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by Helen

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Taj Mahal Palace and Tower Hotel, Mumbai

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We stayed here for our last night in India, very posh. People kept
coming to the room to prepare the bed, bring fruit etc. You're not
even supposed to open toilet doors for yourself in this place.

Mumbai is a hot and smokey city. It has its own distinctive smell. A mixture of wood fire, incense and heavy pollution all hammered in by the heat and the dust. There are people everywhere -- like the rest of India, Mumbai has an overbrimming population. Shanty towns line the roadways, people carry out their washing, work and play as trucks and taxis continuously thunder past. There doesn't seem to be an inch of space that isn't home to someone.

Viv says:

very swanky

15th Jan 2007, 16:13

Dhamaka says:

what an experience!
did that feel strange?

15th Jan 2007, 16:15

Steve says:

I thought that the toilet guy might hold my old chap whilst I went for a wee...

.. he didn't

15th Jan 2007, 16:20

Helen says:

You didn't pay him enough.

It was a bit strange. You can't really do anything for yourself, just try keeping hold of your suitcase, it's impossible.

Mind you, once back in Britain people continued to carry my suitcase for me, but I don't think they were doing it for the many rupees tip.

15th Jan 2007, 16:26

Dhamaka says:

I'm not sure I'd feel right about that, but I guess 'when in Rome..'

15th Jan 2007, 16:28

Helen says:

It's weird, but everyone's so desperate for the money and employment, they make up jobs wherever they can. If someone gives you directions, quite often they'll expect a tip.

15th Jan 2007, 16:31

Euphro says:

Lovely shot and eloquently put :) Welcome back!

15th Jan 2007, 16:52

Steve says:

Dhamaka, you really don't get a choice. I went there with all my best principles of not having someone waiting on me hand and foot, but you end up making people feel rather uncomfortable and make the situation worse.

15th Jan 2007, 16:54

nige says:

looks great.

15th Jan 2007, 19:41

Viv says:

oh you've added info great!

must have felt very strange

15th Jan 2007, 20:59

I will never really get my head round that kind of attention
it was like this in Africa too.

15th Jan 2007, 21:04

DocD says:

Remember folks India was part of the Raj - that servant-master thing is in bred.

15th Jan 2007, 21:44

Helen says:

That's why it feels especially bad. I don't deserve that kind of attention.

On the one hand you have over-attentiveness and on the other there's a very laid back, non-comittal approach -- checking out of a hotel can take up to an hour.

And there seem to be at least three people to every one job. Which can be great, but also can stop you from getting anywhere.

It's all very strange. And humbling.

15th Jan 2007, 22:11

Helen says:

Mum, it's all a bit of a work in progress. I have notes, so I'll add bits here and there as and when. Think I have to concentrate on sorting the photos first and getting them on here... then notes and tagging. I have a book that I can put hard copies into, so if I sort out my notes on here (which photo to go with which notes), then it'll make the book easier.

16th Jan 2007, 10:41

Viv says:

sounds good

16th Jan 2007, 16:23