Daniela and Michael and Erica landed up in Mumbai within a few hours of each other, and though we were too jet-lagged to see San Francisco friends briefly in town for a wedding, we did meet Daniela’s local friend Mala, who introduced us to the best in Bombay street cuisine. The contrast between the sprawling slums around the airport and the Bollywood stars’ mansions in the hills, patrolled by armed guards, was striking. But mostly we liked Mumbai’s cosmopolitan vibe, striking architecture, and quintessentially Indian moments, such as the Southern U.S.-style Christian revival held on racy Chowpatty Beach and attended by people of all faiths, not because they were considering conversion but because it was an Event. (Initials after the photos indicate photo credit: Daniela Rible, Michael McCrystal, Erica Gies.)
A ubiquitous sugarcane juice stall. (EG)
Cool Art Deco building with very tall women. (EG)
Hyper-gothic Victorian central train station in Mumbai. (EG)
Tetrapod beach in Mumbai. (EG)
Girls feed the pigeons. (EG)
Love among the tetrapods. (EG)
Mumbai sunset. (DR)
The other part of the sign said, "magic mushrooms." (EG)
Peacock lady. (EG)
Cow on Elephanta. (EG)
Boats off Elephanta Island, near Mumbai. (EG)
India Gate and a corner of the Taj Hotel. (EG)
Daniela and Erica in front of India Gate. (MM)
A visitor outside our hotel window. (EG)
Street bookstore, with many fine titles. (MM)
Mmmm ... street vendor. (MM)
Scooter parking madness. Note that many are Bajajs! (MM)
Men in a sari shop. (DR)
Kids. (DR)
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Erica enjoys an iSqueeze leg massage at the posh Singapore airport. (MM)
Euphemistic ad on the delivery truck, as if that's how the laundry gets clean. (EG)
Light switches in Indian hotels are perplexing, to say the least, and one of these is guaranteed to in advertently call a guy in the middle of the night. (EG)
India's street dogs eat a lot of trash and are often low energy. (MM)
Michael shops for pants on the famous Fashion Street in Mumbai. (EG)
Ghat in Colaba where the neighborhood’s laundry is done. (EG)
McDonald's: a fine restaurant that delivers on its color-coordinated fleet of scooters! (MM)
This still pic does not adequately convey the madness of Mumbai traffic, but Michael took little movies also. (MM)
Lovely display of pan, an after-dinner treat wrapped in a betel-nut leaf. (MM)
Walking, driving, scooting: it's a free-for-all. Note the spider on the guy's helmet. (MM)
One of many public phones, this one with a little roof to keep off the rain. (MM)