We had 2 rest days in Mumbai and they were busy so I didn't get out my computer and then our next nights we didn't have internet access.
Mumbai was an experience (could have been New York)....
We stayed very centrally in the Colaba district near the Gate of India. In fact we arrived at the Gate of India via a ferry and avoided any city traffic or riding! Mumbai could be any big city except it's a crazy big city 20.7 MILLION people! We saw only a very small area....
Maulise and I arriving at the Gate of India
- Vikas (our Dr.) took us to the hospital he works at (1.5 hour drive in traffic, one way) - it's a government hospital, therefore, sees anyone and the costs are covered by the government. It was so interesting - the separate male & female wards have about 20 beds each (men's and women's, post-op, peds, OB-GYN, etc). We also got to tour the ICU, where Vikas works - 12 beds, 2 patients on vents. They have clinics, an ER, lab/x-ray/ ultrasound, but no MRI or CT. If this is required, then the patient is sent out via hospital transfer for the test, likely to a private hospital.
- You can also access Ayurvedic Medicine at the hospital. It originated in India and is based on the balance of mind, body and spirit.
- India also has private hospitals and they are very much like in the USA.
- Since we have 4 Drs. + Vikas, he was able to get permission to have us tour the hospital.
ICU staff with Vikas on the left
ICU bed and a ventilator
Medical Records room
The traffic - this photo doesn't do it justice - and they are just in the process of building a metro!
- We completed a walking tour of the Colaba district which has some really beautiful buildings from when the British were here.
- We got to meet Vikas' wife - Shipra, who is lovely, and gave the girls some shopping tips - "FabIndia" for beautiful cotton clothing.... We all did a little damage. Funniest thing - asking if they have anything in black! The salespeople scoffed at the thought of black when there are so many lovely colours in the rainbow!! Another blonde customer in the store and I giggled as we both agreed we have a significant wardrobe in black at home. India is filled with beautiful coloured sari's! I bought a black pair of pants, but the other things I bought were coloured.
Vikus and Shipra
- We saw street cats! There haven't been many in our travels.
- I had a drink & a snack at the Harbour Bar in the Taj Palace Hotel (where there was a terrorist attack in 2008); 5-Star hotel.
All posh hotels have huge flower arrangements in their lobbies
- Had dinner at Leopold's Cafe which is around the corner from the Taj Palace Hotel and was also attacked in the same 2008 terrorist attack. I became aware of it from the novel - Shantaran.
- Chai-wallahs at Churchgate Train station - these men pick up homemade lunches (in tiffin boxes) from homes all over Mumbai; bring them to a Churchgate station at 11:00 am; they're sorted and then distributed to office workers in the city. It has 99% accuracy; many of the delivery people are illiterate and they use a series of numbers and letters to sort and deliver the tiffin boxes daily.
- With great sadness - we said goodbye to Dennis as he finished the trip in Mumbai. I feel so privileged to have met and ridden with him - he has a great sense of humour, is a great storyteller and we had many things in common (least of which was our speed on the uphills!!) We'll meet again friend!
What a whirlwind and we barely touched the surface!!