16 November 2009

Swinging Saturday

Five AM, the alarm clock punishingly awakes me.

The promise of yesterday stings hard in my body that is unwilling to let the soft bed behind. Ravi calls and we are not going to Santa Cruz but he will be joining me at the hotel. A little sad about this sudden change, although travelling there would have been quite a challenge at that time for me, but with anticipation I head of and meet him and a colleague at the gate. We run for about 6.5km around Powai lake. The otherwise, carloaded, rikshafilled, busfilled road is almost empty. A stray dog looks sad at us when we run by. By 6:50 where back at the hotel. I'm grateful for the invitation and with this exchange of gratitude I walk back into the hotel for some excercises and a steambath (what a nice surprise!). The Dutch colleagues are enjoying breakfast (or faking it well). They are about to embark in a tour of downtown Mumbai. I decline their invitation to go there. As I have been there and especially the long ride there puts me of. Instead I go to my room and ...fall asleep. Yeah, that was kindof a surprise. Afterwards, I left for the Shri Siddhivinayak temple in Dadar.

Some onroute photo's:

First taking the riksha to Anderi station and from there by fast train in the first class compartiment (and the MENs compartiment for that matter, yes I do try to learn from experience). One riksha ride I'm at the temple. The temple itself is gated and basically sealed. I cannot take my camera inside but the local salesman will guard it for me. As compensation, I buy some offerings for Lord Ganesha and take them inside. Dropping my shoes at yet another booth, I enter the temple. All the fences considering, it does not feel crowded so I consider myself very very lucky given that once it get's crowded in India it is oppressingly crowded. Not part of my comfortzone... Inside the temple one has to walk around it and enter a shrine where you can hand over your offerings to some 'priests'? who accept your offering and exchange some items. Ganesha in his orange body smiles at the spectacle. The golden glow of the shrine adds even more atmosfere to this happening and contrary to my discomfort in crowds like this I cannot but smile.
Onwards to Bandra

More onroute pics:

where I really wanted to see the stalls at Linking road. So I found them...well lit!

And they are filled with womans clothes and shoes (very cheap: colleagues say that with a little bargaining you can get a pair for Rs 50 but you can only wair them for a month). Somehow I expected a more diverse palette for shoppers.
So that's the view for when you're hunting for bargains. Then I turned around to find this in my face:
As it is getting late, I return to Bandra station on foot and take the train to Anderi.

I abandon my earlier plan to visit St Mary's church in Bandra. Maybe next time. While on my way to the beautiful Bandra Station, some raindrops fall from the heavens. A chilly wind cools the streets. Temperature reaches a familiar 18 degrees Celsius. Back on the train to Anderi and one riksha ride later I'm back at the hotel. I really love going about and discovering Mumbai. Pity that I have so little time and that this city is so big and busy. I count my blessings for this lovely day and top it off with a few beers.

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