Just after a train whistle blows on a mid summer morning, a voice from the station platform is heard over the crowd, “Chai Chai Chai”. The voice of a middle aged Chai Walla pours up a cup of delicious scented chai tea from a steel kettle as the midday Train pulls into Mumbai central.
This city beats to its own drum, a rhythm unlike any other city on earth. Bombay/Mumbai is alive and uncanny. The bustling city of old and new boasts endless horizons of worn down buildings and new steel skyscrapers, grand bazaars, and pushcarts accompanied by women in decadent and colorful saris as they sell the morning’s fresh picked fruits and merchandise.
Taxis and bicycle rickshaws weave the long stretch of ocean on Marine Drive—the road that separates the Mumbai skyline and the slender beach front known as Chowpatty. Head over to the Gateway to India, a monument built during the British Raj in Mumbai. The monument is a good starting point for all your adventures. Highly recommended is a boat to the Unesco World heritage Elephanta Caves Island for breathtaking artifacts and sights. Back on the mainland the occasional western backpacker can be seen negotiating a fair price for hostels and ‘Tuk-Tuks’ (taxis). Tourists come and go snapping photos like it is A Whole New World. The city buzzes and twirls.