I reached Chhatrapati Shivaji Airport, Mumbai at 22:00 local time last night. It seems to be a much larger airport than what we have in Jakarta and I find it so amusing. They put small replicas of India’s architectural building and give you a somewhat glimpse of what to expect to see while in India as airport decorations. Unfortunately there were no Welcome to Mumbai signs where we can take pictures to acknowledge that we finally reached Mumbai. Wohooo…!!!
Mumbai is the largest city in India that serves as the financial, commercial and entertainment capital. It is a city that never sleeps, a melting pot of cultures, and is known as the city of dreams where people flock into the city to pursue their dreams. Here I was so curious of the city but still have to wait until the next day to see what the city has to offer. As it was already late, we went straight to the hotel which was around 40km from the airport. We got out from the Airport around 12.00 AM and the city was still so busy. Mumbai is a much larger city than Jakarta where the roads are wider and the size of the buildings are that much larger. Parts of the city though was like walking through Jakarta in the 1990s where it was dirty with rubbish lying everywhere and just seem so messy.
Then comes morning which we drove around the city of Mumbai and there were lots of buildings that are not only large but also have admirable architecture. It is kind of paradox where you will find the richest and the poorest people here, the most beautiful building and also very slum ones. On one hand, this city is the hometown of Bollywood, and on the other, this city has India’s largest slum population. The surprising thing was Mumbai is regarded as the safest city as compared to other cities in India, where it is safe to walk even until very late at night.
Another unique thing was that there was taxis that were black and blue. I didn’t notice this until our guide pointed out to us, the difference was that the black is non air conditioned while the blue one was so that from far away we can call taxis that caters our preference. Shops are usually open from 11AM and closes at around 10PM – 12AM. I find people drive more carelessly in Mumbai than in Jakarta, where suddenly stopping in the middle of the road is common whether it is to drop off someone or even to chat with someone in another car, and then making a U-turn in places deemed convenient by the driver.
All in all, it has been a fun time in Mumbai. I find the city very amusing, vibrant and lively.