Normal priorities while travelling tend to be shelter, water, and food. Our first priority was INTERNET.
One feels so naked now without Internet or cell phones. Can’t imagine how ppl travelled before 2000s. I guess you just learned to read maps and talk to ppl. So hard! The plan is to live, work, and travel out of Bombay for the next few months, hence the focus on getting Internet setup right away. Using my parents’ apartment in Mulund makes it much easier and convenient.
So much has changed in the last 7 years since I have been. Everyone carries smart phones now. Internet cafés have all but disappeared as more upper middle class Indians get on the internet bandwagon.
But mostly it is the same. High rises next to slums. Women picking through garbage for something to sell. The constant din and noise and ppl…It is going to take a while to get used to the constant noise.
It is a weird feeling being here. I don’t feel out of place. Yet, I am not totally comfortable. I am not overwhelmed, but yet I feel weird that I don’t feel out of place or overwhelmed. Weird.
Got lot accomplished in the first day and half. Got our internet and cell phones lined up. Getting a pre-paid phone here is an absolute pain in the ass. You have to first provide a photo of yourself.
Then you have to have a local who can vouch for you. The phone company then calls the contact to verify that the applicant is real. So if you didn’t have someone local, you would be fucked. There would be no way to get a prepaid cell service. It is the most bizarre thing I have seen. I suspect it is to keep the terrorists at bay though. Which is stupid cause it is pretty easy to find someone to vouch for you. You wouldn’t be much of a terrorist if you couldn’t accomplish something that simple.
The other first priority after landing was eating my favorite thing in the world: vada pau. If I was a millionaire baller, I would fly First Class every weekend to Mumbai just to eat a few vada pau’s and then fly back. That’s how awesome these fried, doughy goodnesses are.
This typical Bombay street food retails for Rs. 12 or < 0.50 cents. This is Bombay’s answer to venerable pizza. The basic concept is pretty simple: Take boiled potatoes. Mash them up. Add spices. Cover in dough and deep fry. Spread tamarind chutney inside pau (bun). Garnish with fried chillies.
Bam! Done! Best drunk food ever.
Dave was a big fan. This is the perfect way to start my stay in Bombay. And it is something Dave can eat cause it is deep fried.
We also had to get Dave some Indian rupees. Here’s a local tip: most jewellery stores for some reason will exchange foreign currency, esp 100$ US bills. We got 62.5 Rs for 1 USD which is almost better than market rate! I don’t know why they offer this service or what they do with these USDs but it is fucking awesome.
> “Let’s blow this shit on hookers and blow” – Dave J. Cheung