India in one word: speechless

     In Mumbai (formerly Bombay) I didn’t have my camera ready when I passed by the building with the giant sign: BUDGET TEST TUBE BABY CENTER, much to my deep, deep regret.
     Big fan of Air Arabia, but their cynical anti-water stance leaves a bad taste in my mouth. They make sure you don’t have any water before you get on the plane in Nairobi or UAE so you have to buy it in the terminal or on the plane. Access to water is my little pet peeve, so despite the comfy flight, if an Air Arabia water executive and the evil manager of the Oriental Hotel in Hargeisa, Somaliland, were both hanging off a cliff and about to die, I might have to save the Oriental manager first.

     American high culture, spreading like wildfire! Could this be any sadder?

     I witnessed this soon after arriving in Mumbai: I was on the local train into town and a family of four got on. The whole family was well-dressed, even fashionably so, but none of them wore shoes. The youngest kid even had a cell phone—but no shoes. I didn’t understand it because the woman, she had very nice, clean feet. Very pretty feet, in fact. I mean, these were supremely attractive feet, feet you want to get to know better, maybe start a family with, grow old together, and she walked around barefoot. Incredible India.
     How can I describe India after seeing so many things like that? (I saw a water truck with diplomatic license plates.) It’s as if I open my mouth and assume words will follow, but nothing comes out.

     Mumbai sunset

     I discovered that my debit card doesn’t work in India. It’s largely my fault, I should have called before to check, but my bank won’t tell me in which countries it doesn’t work, and so I am supposed to call them and ask if I can use the card every single time I cross a border.
     I have all kinds of trouble communicating which leads to all kinds of frustration and it is insanely hot and humid in Mumbai. Not a good combination.

     I've got lots of problems in India, but I calm down when I tuck into something like this: channa masala, which is chick peas in a rich sauce with roti. 53 rupees (US$1.20)

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India in one word: speechless — 4 Comments

  1. You sound like your bank has a similar philosophy to mine. They keep blocking my credit card whenever I use it in a new country. The subsequent conversation usually goes like this.

    Bank: “You need to telephone us when you are going abroad, to let us know.”

    Me: “OK. I’m telling you now. I’m always abroad.”

    Bank: “Just when you are going to a new country.”

    Me: “Do you know how many borders I cross? Am I supposed to spend $20 trying to call you from Ethiopia?”

    Bank: “We accept collect calls.”

    Me: “I’m telling you now; I travel a lot and I’m rarely in Canada.”

    Bank: “Just call us so that we know you’re abroad.”


  2. Yes, exactly! They love to mention the collect call thing as if I can just go down to the corner and effortlessly ring them up.
    You are already in Switzerland. Can you start a bank for travelers?

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