in the comfort of my own room writing this!