First impressions (written during my 5 hour stopover in Mumbai at 00:00):
- It smells different: Musty, slightly sour, like an old shoe in a cupboard (with a dash of mothballs).
- It’s warm/humid: We landed just before midnight, and the temperature was 27 degrees. Nuff said.
- People smile more: It’s ‘warmer’ here. People ‘seem’ friendlier. But that’s not hard given we’re working from such a low base. ‘Englanders’ are a bunch of snobbish miserabilists (apparently)
- People are ‘more’ relaxed. A difficult one to qualify, and it most certainly is not a universal trait, but people ‘seem’ more centered.
There is an ‘interesting’ fashion sense: What not to wear and Queer Eye for the straight guy have not reached India yet. It’s a pretty uncool mix and match clothes wise. I say this whilst looking at a guy wearing a shiny baggy brown silk (synthetic) shirt, soiled trainers, haircut by Sidal Vasoon, and moustache by Magnum (PI). The other thing is how most men are wearing Western dress.
Take the above with a pinch of salt. My sample may not be particularly representative, I’ve only been here a few hours, and haven’t slept.
I must say one thing before I go. Air travel is boll*cks. I’m not sure how the industry get away with presenting it as s*xy. You’re basically sitting in the same seat you get in a clapped out National Express coach, but for 15 hours, alternately frozen and boiled, surrounded by snoring passengers, wailing babies (and that was just me – boom boom), and crappy movies.
On the plus side, I have arrived in Kochi (Cochin) Kerala, and it looks beautiful. It’s reminiscent of Malaysia. Stunning scenery flying in, deep green folds of land, sunrise reflecting in rivers and rice paddies, and a warm gentle breeze. I plan to relax, acclimatise, and rest for three days before moving on.
Ciao for now.