Shocked, Settled, Traveled, Shocked, and Well Fed
Trip Start Jul 15, 2009
71Trip End Jun 01, 2010
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
Where I stayed
We were close to the Gate of India. The port of call of this massive city, created from the trade route on which it stood.
Something I didn't think about much until we were on the train and headed away from Mumbai was the terrorist attack that occurred there recently in hotels, a restaurant and train station. Even the renovation that was going on didn't spark my memory of these tragic events. The Taj Hotel was just a few hundred meters from where we stayed the night. CST, was the train station from which we departed the city. A lot of people were killed and injured in these locations.
I feel strange now, thinking of these events, I watched them on TV along with so many other people from around the world. Aside from some reconstruction still going on you wouldn't know. We walked by the Leopold Cafe each day. We talked to the concierge at the Taj Hotel and we waited for an hour for our train at the CST (Victoria Terminus). Life goes on, I guess. What was once a gruesome scene is still a place where tens of thousands of people do business. I am glad to have not thought about these things while I was there the first time. When we return for a day or two before heading north, maybe I will take a moment and remember it. I don't know. When is it better to move on. What can we do, to change what has happened but to change what is happening now. We can only do our best, focus our intention on positive action and respect for all people regardless. I guess it's also best to have no regrets. We never know when and where lightning will strike.
We rode the train in Sleeper class. No a/c class cars had space. This is unusual I think. Everyone noticed us. Some people stared, one guy even asked if we would like him to work out a way for us to move to a higher class seat. He did so because he was concerned for our comfort. Of course it wasn't our first choice to ride in this class. As some people explained to us, once we were out of Mumbai, some people riding in that class may have never seen a foreigner before. Strange concept to us, we have been in the midst of so many different peoples, It is hard to imagine what it is like to have never seen a foreigner. So we are inland now. I think the shock, they call culture shock finally hit us. Strange to happen so late in our journey, but it is true. No other place is quite like India. I don't think I can explain culture shock, I am sure there is a definition, but the feeling, the emotion that surrounds it is no less than intense, shocking if you will. I won't go on about this except to say, we are the strangers in a new place. We are starred at as if we are somewhere on the edge of not belonging here. At the same time, it is not a threatening feeling. We are surrounded by so many friendly people.
Off the main tourist track although still in a tourist area. Ellora and Ajanta caves, we will visit this week. Intense carved from huge rock cliffs these temples are incredible pieces of art and places of worship (Buddhist, Hindu and Jain Temples).
Food continues to be a highlight. We had a great experience at a Thali restaurant a few hours ago. We sat down to two empty trays and a barrage of it seemed twenty different waiters filling our plates. It was impressive the intensity and directness with which we were served. Oh and the flavors, great. So many different tastes and within an instant it seemed we were filled.
Things are good. Hope you are well. Happy Easter.