End of the Indian Winter in Mumbai

rptToday was our last day in India.  We packed up our bags first thing and then had breakfast at Eve’s with Sarah and Elliott.  I had my last delicious Spanish omelette, all whisked and light as a feather.  We tipped the Eve’s staff for the excellent service they have shown us throughout our stay.  Amongst the many good things about staying at Eve’s has been the super friendly staff who just cannot do enough for you.

Last night I heard the last big parade of Holi which was at about 230am.  Loud drumming, trumpeting, chanting and music as it  came down the road through the village.  Every other year there is even more of a parade which involves moving the Shiva statue from the temple in Chaudhi to the temple in Patnem and sometimes to Palolem.  In order for this to be accomplished in total darkness, all the electrical power in the area is turned off for the period of several hours and there is a curfew from midnight to 3am. The statue is carried by priests and bearers, carrying torches and sticks and with drumming and music.  It is forbidden to be on the street at this time, although I once hid in darkness on my balcony and watched!  Anyway, this was the “off” year for that parade and it will be held again next year.

I managed to get a haircut at the little salon up the road.  Hopefully it will hold my hair in place till we get to Limassol on April 4th when I will be able to get a decent cut.  I felt quite sad walking up the road to the salon.  Several rickshaws coming back from Chaudhi, honked their horns and waved to me, drivers we have used during our stay.  Everyone is so friendly here.  You really feel part of a community, not just an anonymous visitor.  Pleased with my haircut.  A snip (see what I did there?) at £6.

Finished our packing and relaxed in our room till 1230 when Christopher came with his taxi.  Pretty smooth trip up to the airport.  I’m not going to pretend that the check in experience in Goa is anything but tedious.  We were overweight and had to buy extra allowance which involves first having your bags weighed then walking quite a long way to the airline office which is the only place you can pay, then walking back with a receipt that says you’ve paid…. plus of course all the security checks…..  the security check experience is very stressful.  You are split into two queues according to gender.  Then because the woman’s one moves so slowly, you have to put your hand luggage through the men’s line ahead and then agonise in the line knowing your stuff, with all the most valuable items ie laptop, phone, kindle etc are just piling up in plain view on a different conveyer.  I was amazed to find everything still there as it took me about 20 minutes longer than my hand luggage to get xrayed and frisked.

Flight up to Mumbai was pretty smooth and a nice new plane.  An Airbus 320.  Marriott had sent a car to pick us up which was lovely.  It’s only a 5 minute drive to the JW Marriott at the airport anyway.  Such a lovely hotel.  We are here on points. We’ve stayed here before.  They are so welcoming and everything is just gorgeous.  It would be superb anywhere let alone actually on an airport.  They sent up a cheese plate and a bottle of white wine to welcome us.

We were upgraded to the Executive floor which gave us access to the lounge.  Very nice double storey lounge with its own restaurant, cocktail bar and plenty of seating.  We had several free drinks and decided to eat dinner there for free, knowing we have 3 probably expensive nights ahead in the UAE.  All very delish.

I had to laugh…. there were obviously quite a lot of business types in there.  On the next table was a young Indian guy, techie, probably from Bangalore, having a video conferencing brainstorming session with a client.  It’s been a long time since I’ve heard quite the level of b-s that was going down the wires and I had to giggle at times (lost count how many “awesomes” were exchanged) at the horrific level of corporate speak that was going on….  My god, I don’t miss that.  Of all the things I may or may not miss about my working life (and actually I only miss the people really…) the least thing I miss is the utter cr*p you have to subject your ears to on occasion.  I used to listen in and be looking around waiting for someone to go “hahaha got you there…..” but actually it was never a joke…..  My poor girls have another 40 years of that to put up with probably.