Jyotir Lingum Yatra
Monday, December 02, 2002
Monday morning in Bombay
Both my roommates were up and down all night, one of them remaining very ill, not being able to hold down even water. A doctor is supposed to come to the hotel this afternoon to check on several members of the group. Again, I am grateful to be feeling well. Yes, getting out of the hotel and away from some of the drama of the trip itself was important to my mental health this morning.
Walking around the streets of Bombay solo is a little scarey, but I try to keep on the move. The vibe here is much like New York City. I ducked into this CyberCafe not only because it was much for affordable at 20 rupees per hour very 250 for a 1/2 in the hotel, but to also get my bearings and cool off a little bit before I head back out to do some shopping.
So far this trip has been pushing the boundaries of my patience, somewhat to my chargin. Of course I want this experience to be magical and uplifting, but the reality is a little different sometimes, especially when there needs to be a revolving door installed for the bathroom in our hotel room! Trying to share a small hotel room with two other people here in Bombay has been especially hard. You would think given the granduer of the hotel that the rooms would be more spacious, but this is not the case. Tucked away in this little cybercafe has been the most comfortable I have been in days...*enjoying a deep breath*
Most of the folks on this trip are rather plain, granola-y types, so the grandeur of these Taj Hotels is rather discombobulating to them. For instance, I feel uncomfortable NOT tipping the bellhop 10 rupees per bag (about $.25), whereas my roommates might think this is unnecessary. I get aggitated that these small amounts of money are even an issue. It is not worth my time to even debate whether or not to tip, if I want to, I do.
However, the fact of the matter is that we all feel more comfortable in the more pastoral parts of India, despite the fact that these areas take hours to drive to. For instance, the distance to Srisailam from Hyderabad was 235 km (about 146 miles) but it took about 6-7 hours to get there. Granted, we stopped about a 1/2 hour for lunch and another couple rest breaks, but the real issue is that there are no highways, per se, in India, at least none that I could determine. Driving through Bombay last night was the fastest we've traveled, since the roads here, though busy, are in good repair. On the regular roads not only are slower vehicles as issue, but often the bus must slow or stop for a herd of goats or a few cows.
Well, after a little drink of water, I think I will try to shop again. Wish me luck!
Namaste for now.