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You can’t walk and text in Mumbai (#1).

I’m five days behind on posting about Mumbai, and I really want to talk about everything I’ve seen here. Gotta play catch up!

Courtyard Marriott has the nicest lobby out of every hotel I’ve stayed at.

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And a great pool, gym, and steam and sauna.

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The hotel I’m staying at is north of the airport, in a neighborhood called Andheri East. Cities in India are huge. I asked a couple people if I was in a busy part of the city. All replied that the entire city is busy, and they are right.

You can’t walk and text in Mumbai. It isn’t possible. Traffic is worse than the LA gridlock + Beijing drivers + Taiwan alleyways combined. Roads are very bumpy, sidewalks are half missing. Yet, everyone is consistent in their driving behavior, and cars weave through jaywalkers (who aren’t scared at all) and other cars (who honk every second).

I’ve taken many videos, but won’t bother uploading due to poor upload speed. Here are photos.

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Road vehicles are different here. There are these small pedicabs with one wheel in the front, two in the back. No windows, kinda like a jeep. They call them “duk duks.” and they’re incredibly cheap. I took one for 4.5km for 56 rupees, which is less than $1 USD.

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Busses are extremely crowded, dusty, and old. Most trucks have folks sitting behind them.

Streets contain domesticated, non-leashed goats or pigs. They sit idly just a couple of feet from road vehicles, not a single flinch. Stray dogs can be seen everywhere, but that’s the same in Taiwan.

Building infrastructure. Road layouts. The people on the streets. It’s really something else. Words can’t describe.

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Gentrification is more amplified than a five block different in Washington D.C. It changes in five seconds. All the taxi drivers, who barely knew an ounce of English, knew the places I needed to do business at. You could really tell the difference just by looking at the buildings.

Average mumbai salary is $6,000 USD a year. That’s $115.38 a week. Or $2.88 an hour on a 40 hour week (doubt these guys work 8 hours a day). And Mumbai has nearly 3x the GPD per capita than the rest of the country.

I’m afraid, but looking forward to, the culture shock when I visit Gurgaon and Hyderabad.

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You can’t walk and text in Mumbai. You shouldn’t walk and text in Mumbai. You shouldn’t be on your phone at all in Mumbai. Instead, you should absorb the environment, look at all the homeless kids sleeping on a mound of concrete slabs, or the kids or woman knocking on your taxi window trying to sell you stickers, or the anorexic-looking cattle sitting on the sidewalk.

I’m spoiled. We’re spoiled. We’re lucky to live in a first world country.

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