Little Mumbai

When the day is long and you can’t wait to slide into you bed, but you wish you had a little bit more energy to do and see more of Mumbai. Today is one of my favourite days, and luckily I get to blog about it.

We started the day a little bit more flexible. The group had the freedom of either sleeping in, going shopping or walking in the streets of Mumbai. The group divided itself into the shopping lovers and the rest. I was in the shopping group with Genevieve and T’mikah. We have gotten much better at bargaining. It is one of those things you either really enjoy or don’t. We had more time to shop after we checked out the hotel. This time, mostly everyone went shopping. I was shopping with T’mikah and Melih. Melih was so excited to buy clothes, that if you walked a bit slower than he does – and he’s fast; you were left behind. You want to go shopping with Melih, bargaining is one of his hobbies.

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We then visited a store called FebIndia. It is a beautiful store than has amazing fabric and better quality material that are made from traditional techniques, and mostly hand-based.  The store has workers that actually studied fashion so they are paid fair wages; which is not always the case in India, for that the prices were much higher than what we have been seeing elsewhere. Their vision is to celebrate India, and share their love to India with people from around the world. The Tags include a little story that tells you more about the design and the people who made it.

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Food, Food, Food. We then head for lunch at a place called Candies. It has a variety of food with reasonable prices. If you’re here, and you miss your daily salad, that’s where you would want to go. While we were eating the food outside, the birds weren’t too happy with T’mikah and Genevieve, they decided to poop on them and their food. The same thing happened to Michael earlier, so we believe they have got cursed.

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After food we had a tour with Reality Tours & Travel in the Dharavi slums.  Dharavi has about 1,000,000 people in a 2.16 Km2 area, which is around 400 football pitches. Knowing Mumbai, it is one of highest densest countries in the world, and Dharavi slum is 20 times denser than Mumbai. You can imagine the amount of people there. We went on a Sunday which is not a rush day as normal, so we were able to walk around freely. The slum is divided into two parts: industry and residential. I am not sure what you’re thinking when you hear the word slum, but we were amazed by what we saw. Dharavi is the home to many people but also the work place of so many others. Dharavi includes around 5,000 business and 10,000 factories with leather, plastic, and textile as their main industries. The daily wages range around Rs. 400 with a 10-12 hours of work. Hence that is why this slum is very different than other slums we might have seen. Slums are divided into legal and illegal slums. Legal in the sense that the people own their houses, but the lands belong to the government. Dharavi is a legal slum that used to be a big garbage dumb.

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They stared to have tours around the slums to take away from the stigma that there is stealing and a lot of crime. In fact, it is very well protected because police men live inside, and more importantly, because have a sense of community that they don’t want to lose. We saw restaurants, bakeries, post offices, hospitals, schools, and market areas. Around 85% of children go to school, even if their parents are uneducated, to ensure a good future for them.

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Source of images: Reality Tours and Travel                                             Link to more photos: https://www.flickr.com/photos/119419058@N08/sets/72157641841763365/

We ended the tour and head to the airport. Mumbai’s airport is fascinating, with beautiful interior and colourful space. We would have loved to had more time to explore it but we rushed to get food for the burgers lovers.

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Spotted: the World’s King.

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FYI: Melih’s new goal is to be the world’s king… Let’s see how this goes.

We ended the day by waiting for our luggage at the carousal, but since we didn’t check any in, we were happy to have found our lost member.  img_2510