After the clinic, we basically had the rest of the day to sightsee..and shop.
We decided, and by we I mean Lisa :), to hit the jewelry and fashion districts. These names are very misleading. New York has a Diamond district and it is several blocks of nothing but jewelry stores. As it should be. Mumbai has the same concept, but they placed it in what is considered to be the world’s largest slum. I call it slum only because that is the term that was used by our concierge. I call it a concierge because in-attentive, chronic cell phone user is already taken by the women drivers of the world. That last comment is going to get me in trouble, but trust me, ride on my motorcycle with me, and have the kind of near-death close calls I deal with on a regular basis, and you’ll agree.
This guy dis-appeared more than Chris Angel and Harry Houdini combined. He took us to this slum and dropped us off. The driver went to park and wait with the car, and out concierge, henceforth called J, started us walking through the most crowded street you would ever see.
In between looking where he’s going, to making sure Lisa was with me, to making sure the film crew was with us, I developed the most obscene neck ache ever.
But even though he vanished, we did good in that crowd. Found a few shops, bought some nice trinket jewelry, Lisa got to haggle, and we were occosted by Hare Krishnas (Hare Krishna’s, not just in the airports anymore) and I think I almost started an international incident when they would not get out of my face. I used to be a violent man when pressed. I still have a temper, but do not chuck knuckles as quickly as I used to. I have mellowed, but still have a temper when I get frustrated or have had enough. And let me tell you, I had had enough when I saw them from a block away. Jehovah’s Witnesses have NOTHING on these guys. So when we were ready to go, the search was on for Waldo, I mean, J. And when I found him, I voiced my displeasure with great authority.
We then headed to find some Sari’s for Lisa to buy our surrogate and her friends. We ended up at the Silk Museum and let me tell you, they make some gorgeous sari’s. Stunning, really. Lisa got to haggle a bit, but in hindsight, because we paid U.S. cash, the purchases were “off the books”. She could have haggled more had she known.
So we head to the mother of all hotels in Mumbai. The Taj Hotel Mumbai. Many American and European faces here. We decided to have lunch here. And it was good, but as expected, very pricey. But we loved it. Did some shopping in the small shops inside the hotel, and headed for Elephant Island. If you ever go to Mumbai, go to Elephant Island, see the caves.. We missed the caves on this trip, but saw the sunset over the Arabian Sea. Beautiful.
We visited the Gateway of India
and on the way back from the island, we got to see India from offshore, all lit up with fireworks going off. Really was special.