Well, I arrived in Mumbai at 8:20 PM, July 6, 2013. It is still July 5th at home.
Let’s go back a little. It was 10:30 when I arrived at the airport in Raleigh. I beat the crowd so that I could take care of check-in without waiting. Then, I sat to await the rest of the group that would travel with me.
The guidance department at my school donated a box of backpacks, and I had coordinated their distribution amongst the other participants in this program. We are each bringing items to pack in the backpacks and will leave the filled backpacks at the Door Step School we will visit once in Pune.
Riding in the tour bus from the Mumbai airport to the hotel Trident, and watching the sights through the bus window, I couldn’t help but observe how different yet the same we appear (India and the United States).
It was 10:00 pm, and as we left the airport, the first sights were of street littered with trash and people who appeared to be homeless. Much like what I’ve seen in Seattle, New York, and even Moore Square in Raleigh at night.
As we drove further, we passed construction workers in vests with neon orange stripes. One walked with his shirt off. Hello!
In a few minutes, we came to what looked like a downtown area. There were many shops including a barber shop and a Baskin Robbins. The street was busy; after all it was a Saturday night. A helpful citizen directed a driver as he tried to park in a tight space. I’ve done this myself– motioning for the driver to keep backing up and then telling him to stop when he was close enough to the car behind him.
We passed a park that our tour guide said was a local hangout and very busy especially on weekends.
Motorbike riders darted between cars. The passenger on the back often wore a sari. I noticed a young driver texting on his phone while waiting for the traffic light to turn green.
The Saifi Hospital was lit-up and beautiful with the dark backdrop of the night. It, at first, seemed a bit iron that a place you go when you are hurt would be so beautiful, but why shouldn’t a place of healing be beautiful?
On to new experiences…