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SIM Cards, Colonial Architecture and Cuisine

I will never criticize someone who is cartographically of directionally challenged again. Mumbai put me in my place, or out of place, more than once today. Actually like four or five times. It all appears easy on the little map in my book then bam no idea where I am – and directions don't help. "Yes, yes you go to the main road take a right then a left then it's straight on two minutes walk." Hmmm…an hour later I still haven't found it.

If you are reading this it means I finally have functional Internet access again. Here I am in Bombay biggest city of India and nowhere has wireless for my iProducts. Apparently you pay for access individually via 3G here – but that service is unavailable to little foreigner me. My hotel has wireless but today was in a heated dispute with their provider – partially because of my continuous inquiry about its functionality.

Internet was just one of the little details I spent my whole day dealing with. The next pieces of my time here in India needed plane tickets to Goa, bus tickets to Nasik, and again a local phone because my Delhi number was terminated by Airtel upon entry into Mumbai. All items were mini dramas where it took me hours to find and complete each part.

In the middle of my errands I did manage to complete most of the walking tour of Bombay. Just not in the same order as the tour suggests. Here is a shot of the recently restored St. Thomas Cathedral I passed multiple times while gathering the paperwork for my SIM card. This cathedral was started in 1672 and finished in 1718 during the time when Bombay was leased by the British to the East Indian Trading company for the annual rent of 10 pounds.

I paused for lunch at Cafe Universal and took advantage of the Parsi food offering for something different than curry. This is the tasty dish known as Chicken Dhansak (chicken with curried lentils and rice).

The rice with star anise was exquisite – as was the ice cold beer I had along side of it.


Here is Flora Fountain built in 1869 in honor of one Sir Bartle Frere, the guy who dismantled the walls of a Bombay Fort so that the colonial style metropolis could truly begin.


This lovely art deco Indian woman is on the outside of the main doors of the New India Assurance Company Building – the largest insurance company of India.

Town Hall and Horniman's Cirle were also traversed a few times today but I was able to take in the sanctuary from the city within Horniman's botanical garden and a cute kitten.


My day ended with a trip to Indigo – the cuisine haven for Mumbai foodies. I felt underdressed when I arrived in my sweaty ponytail and city worn salwaar kameez – but since it took me two hours of walking to find the place I was not turning around to change.

The impeccable staff had me begin with drinks as they arranged for my reservation. I sampled India's 4 Winds Vineyard Viognier. If I licked a crystal and followed it by a kumquat it might taste like this wine. Shockingly dry and filled with the signature ancient earthy flavor I've found in all Indian grapes – it was by far the best glass I've had.

On to dinner on the terrace surrounded by American business people – I think I was the only person actually here for the food. My dinner consisted of a roasted hearts of palm salad, followed by an arugula ravioli, and finished with a jalapeƱo chocolate cake with salted caramel and lemon basil ice cream.



The dessert was the best thing on the planet at that moment in time. Happy, full and a few thousand rupees lighter, I was taxied home to my budget hotel to have more malaria pill influenced dreams.


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