The temptation when travelling is to fit everything in in the place that you are. You look up the best things to do in the guide books, try and find local places, and fit this all into a week or less. Obviously in Mumbai this poses a big problem, taxis take a long time to wind through the constant traffic and getting from North to South (Bandra to Colaba) takes 45 minutes on a good run.
Yesterday we found this out.
We went for a nice breakfast in Colaba, went to the National Gallery of Modern Art to wander around a photography exhibition for a few hours, the photography was brilliant and thought provoking, we had some lunch and went back to our flat. That left us feeling like we needed a nap! The heat really tires you out sometimes. Instead of having a nap we talked to our friends from back home on Skype for an hour, which was lovely, then we found out that there was a cricket game on that evening so we booked tickets to go and see that. How exciting!
We had planned to go an event in Bandra called ‘lil flea’ and it was the last day before it ended so we shot over to the place to pick up the cricket tickets and got in a taxi up to Bandra. 45 minutes later we were at the flea market which turned out to be more like a mini festival with stalls of crafts and food. There was a festival stage with music, some JBL speakers and a Soundcraft VI6, Pete had a little chat with the noise boys (sound engineers) so he was very happy. It was good and we had a good look around for an hour and half then we hopped in a taxi to go to the game.
Traffic was bad because of the game so it took us an hour and a half to get down to Marine Drive, where the best named stadium in the world is, Wankhede Stadium.
When we got to the gates we were so so tired. Shattered. There was army personnel everywhere, and security guards; security in Mumbai seems to still be super high, there are army personnel on the street with big guns in a lot of places, I suppose it’s not so long after the terrorist attacks on the Taj Hotel. There were men trying to paint us in Mumbai Indian (the team name) colours, trying to sell us shirts, and horns, and flags. It was overwhelming. We’d tried to do too much.
So we had bought £70 tickets. It’s the thing that Pete had been most excited to do in India, see a cricket game in the place where they go the craziest. We got to the gate as the players came out, we heard the crowd go crazy. They wouldn’t let us in because we had a backpack. A backpack with an iPad mini, an empty water bottle, and a lumix camera with a tiny lens. We were sitting up in the gods so any pictures would have been ants running around. When I asked the security guard if there were lockers to keep my bag in he said that he’d keep it by the side of the road, safe for me and although his phone was dead he’d give me the number of his colleague so we could get it back after the game, other than that you have to find someone in the city to keep it in their apartment.
We wandered around the local area trying to find a hotel that would keep the bag but we couldn’t find anyone willing to do that. We hopped in a taxi back to our apartment, a half hour drive, with the intention of dropping the backpack and going back to the game but when we got back neither of us could face going out again, thinking of our health we stayed in.
It’s very easy to blame other people for what happened last night, the quite crazy rule of no backpacks which isn’t displayed anywhere until you get up to security, or the crazy traffic. A hundred different situations run through your head the next morning, what if I could have done this or that. Ultimately, it was our own fault for rushing around the city and trying to do too much. Like true Londoners we tried to fit too many things into too little time, and we ended up missing the most exciting thing. Even if it was fine and we had gotten into the game, we would have been too tired to enjoy it, it went on for four hours!
A lesson to take into the future. Although we’ve said that before..