January 14, 2014
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It has been a hectic couple of days of checking out south Bombay. After being holed up in the “quiet” suburb of Mulund for the last 3 days we finally made our way down to the “city”. The plan was to check out some major tourist sites such as Gateway of India, Haji Ali, Mahalakshmi Temple, etc before going on walking tours.
But first, we had to navigate Mumbai’s intense train system to get from the ‘burbs to where the action is: South Bombay. Mumbai has a pretty extensive, efficient, cheap, if not over-crowded train system. A 50 km trip will cost you Rs. 10 or less than 20c. This is how a majority of the suburban population travels in and out of the city as this is the quickest, cheapest, if not intense way of traveling.
View of the main Central Railways Terminus (CST)
Mass exodus at one of the busiest stations (Dadar)
Dave was the tallest mofo (apart from me) on the train.
What I find amazing and humbling about this experience is the friendliness and helpfulness of the people. If someone sees you lost in the train system, they will actually walk you in the right direction. Passengers watch out for senior citizens and make sure they get onto the train and get off at the right stop. People will help ferry your handheld items to luggage storage racks running along the top of the trains.
Everyone’s in the same boat and they know it. But there are separate compartments for women though. Can’t trust the Indian male to not take the chance to “accidentally” feel up a woman during the bone-crushing peak hour rush.
The most hilarious thing about the trains is the whole “front of the bus” phenomenon. No matter how not crowded the train, there’s always people hanging off the front.
Riding the train like ballers.
An outside shot of a passing train.
Here’s a video. Link to Dave’s excellent blog post on this same subject.
We have been riding the trains like pros now for the last two days. If you are ever in Bombay, riding the trains is the best way to feel the pulse of the city.