Feeling Fly in Mumbai…or not

6:00am:

I’ve started a routine of waking up early. It’s nice to start with a cup of tea on our verandah and start meditating on the day, do some homework, or catch up with friends back home. Our essays were due today, so there was an above average attendance in the porch area this morning, all of us editing and reading through each other’s essays.

8:15am:

Breakfast was brought into the guesthouse and we all gathered. As the week continues it becomes less strict about waiting for everyone to sit at at the table and people dive in more quickly.

9:00am:

We started discussing the overview, challenges, potential, and deliverables of each project. Indecision was high and all-consuming for some, others picked out of a vague preference for one and a slight indifference to being placed in either, and some felt strongly matched for a particular project.

As we were talking about all the different aspects of the projects, I began to form a preference for the Tara Trust project, whose aim is to create product(s) for a high-end hotel produced by a women’s group. Luckily everyone was evenly split, so the groups were fair and everyone was happy, mostly…albeit some may have still felt a bit of the crushing weight of indecision, even though the decisions were made.

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12:00pm:

We ate lunch, once again with some laggers and other keeners getting at the food in survival of the fittest style, but with plenty enough to eat that everyone got fed, eventually.

1:00pm:

Immediately after lunch we had some time to pack, relax, and meet in our newly formed groups. T’mikah and I did some rose water facial masks, so that we could ‘feel fly in Mumbai.’ The rose water masks smelled so good, and made us feel as though it actually removed the layers of sweat built up over the week on our faces.

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A little while later we heard squeals and gasps upstairs, Jacob cut his hair. But, he didn’t just cut his hair, he really styled it. Not fashioned it, per se, but it’s definitely a style.

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3:00pm:

Finally learning to be responsible adults over the last week, we leave on time at 3pm sharp for the airport. Mumbai was an exciting prospect, although my stomach didn’t seem to think so. It began to grumble and I hoped it wouldn’t lead to more tumultuous situations.

As we waited we played a game I’ve known referred to as Mafia, although some know it by Werewolf or other shifty-sounding monikers. We were all fairly rough at it, and everyone knew slightly different rules, so we’ll just leave it at that we’ll need more practice to have a complete game.

5:30pm:

We were all boarded and ready for take-off. At this point, my stomach was churning and I’d rather have just sat than stood for any given amount of time, but I was ready and willing to hold it together for a flight.

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6:30pm:

It all happened very quickly. We land, we stand, and we start moving, along with the contents of my stomach. I let Sarah know I’m in a bad way, and she frantically searched for any sort of container to contain whatever might come. First it’s a cup, and it just won’t do. Next is a transparent file folder which is going to make it very transparent to anyone around me what I ate for lunch earlier that day.

As I walk up to the front of the plane, I try to, as casually and calmly as one is able, throw up the entire contents of my day into the transparent file folder, all the while sandwiched tightly between other airplane commuters. This was not a high moment for me, this was very much a low, but I also instantly felt a relief I just wasn’t feeling before. As I reached the front of the plane, the stewardess sits me down immediately and provides a bag for the folder and cup of water. There’s wasn’t much time to rest, other airplane commuters were waiting just in the loading tunnel to the front door of the plane. I collect myself and my contents and meet up with the group just outside, and threw out the evidence as soon as I could find the appropriate receptacle.

Outside of the plane, there was a strong sense of rose water…figure that, it was full circle with the refreshing scents from just a few hours before. Mumbai seems so much more modern and cosmopolitan than Goa, and it felt a little shocking for such a drastic change after such a short plane ride. Traffic was faster and more hectic, Goa feels like a quaint countryside in comparison. The lights were all blurred and every few moments I felt like I was going to see a major accident occur before my eyes.

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9:00pm:

We arrived at the hotel, which has an all-marble entry, fine detail woodworking, and sculptures placed decadently on the walls. All the accounts are still done by hand in a book.

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(The Fanny Pack) – a pack of ardent fanny pack wearers, with no shame, and no preoccupied hands

Soon after settling in, we made our way to our first restaurant of choice, Barbeque Nation. The table settings were all perfectly placed, and it felt lush, but unfortunately, and retrospectively predictably, the prices matched the aesthetic. After bartering a bit and finding out other menu options, we decided to move on and move out onto Sizzlers. It was an amazing choice, and the plates really sizzled, steaming a veggie and meat spa treatment into your face as soon as it was placed before you.

With my stomach still feeling sensitive, I opted out of food and had a fresh squeezed watermelon juice. I don’t know why I chose that…I don’t even like watermelon, but it was truly a delight.

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10:30pm:

I went back home (our temporary home at least), and began to write, which brings us all here. It’s late, and there’s more yet to do and see tomorrow. For the sake of my sanity, and to finally include some brevity in this lengthy post, I bid farewell and happy stomachs.